Students studying business related programs at JU are seeing a change to the curriculum

KNOXVILLE — Wilbur Reid III, program director for the Masters of Business Administration, said the new curriculum began in January for MBA graduate students.

The new curriculum was created to give graduate students more exposure to quantitative literacy skills, such as using Microsoft Excel, in each individual course taken.

The School of Business has a vision “to develop leaders whether in the corporate world, nonprofit, or in ministry that are also efficient in business skills needed in all organizations,” Reid said.

Reid emphasized that the MBA program wants students to be prepared with the skills needed in the real world because most MBA students come from non-business undergraduate degrees.

“It’s all about the expectations of the employers of what new skills or current skills need to be taught,” Reid said.

JU offers something that is different compared to most universities. The School of Business can give students real-world experiences through their capstone projects. Some of these examples of capstone projects include:

  • A student who helped to start a business in Honduras through micro-financing;
  • a student who helped develop a business plan for a retreat center in Romania when $1,000,000 was donated;
  • and a student who developed a business plan of how to turn the camp around and make it successful after near bankruptcy.

“The real-world experience gives students a real insight on what it takes to make a good business plan,” Reid said.

The real-world capstone business models can not only be added to a student’s resume but the organization may use the student’s business model.

“The process is not only improving the students’ skills but it is helping them succeed in the future,” Reid said.

JU can use real-world organizations for their capstone project because the class size is small enough for the professor to manage.

This allows the professor to be a mentor to the students and give students the attention that they need.

In 5 to 10 years, Reid hopes that the School of Business program will be recognized as a top-notch business school from which employers, churches and other organizations can find business students to fill the leadership roles needed.

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