The faculty at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business Administration recently approved changes to the undergraduate curriculum. Beginning in the fall of 2017, BSAD 150, Business Computer Applications will change to BSAD 50, and the Business Analytics/Information Analysis (SCMA 350) course will include an additional one-credit hour lab, SCMA 350L. BSAD 50 will provide more flexibility for students to complete the requirement in an online format, and SCMA 350/350L was updated to ensure students are best prepared for the demands of the business environment.
“Business partners and alumni have shared with us that there is a higher level of practical analytical skills required at all levels of the organization. Students with these skills are valued more highly by employers,” said Dr. D’vee Buss, assistant dean for undergraduate programs.
BSAD 50 will be required for any CBA student who has not yet completed BSAD 150. While BSAD 50 will continue to provide training with Microsoft software, the redesigned business analytics course and lab will focus primarily on advanced Excel and Access training for solving business analytics problems. Students will also spend a limited amount of time learning advanced features in Word and PowerPoint to help them present data. The lab is project-based with a focus on preparing students with the advanced Excel and Access knowledge needed for business decision making.
“After taking the business analytics course last semester, I see the value of these changes due to employer recommendations. It will be useful to have more project-based learning and further develop skills needed in the workplace,” said Angelica Carlini, a junior marketing major from Grand Island, Nebraska.
The course and lab will prepare students for the transition to upper-level coursework by developing quantitative analytical skills sooner.
“We surveyed faculty to find out what tools our students need to learn to be successful in the upper-level CBA courses. This information paired with data from national employer surveys of the specific Excel skills most in demand in the workplace informed our curriculum change,” said Dr. Donna Dudney, associate dean for undergraduate programs and student engagement and associate professor of finance.
The total hours required for business degree remains 120 hours. During this transition, students who have already completed SCMS/SCMA 350 will not be required to complete the lab. CBA juniors and seniors, who have not completed SCMA 350 and are eligible (business qualified) to take 350 will be given the option to complete the course this summer or fall 2017 under the old format without the lab. To be the best prepared for the job market, however, they may also choose to take it under the new format.
“Student degree audits will be updated to reflect these changes, but if any students have questions about these changes and/or impact on their plan to graduate, we encourage them to visit with their CBA academic advisor before priority registration for summer and/or fall classes,” said Dudney.
Appointments can be made through http://myplan.unl.edu
or by calling 402-472-2310. Walk-in advising is available on a first come, first served basis in the Office of Undergraduate Programs in CBA 114 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday.
Other recent curriculum updates include the creation of three new minors – business analytics, entrepreneurship and global leadership, as well as growing the breadth of the international business major. Curriculum changes are a part of many initiatives to help students Start Something.