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Academic

Montana Western business class makes use of local resources.

biz court

University of Montana Western Professor Kurt Steadman's business class recently utilized local resources during block one to illustrate the importance of risk management and to provide authentic learning experiences.

Steadman's risk management and insurance class went to the Beaverhead County Fairgrounds in Dillon, Mont. to observe and assess the annual "Montana’s Biggest Weekend" celebrations. The fair hosts a variety of events throughout the week including the county fair, livestock shows and the professional rodeo.

The students were asked to locate possible areas of concern and draft a report detailing their plans for mitigating any associated risk.

“It's a great opportunity for the students to see first-hand the issues surrounding a large-scale event,” Steadman said. “It’s eye-opening for the students and a fantastic way to experience a uniquely Montana event.”

courtroom_web.jpgSteadman explained that Experience One and the real-life exposure of the fair allows the students to see how class principles apply to risk analysis and liability in a community setting which helps them proactively come up with ways to deal with risks.

The business students also held a mock trial at the Beaverhead County Courthouse in downtown Dillon. They participated as either defending or prosecuting lawyers, witnesses on the stand, or jurors. Students then had to determine the guilty party based on their understanding of risk analysis and insurance. Steadman, who possesses a law degree from the University of Idaho, stood in as the judge.

“These were fun and really informative field trips,” business major Kinsley Rafish said. “It’s always nice to get out of the class room and be engaged in the subject matter because it inspires meaningful discussions and I now have a deeper understanding of the material.”

Montana Western is the only public four-year institution teaching under Experience One where students take a single class at a time in 18-day blocks.

— MONTANA WESTERN —