The School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville has realigned its programs to ensure that students are ready for the changing needs in business and industry, with the launch of six new undergraduate degree programs and an ongoing commitment to providing a cutting-edge education – from its teaching philosophy to leveraging the latest online resources.
Launched this fall, the new majors include management, finance, human resources, marketing, supply chain management and professional sales. Previously, the School of Business offered each of these as emphasis areas. Moving forward, the majors allow students to gain more depth in their area of expertise – a need that has been emphasized by employers and alumni.
“There is a large need for specialized and quantitative skills,” said Dr. Les Hollingsworth, director of the School of Business. “Previously, business people tended to be generalists; the idea was that you had a set of problem solving skills that applied across a wide array of domains. Now, every discipline is hyper-specialized, and employers were telling us that we needed to respond to that need for depth.”
The new structure addresses this by increasing the number of credits students earn in their specialized area and delivering a more robust core curriculum that is common to all of the business-related majors. The School of Business also offers minors in the new degree areas, allowing students to stack their credentials based on their intended career path and still graduate within four years.
The enhancements to the degree offerings, combined with a teaching philosophy of research-informed practice, continues to set UW-Platteville’s School of Business apart from others.
“Our faculty know both the practice and the scholarly side of what they teach,” said Hollingsworth. “One of the challenges in management is that there are a million best practices out there, but maybe only a third are truly driven by what has been rigorously studied. The notion of research-informed practice means that the practices we are teaching have been put through the scholarly test and have been shown to do what they say they do.”
The School of Business has also been transforming the tools and resources students use to practice the concepts they learn. Moving away from the traditional case study model in textbooks, faculty are leveraging new online resources.
“The School of Business has been an early and aggressive adopter of electronic books and the supplemental resources and simulations that come with them, which allows us to get back to the practice side of learning and reduce our reliance on the case study method,” said Hollingsworth. “It’s much better to actually put students in the scenario and force them to make decisions through simulation and client-based projects.”
Two new graduate programs were also added to the School of Business’s portfolio of offerings last year – a Master of Science in strategic management and a Master of Science in Information Systems Management.
For more information about the School of Business and the new degree programs visit, www.uwplatt.edu/department/school-business.