University News

CBT Students Participate in World Bank Institute

November 20, 2006

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MACOMB, IL – Twenty-four college students, including four from Western Illinois University, recently had the opportunity to learn more about socially responsible business practices through a unique partnership with the World Bank Institute.

Through a consortium comprised of Western, the University of Vermont, the universities of Sherbrooke and Moncton in Canada and the universities of Panamericana and Queretaro in Mexico, the students from each university participated in the nearly two-month long “Corporate Social Responsibility” online course offered by the World Bank Institute.

According to WIU Management Professor Steve Axley, who helps lead the consortiumÂ’s participation in the online course, the objective of the program is to expand the understanding and knowledge for the students about business practices around the world, as well as to enlist the best scenarios in order to support global economic development.

“Students in the online course benefit from their ability to interact virtually with other consortium students, as well as participants from around the globe, some of who are managers with varying levels of international experience,” Axley noted. “It’s an excellent opportunity fo rour students to learn not just from the course’s content, but from the diverse perspectives around the world.”

The World Bank course is part of the “Tri-National Competencies Across Borders and Corporate Social Responsibility” program offered by Western’s College of Business and Technology and its management department and Office of Global Education.

“Corporate social responsibility is critical in the North American marketplace, and efforts must be made to foster sustainable and equitable economic development in the future,” explained Carol Fimmen, director of the Office of Global Education. “Western, recognizing this reality, started the second year of the program which is organized with students from the universities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.”

The participating universities are collaborating to create innovative curricular and experiential teaching formats to prepare students to work effectively across borders inside the NAFTA marketplace, Fimmen added. The program is funded by the North American Mobility Program through the Fund for Improvement of Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education.

Western students completing the World Bank course include Shebra Bailey, a senior Spanish major from Davenport (IA); William Reavis, a senior management major from Hinsdale (IL); Melissa Yeast, a senior agriculture major from Sciota (IL); and Dorian Young, a graduate communication student from Dolton (IL).

After completing the World Bank online course and working with virtual teams of students from the other universities, the next challenge for these students will be completing the spring semester in a Mexican or Canadian university, while continuing to work with their virtual teams.

The College of Business and TechnologyÂ’s Office of Global Education was established in 2001 to foster international understanding and prepare future business leaders to be successful in a global economy.

Posted By: Darcie Shinberger (
Office of University Communications & Marketing