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You are here: Home / News / HRER World Campus Masters Program Offers First Embedded Course with Travel to Ireland

HRER World Campus Masters Program Offers First Embedded Course with Travel to Ireland

In March, after more than a year of planning, the School of Labor and Employment Relations embarked on its first study abroad/hybrid class for online MPS in HRER students. The course, Comparative Employment Relations Systems -- the United States and Ireland, drew sixteen students who completed five online sessions prior to traveling to Limerick, Ireland for their first meeting on March 26. In this respect, the course was comparable to the one-week hybrid classes the School has offered students for several years on campus.

In March, after more than a year of planning, the School of Labor and Employment Relations embarked on its first study abroad/hybrid class for online MPS in HRER students. The course, Comparative Employment Relations Systems -- the United States and Ireland, drew sixteen students who completed five online sessions prior to traveling to Limerick, Ireland for their first meeting on March 26. In this respect, the course was comparable to the one-week hybrid classes the School has offered students for several years on campus.

Students spent the first three days of the trip in Limerick which is situated in the beautiful southwest part of the country. They attended presentations each morning delivered by Department of Personnel and Employment Relations faculty from the University of Limerick’s Kemmy School of Business.  Prior to coming to Ireland the students had read about the research conducted by the faculty making the presentations. Students also attended an evening class that allowed them to meet Limerick students who, like them, were practitioners pursuing Masters degrees. The opportunity gave students from each country a chance to exchange perceptions of their academic and professional activities from their differing points of view.

During their time in Limerick, the students also met with HRER staff from Johnson & Johnson and a representative of the Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union (SIPTU).  They then traveled by train to Dublin to meet with HRER staff from ICON (an Irish multi-national company) and Guinness. They also found time to take a walking tour of Dublin with a tour guide from the National University of Ireland.

Credit for the study tour goes to Assistant Director of Online Programs Trisha Everhart, who handled the trip’s logistics. The entire Online Team (Trisha, Amy Dietz, Rex Simpson and Brian Redmond) helped craft the initial vision into reality, and Trish and Antone accompanied the delegation to Ireland. Jane Moyer, a PSU alum, member of LER’s Alumni Board, LER online faculty member, and resident of  Dublin, organized the students’ Dublin company visits.  Jane joined the tour in Dublin and provided useful background information that helped the students better understand HR practices in Ireland.

There was a general consensus that this first study abroad/hybrid class was a big success.  Much of the credit for this goes to the students who represented our University, our School and our online programs with extraordinary professionalism. They drew on their coursework and professional experience to ask insightful questions at all of the presentations and took every opportunity to learn about their host country.  were respectful of everyone, including their fellow students. The group bonded together during the trip and continuously interacted in ways that complemented the formal elements of the study tour. Beyond the value of expanding their professional networks, they have made new friends of their fellow students and their Irish counterparts.