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Community Engaged Learning

At Boise State university, community engaged learning (CEL) is integral to our Information Technology Management (ITM), Supply Chain Management (SCM), and Business and Economic Analytics (BEA) programs. By actively engaging with companies, non-profits and entrepreneurs, our students gain professionally-relevant experience and apply practical skills to real-world challenges while still in school. This hands-on approach ensures that from day one, graduates are prepared for success. Continue reading to explore the three types of CEL experiences — service-learning, class projects and intensive partnership experiences.


Service-learning is a teaching strategy that integrates course content with relevant community service and is offered in partnership with Boise State’s Service-Learning Program. Participating in a service learning experience as part of their course earns students a transcript designation, along with many other benefits. Some past service learning opportunities include:

  • ITM 430 Predictive Analytics — Students have partnered with Habitat for Humanity, Wild Hearts Idaho, Willow Center for Grieving Children, Treasure Valley Education Partnership and the Office of the State Board of Education. Projects have included survey design and advanced analysis of data to predict outcomes such as which high school students enroll or plan to enroll in higher education institutions.
  • SCM 435 Project Management — Students partnered with a Boise non-profit Jannus that provides HR and other shared services functions to other area non profits so they don’t have to hire full-time staff for back-office functions outside of their core mission. Students worked with the HR director to create a dashboard with salary data to evaluate and monitor pay equity across all the organizations Jannus serves, earning kudos from the director and praise from their instructor.

Class Projects

Many classes in the ITM, SCM and BEA programs incorporate class projects that partner with local companies. One recurring partnership has been with Jacksons, one of the five largest privately-held companies in the state of Idaho. Across multiple courses, including ITM 310, ITM 430 and SCM 435, students have had the opportunity to analyze data from the Jacksons family of companies and provide insights into sales, operations, analytics and distribution. Project management students in SCM 435 have also worked with for profit companies ranging from entrepreneurs just launching their business to established firms with a need to fill. Projects include creating employee training programs, social media marketing plans and collateral, project management toolkits, store selection recommendations and many more.

A student team for a project management class, organized a blood drive with the Red Cross. See the one-minute video on KTVB 7.

Intensive Partnership Experiences – SCM 496

In some semesters, students can apply to participate with community partners in intensive experiences. Students selected for the team work on solving a business problem set by the partner using data that they provide. Though the format may vary, these experiences are typically team-based with regular meetings with the faculty advisor and the community partner and in some cases result in a job offer. Past partners have included Micron and Idaho National Lab.