All work environments require the ability to work with others and be a part of a team. Employers look for new hires to be able to fit into their system and be an active team member.
When an instructor assigns a group project, students will often express their concerns and point out that it is difficult to find time to get together outside of class. Other concerns they have are that some students do not pull their weight in group projects and that some like to control everything and will not listen to the opinions of others.
As challenging as group work may be, there is no better preparation for the professional workplace where so much of what is accomplished is done through teamwork. Group projects provide excellent practice for students to improve collaboration skills, interpersonal skills and to grow in their understanding of how to capitalize on the strengths each person brings to a team.
Classes in the Social Sciences G.E. categories as well as the G.E. categories of Lifelong Learning and Cultural Diversity also contribute to students’ understanding of others, which in turn, increases their abilities to work successfully as part of a team.
A sample of elective or major coursework includes:
- Counseling 350 - Introduction to Leadership Studies
- Management 340 - Organizational Behavior
- Political Science 312 - Contemporary Issues in Conflict
- Psychology 391 - Industrial/Organizational Psychology
- Psychology 431 - Theories of Personality
- Sociology 341 - Social Interaction
- Speech Communication 320 - Intercultural Communication
- Speech Communication 324 - Communicating in Teams and Groups
- Speech Communication 326 - Organizational Communication Dynamics
- Design group projects or presentations
- Participate in a musical or theater group
- Become a team tutor
- Join AmeriCorps
- Serve on Associated Students, Inc.
- Become a Resident Advisor
- Become an officer in a club/organization
- Organize a study group for a class
- Join and participate in a fraternity, sorority, or other clubs
- Participate in campus and community leadership training programs, conferences and events
- Become a peer mentor
- Be involved in campus, local or state politics
"Effective teamwork gives us a critical advantage over competitors in our industry, so we look for future employees with demonstrated teamwork skills."- Jean Sabo, Director of Personnel,Compass International, Inc.