GEAR UP Birmingham Students Experience Hybrid-Course Instruction through UAB Collat School of Business’s Business Academy Camp

Throughout June and July, GEAR UP Birmingham students participated in the Business Academy camp, a seven-week dual enrollment program held and sponsored by UAB Collat School of Business. While at camp, students were enrolled in BUS 101: Introduction to Business and earn three hours of college credit. This camp was designed to give students an introduction into business and encourage them to establish a career path that best fits their interests. In addition to participating in lectures and group activities, students also had the opportunity to enjoy the experience of being a college student.

BUS 101, a hybrid-course, was designed to provide experiences in both face-to-face and online lectures that expose students to a college-level course using self-paced activities through UAB Canvas and other online resources. Between these and classroom sessions, students were required to participate in reading, online lectures, and other assignments. The objective was to introduce students to not only the college campus but also to new technology they will use if they choose to attend college.

For many students, this was their first experience with online courses. Although getting accustomed to the online format was challenging for some students, they were excited to get a hands-on learning experience that prepared them for their future courses in college. “I don’t have the teacher right there where I can raise my hand and ask a question if I need to, but I enjoy getting the experience of my first online course,” said Lindsey Stinson, a Ramsay High School Student. 

Entering into the business industry could be challenging, and the students were getting insight into the personal experiences of guest speakers. The students’ favorite speaker was Ashlee Simmons, Co-founder, and COO of Mixtroz, who shared her story of how she became an entrepreneur in the tech world without a formal tech background. This presentation motivated students to chase their dreams and pursue their passions. Alexis Harris, a Ramsay High School Student, walked away from this speech feeling empowered and stated, “She (Simmons) taught me that you have to make sacrifices in order to get where you want to go.” 

Learning about business principles and concepts while being exposed to the rules and expectations of being a college student helped lay a foundation for their careers in the business industry. “This course is introducing me to topics I didn’t previously know about like finance and accounting. I feel more confident in my career direction now that I’ve been exposed to topics I’m interested in,” said Nyla, a Woodlawn High School Student.


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