August 22, 2018
Welcome to the second year of the College of Business (COB) at Shepherd University.
The creation of the COB in 2017 was a formal consolidation of Shepherd’s business oriented academic departments: Accounting, Business Administration, and Economics & Finance, as well as the Masters of Business Administration (MBA) – into a single academic unit. This organizational change allows for business-oriented departments, faculty, and programs to obtain a synergy for the stakeholders we serve.
The first year was very responsive to our stakeholders’ needs.
The COB has three majors: Accounting, Business Administration, and Economics; six concentrations: General Business, Entrepreneurship, Financial Economics, Financial Planning, Management, Marketing, Risk Management and Insurance; and six minors; Accounting, Business Administration, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Hospitality Management, and Marketing. The Shepherd University Masters of Business Administration (MBA) accommodates those students looking for a graduate business education. Here again a student may opt for a general MBA or for a more specialized program in Public Administration, Health Administration or Sport Management. This breadth of programs allows a student at Shepherd to find the level of business education that he or she feels best suits his or her needs.
Two of the major stakeholders for the COB are students and local companies. One of the areas where the interests of students and the interests of companies overlap is with what is taught in the majors and the concentrations. The skill sets are important for the employers as they identify the needs for their new employee. In turn, students want to have the skill set that qualifies them for the new jobs. The matching is done through the curriculum.
The 2018 curriculum changes demonstrate this commitment to responsiveness. We have added an additional level of quantitative skills and the recognition of innovation and problem solving skills as a key element for a future employee. These skill sets, quantitative and innovation (problem solving), appear over and over in industry surveys from Forbes, IDC, and the Conference Board when employers are asked about desirable employee skills. Second, we have introduced a Risk Management and Insurance (RMI) concentration based on the insurance industries’ projection of job openings and the RMI skills needed by employees.
This past year we introduced “pop-up” classes whereby students committed to participating in a hands-on problem solving activity over a weekend. In spring 2018, fourteen students worked in four teams competing for scholarship prizes and a summer internship by completing a hands-on data mining and dashboard development project using Tableau software.
Building on that momentum, watch this year for:
- The implementation of a minor in Innovation
- The creation of a Financial Literacy class
- An expanded internship program
- A Help Desk for students in COB classes
- More popup classes
Why a minor in Innovation? Innovation is a life skill that transcends business and impacts ones entire life. Problem Solving and creativity are the enabling skills for innovation. Further, there is a general debate about problem solving and creativity as to whether these skill sets are innate or can be taught. Regardless of the right answer, what is true is that the tools and techniques of problem solving and creativity can be taught to students. As with all things taught, we see they are learned when the learner demonstrates its use.
I encourage you to look through the majors and minors; to take advantage of lectures and presentations; to talk with our faculty; to look at student groups for career networking opportunities; all, with the intent to explore topics and ideas for broadening and improving your career opportunities.
Dean, College of Business
White Hall 202
PO Box 5000
Shepherdstown, West Virginia 25443