The REAL Report: Student Perspectives on Louisiana’s Economic Climate

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When Dr. Patrick Scott was appointed Director of the Center for Economic Research at Louisiana Tech in 2018, he immediately began to think about ways to engage both internal and external campus communities.

“I decided that the most surefire way to strengthen the Center was to participate in extracurricular activities – a class directly connecting students to a research opportunity,” Scott said. “I then developed ECON 425: Regional Economic Analysis, a one hour course for undergraduates. “

In this class, Tech students showcase their skills in a quarterly publication: The REAL Report.

“I treat the ECON 425 students like free-range chickens,” Scott joked. “They find something that interests them, learn it in depth, and then write this section of the report. The freedom to choose each research topic inspires intellectual curiosity and ambition.

Over the years, students have written reports on a wide range of varying topics, such as job growth, recent construction of student housing, and job-related shocks across the state. Most students come to class already having an idea of ​​what they want to write about.

One of Dr Scott’s favorite entries was written by Jared Johnson who, after an internship in the governor’s office, developed an interest in politics. In his report, Johnson investigated the impact of TOPS and whether the program was achieving its goal: wage growth. Jared, who is now earning his Masters in Public Service and Administration at Texas A&M, concluded that TOPS was not statistically responsible for the growth in wages.

In the most recent issue, Colyn Sevario, an economics major, discussed whether self-selection for a campus visit for prospective students was an indication of the student’s academic merit. Flash info: that’s it! After determining that, on average, Louisiana Tech’s top performing students attend a campus tour, admissions staff were able to place more emphasis on the quality of those tours.

The REAL Report is an opportunity like no other for students of economics, finance and accounting. However, there are many other practical opportunities for College of Business students. Bulldog Marketing Consultants and the Student Managed Investment Fund are just two examples of other programs that help students gain real-world experience.

“Learning to explain a complex subject to someone who doesn’t understand its nuances is something that raises questions,” says Dr. Scott, and The REAL Report does just that for its students.

Under the energetic and passionate guidance of Dr. Patrick Scott, students push the boundaries of intellectual curiosity and academic ambition, and, according to Scott, “When you have curiosity and ambition, the sky is the limit. “.

This story written by marketing student Sophie Edwards.


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