The School of Business is introducing four new majors just in time for Spring 2015 registration, providing a total of five major options for students pursuing business.
The department of business transitioned into the School of Business in Fall 2013 with three different departments. With this structural change, new opportunities for a flexible curriculum sparked the decision to add four new majors. Previously, students could earn one degree in Business Administration with concentrations in management, marketing, international business, accounting or finance.
“There were some recognitions that were made of some deficits that we weren’t really giving our students everything we thought they needed in each of the areas,” said Paige Fields, Prassel distinguished professor of business and head of the finance and decision sciences department. “One of the reasons for that is that with a single degree, everyone would have to agree on what everyone else needs to some extent because it’s a single degree, you can’t really have it be that variable.”
Now the business major options are international business, finance, accounting, business administration with a concentration in marketing or management and business analytics and technology.
“Now we have different departments, so we can start focusing on what students in each of these areas need and how we can make that happen,” Fields said.
In all areas of business, professors recognized that core courses were not being required and that students need more specific training in these fields. In the finance area in particular, the department performed research to investigate what professionals are looking for in students. From this research, pioneered by Ruben Mancha and Jorge Colazo, assistant professors of the finance and decision sciences department, a completely new degree was formed: business analytics and technology, referred to as the BAT degree.
Colazo described the student with this degree as proficient in mathematics and computer skills, with an interest in resolving real issues.
“We believe this major is very different. We focus on practical application and real data, and we know we have the faculty and students to make this happen,” Colazo said.
The process of creating these new majors started in the School of Business, where a majority faculty vote was required to create a new core business curriculum. After that successful vote in May, each department went on to submit proposals on which the entire Trinity faculty voted, which were passed on Oct. 24.
Seniors and most juniors are unable to make the switch to any of the new degrees because the changes in core curriculum are too extensive to finish in their remaining time at Trinity.
These majors will not officially exist until the Fall 2015 catalog is released, which is why advertisements target first years and sophomores.
Senior Patrick Cruz is interested in the new BAT degree but cannot officially earn it, so he instead created an interdisciplinary second major that essentially uses the same curriculum as the BAT major.
“This major interests me because I enjoy problem-solving, and this major offers me the skills and tools to use them effectively in any business,” Cruz said. “Right now this field is growing very rapidly, and I am happy that Trinity can be on the front end of this new wave.”