Authentic Learning Projects Teacher Form

The Ohio Small Business Development Center at Cleveland State University and Young Entrepreneur Institute (YEI) are partnering to provide high school student teams with the opportunity to work on a real-world small business problem here in Northeast Ohio. Both school based and out of school programs may participate from Northeast Ohio. Small businesses who currently work with the CSU SBDC have graciously agreed to share an authentic case study around topics such as marketing, human capital, IT and business development—to name a few.

Student groups will work on the case study within a predetermined time frame with the participating business or organization and will present the solution to the leadership team at the completion of the project. Educators interested in requesting a CSU SBDC Case Study Project should review the project overview and complete the application below. A YEI Team member will call you to discuss your needs and match you with a participating local business.

Scope of Student Project

  1. Identify the most important problem(s) and separate them from the more trivial issues. Examine related issues that may be contributing factors and need to be addressed.
  2. Define the overall goals/expected deliverable of the small business to provide a guide for your analysis.
  3. Identify any constraints or challenges to solving problem. Constraints may limit possible solutions (and may include finances, human capital, competition, location etc.)
  4. Identify all realistic alternatives. Be creative and provide other possible solutions that may be considered a stretch, but not impossible with the current inventory of resources.
  5. Select your best alternative. Evaluate each solution, comparing and contrasting strengths and weaknesses of each option. Explain the logic you used to select your best solution while rejecting others.
  6. Develop an implementation plan. Develop a plan for effective implementation of your decision and be able to explain how and in what time-frame it can be done.

We suggest your students present a 30 minute summary presentation with the following elements:

  1. Executive summary. This is a concisely written statement, less than one page, placed at the front of the report. It briefly summarizes the major points of the case and your solution. It should describe the major issue, the proposed solution, and the logic supporting the solution.
  2. Problem statement. Present the central issue(s) or major problem(s) in the case here. Do not rehash the facts of the case; assume that anyone reading the report is familiar with the case.
  3. Alternatives. Discuss all relevant alternatives. Briefly present the major arguments for and against each alternative. Be sure to state your assumptions and the impact of constraints on each alternative.
  4. Conclusion. Present the analysis and the logic that led you to select a particular solution. Also discuss the reasons you rejected the other alternatives.
  5. Implementation. Outline a plan of action that will lead to effective implementation including why you chose this alternative and how it will work.

Please fill out the following information. We will contact you to connect you with a local business and to provide more information.