Home Academy News Experiential Learning at the 2020 College Football National Championship

Experiential Learning at the 2020 College Football National Championship

Experiential Learning at the 2020 College Football National Championship
Photo: Robert L. Herron

By Craig DeAngelis and Robert L. Herron |

On a typical weekend, the city of New Orleans offers steamboat rides on the Mississippi, access to eclectic street performers, a number of Bourbon Street entertainment options, and some of the best food in the world.  Last week, the city also played host for the 2020 College Football Playoff Championship game, which featured a highly anticipated matchup between the Tigers of Clemson and the Tigers of LSU. However, for a group of students at the United States Sports Academy, the city of New Orleans became a classroom – of sorts – as it offered a first-class, experiential-based learning experience for those interested in working in sports.

Academy students worked as part of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation’s Host Committee team, which provided support to a number of nationally-prominent events over the course of the weekend. Students of the Academy were actively engaged with operational logistics during the pre-game concert series sponsored by AT&T, experienced Media Day, and acted in support of the three-day fan fest held at the New Orleans Convention Center. Additionally, after attending training sessions, Academy students participated in front of house hospitality efforts as well as with other miscellaneous CFP initiative-based assignments in and around the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for the duration of the contest (i.e., Playoff Green, etc.).

The Academy provides comprehensive-content knowledge to students through each course offering. But being part of the Host Committee afforded our Academy learners a chance to experience large-scale event operations in a pressure-filled, practical fashion. Burtrue Harris, a student completing his undergraduate degree and made the trip all the way down from New York, on his experience, “I had a lot of fun and it was a great learning networking opportunity.”  The experiential learning, which took place over the course of the weekend, serves as an important supplement to the learning which takes places in the online classroom. For our students, fundamental concepts were tested in real-world settings thus providing an opportunity to develop further knowledge, skills, and experience that will benefit them in their careers. Additionally, the experience served as a valuable, professional-networking opportunity.  We encourage students to seek and get involved in similar opportunities when possible. 

Craig DeAngelis is a former teacher, coach, and athletic administrator who is currently a faculty member at Manhattanville College.  Craig is a doctoral candidate at the United States Sports Academy.  Craig.deangelis@mville.edu

Robert L. Herron is a faculty member at the United States Sports Academy.  Robert is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® with distinction from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA-CSCS*D®) and a Clinical Exercise Physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM-CEP®). rherron@ussa.edu


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