Doug LePelley, Ph.D.
Dean of International Business Administration
My philosophy of education and teaching is very personal and evidenced in my own educational journey. I am the first in my family to pursue higher education, and I know the issues of cost, cultural preparedness, the monetary struggles, and overall uncertainty if I had made the right decision. Never giving up and becoming a lifelong learner, I earned an undergraduate degree, two Master degrees and a Doctorate (Ph.D.). My journey is evidenced to the value of learning, the importance of an education and finding meaning and purpose in my personal and professional life. It is these ideals that I cannot help but share with my students and the university, as a whole, for they are me. It is this level of understanding and compassion that makes me an effective educator. Teaching and helping and being of service to others is a main way I give back to society, and fulfill my own values and belief system. I am one to help students who fall behind to catch up, and I am always encouraging them and reminding them that ‘education’ is something that is and will be so valuable to their lives. I try to be encouraging in being supportive as difficulties arise, and helping create options to help keep students on track.
In the classroom, I find it is often easiest to ‘encourage’ students through the sharing of my career and experiences. Students like personal stories and I have a career full of them, good and bad. One of my true uniqueness’s, and I think a value difficult to find in most, is that I am a full academic, published academic, and fully a career professional. I worked real jobs first, climb a career path, changed paths, traveled the world for work, been part of many of the best organizations (company’s) in the world, and I can share real, detailed, stories and examples of what life is really like after school. Sharing this part of my life in truth is a great way to bring application to our learnings and encouragement to their journey’s and the value of education. I have found modern students whether they be young and or older, using adult learning principles helps greatly. This includes assignments that often let students personalize the assignments (where able) to what they care most about. I include the demonstration of both theory and practice (application) in the completion of assignments and I find that helps bring the learning to life. Also, as adult learning theory states, I believe in competency-based assignments, and designing classes to meet learning objectives, and following the learning objectives throughout and, if applicable, using the “levels of thinking in Bloom’s Taxonomy and Webb’s Depth of Knowledge” pyramid models. I work hard to create activities where at the heart is the process of the students interacting and teaching each other the materials. I use many simulations to do this – where able – and I find this approach to helping the classes to be engaging, more fun, and the learning’s much greater.
I do believe the best learning environment allows for individualization. I am a very good professor for those needing extra time and attention. I take an active role in providing individualized coaching where necessary, often during office hours or through invitations to talk over the phone. I’ll redo part of a class during these times if needed and invite students who need extra help. If possible, I’ll schedule one-to-one coaching time with individual students to help where needed. There is no reason why any student of mine would fail a class. I am here to help. All of my philosophy components come together with the focus on investing in and building relationships. I hope to become friends with many of the people I work with, and I hope we grow to want to co-teach, and be a part of each other’s lives. Many of my students have become long term connections, and I have helped with grad school recommendations, job recommendations, and just being there when needed.