Women Helping Women Help Women: A Globe University Service Learning Story
A Managerial Accounting class of all female students at Globe University-La Crosse, led by a female instructor, worked together to support the Winona Women’s Resource Center. Does this sound like a terrific combination for a successful service learning class project? It was.
The Women’s Resource Center of Winona provides education, support, and resources to eliminate sexual assault and violence. To raise funds for their organization, they host an annual gala event. An integral part of their fundraising efforts, it is essential that the gala be well budgeted. To support budgeting efforts, Jennifer Monsos, Globe University Accounting Program Chair, developed a service learning project to assist the Center and to empower her accounting students, all women, apply the knowledge they were learning in the classroom.
“The Managerial Accounting course focuses on teaching students to ‘look forward’ and budget,” Monsos said. “This project was an excellent fit for the objectives. It offered the students a real life view of previous revenues and expenses for an actual event. Then it asked the students to project forward to help the organization determine an appropriate future path.”
The accounting students were well prepared for the project and eager to support a local organization that empowered women. “The students were provided with historical data on the annual gala. They were then given six different scenarios, each of which offered a bit of a change in the operation of the event. Each student looked critically at the scenarios and created a budget based on the given circumstances,” explained Monsos.
After the students developed budgets for the various event scenarios, they presented their results and recommendations to the Resource Center. “The Center was provided with a variety of options on how to improve the Gala for this coming year,” Monsos said. “The students also created a budgeting template that can be manipulated depending on what budget changes the Center decides to make for the Gala.”
The Women’s Resource Center was grateful for the tools they received from the Globe University accounting students. In addition, the students gained a better understanding of the Resource Center and used their accounting skills to support a community organization.
“I truly enjoyed this service learning project. It was good to see and work with information that you will actually see in the real world. It was also nice to help out an organization as great as the Women’s Resource Center of Winona,” said Brittany Loe, accounting student.
“This project brought the concepts we were learning in the class to life,” Monsos explained. “It provided the students with a way to utilize the skills they learned in class and apply them to a real world experience. This project helped the students to realize that what they are learning will be taken out into their future careers and utilized for the betterment of a company or organization.”