It’s been many years since my mom insisted on taking pictures like these:
I’m sure you can all relate, but I was motivated to post these pics of the kids because today opens a new chapter in the College of Business at UCF. For the dozen new faculty who start holding classes in the college today, it is literally their first day teaching at this school. Their energy, experiences and fresh ideas bring all of us a sense of renewal.
But even long time members of the College come to work at a different place today. We have completely restructured our undergraduate experience in an effort to get students to think carefully about their career goals and to help them actively pursue post-graduation opportunities while they are still in school.
This starts with a new Integrated Business major that serves as the College’s focal business degree. It is designed to create “students of the business” — people who understand the key drivers of value and can contribute across functions (e.g., finance, marketing, management, operations) to help a company reach its goals. The program has a hands-on, practical approach that resonates with the many small and medium size employers that characterize the Central Florida job market. We expect about half of the students in the College to be Integrated Business majors within just a couple of years.
We have also reoriented four majors (Accounting, Finance, Marketing and Management) so that students who want to concentrate in a single area of business will have the deep understanding and mastery of cutting edge skills employers demand from such specialists. In most instances this means more quantitative skills, but in all instances it means demonstrating the ability to excel at understanding, communicating, and applying the core concepts that define state-of-the-art practice in these professions.
And to help students identify their strengths and interests upon entry into the college, we have implemented a primary core set of six courses that will challenge students to take a hard look at their career goals, where they have a competitive advantage and what they can do to realize their dream and “get to the one”. This will require students to engage, study hard and “play for keeps”. To ensure that students focus on this critical portion of the curriculum, dual enrollment in courses that meet at the same time has ceased and students will need to finish these courses before gaining access to a business major.
These changes are so fundamental to the student experience in the College that I’ve arranged for one of today’s leading business thinkers to come share his thoughts with students about how they can best use their time in college to differentiate themselves and succeed in reaching their aspirations. Seth Godin will be the keynote speaker at Friday’s “Welcome to the Majors” and will also address a group of local business leaders about how we can best form partnerships to differentiate the UCF College of Business. Google him.
Those are just the changes for the first week! I have a few more things in the works that will also help redefine what it means to be a UCFBusiness student, but I’ve told you enough for now… Can’t use up all my exciting news in one post.
Welcome to the College, young Knights. It’s the first day at your new school. Make your mom proud.