UM-Dearborn opens Business Experiential Learning Laboratory, a high-tech classroom with opportunities for hands-on training in an environment similar to what students find in the business world

November 24, 2010

DEARBORN / Nov. 24, 2010---The morning bell that signals the start of trading rang for the first time this fall at the University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Business Experiential Learning Laboratory, a new high-tech classroom in the College of Business that simulates a real-world trading room – complete with a crawling stock ticker, a six-time zone world clock and an eight-foot data wall with information streamed from Wall Street.

The lab – called The BELL – will provide students with opportunities for hands-on training in an environment similar to what they will find in the business world, said Mike Harkness, chair of the Accounting and Finance Department.

Thirty-two workstations with industry-leading software will allow students to create trading simulations and build a “portfolio” they can evaluate, using real-world financial data. Corporate advisors and College of Business alumni are forming an external Board that will be involved in development of new courses, assignments, projects and exercises for students at the both the undergraduate and graduate level. Software representations and other experts will also conduct seminars for students and faculty, and may also provide the opportunity for student certification.

The College is also looking at how it can use the BELL to offer summer programs and other enrichments opportunities not only to students, but to members of the community and to local high schools.

The BELL is located in a large, renovated classroom along the central corridor of the College’s Fairlane Center North building. A large window that spans the length of the room gives passersby a peak at the action inside.

Though similar labs or training rooms are available at other universities with top tier finance programs (notably University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Northern Michigan) the BELL is the only one of its kind in southeast Michigan.

“Enrollment in the UM-Dearborn finance programs is on the rise,” said Harkness. “The BELL supports the growth of these programs, and will be a significant showcase for the College of Business and the University.”

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About University of Michigan-Dearborn
Founded in 1959 with a gift of just over 200 acres of land and $6.5 million from the Ford Motor Company, UM-Dearborn has been distinguished by its commitment to providing excellent educational opportunities responsive to the needs of southeastern Michigan. The university has 8,700 students pursuing undergraduate, master’s, doctoral and professional degrees in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, business, education, and public administration. With a faculty devoted to teaching, and students committed to achievement, UM-Dearborn has been shaped by its history of interaction with business, government and industry in southeastern Michigan, and is committed to responding to the needs of the region in the future.

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