The new McVey Innovative Learning Center was created to provide real-world learning experiences for Hilliard students.
Local students enrolled in management and business-development programs got a taste of that last week.
Lindsey Coughlin, a consumer educator for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's office, gave a presentation Aug. 29 on consumer-protection laws to about 40 Bradley, Darby and Davidson high school students. Several students from the Ohio Hi-Point Career Center in Bellefontaine also participated via Skype.
The Hilliard students are enrolled in Project INC and Academy INC. Both programs are new this year and are part of the Young Professionals Network.
Project INC focuses on management and advertising skills while Academy INC, a program that is slightly more advanced, instructs students on developing business models.
Amy Jo Henry teachers both classes at the McVey Innovative Learning Center on Cemetery Road.
Henry said the seminar taught the students how to provide better services to consumers.
"(The seminar) obviously helped our students learn how to better protect themselves, but it also will help our (Project and Academy) students know what not to do as a business," Henry said.
The programs' project includes developing a business plan to operate a coffee shop at the learning center.
The retail coffee shop will serve the faculty and students in Hilliard schools, said district spokeswoman Amanda Morris.
"It is a real-life learning experience for them as they go along," Morris said.
In addition to the application of consumer-protection laws, Coughlin told the students about various kinds of consumer fraud and scams, as well as sharing information for online purchases.
"Ask why people need information from you when you are making a purchase (and) check out the business when making a major purchase," Coughlin said.
She also cautioned students not to carry birth certificates, Social Security cards or other sensitive documents in purses or vehicles.