Summer 2014 HRER Hybrid Course
Once more the School of Labor and Employment Relations offered summer hybrid classes for HRER students pursuing the Masters in Professional Studies degree. Fifty students attended one of the following three offerings.
HRER 504 Seminar in Employment Relations
HRER 802 Organizations in the Workplace
HRER 825 Strategic Business Tools for HR Professionals
These classes are taught as a combination of online and residential lessons. Students engage in preparatory work in the weeks preceding the campus visit, and write a paper in the weeks following the residential experience. Rex Simpson, Dan Geltrude and Antone Aboud were this year's instructors.
This blended learning approach is coupled with a truly "Happy Valley" experience. Students this year made several visits to the Creamery, which was only a short walk from our classrooms. Too often they returned to class with large dishes of ice cream, often to taunt the one lactose intolerant instructor, himself craving the heavenly mixtures. On another night the group attended a minor league baseball game, sitting in an air conditioned area with a variety of great snacks. Some of us even watched the game. The last evening on campus we ate dinner at the Nittany Lion Inn's patio. Except for a very few early sprinkles, we enjoyed a final goodbye together, with a short walk to the Nittany Lion statue for group photos. That evening ended with a rousing rendition of, "WE ARE...PENN STATE!" And to prove their commitment to our University, the majority of the students spent a week in university housing.
One additional wrinkle this year was the Sunday afternoon orientation reception and dinner. We've always conducted this event, but this year it included approximately 20 online faculty members who were completing a one-day workshop on campus. Although most of the participating faculty were not teaching in the hybrid classes, they did have the opportunity to meet and greet students they had to that point only known in the virtual universe. It was a blast.