CAA reviews changes to business programs

Debby Hernandez, Administration Editor

The Council on Academic Affairs reviewed changes made in the administration and management business programs offered at Eastern on Thursday.

Larry White, assistant chair of Management Information Systems, said technological changes have become necessary in the MIS program due to advances.

“Businesses today are dealing with ‘bring your own device’ rather than having the employer give equipment,” White said.

He said Eastern has also experienced a technological change.

“We have had about two generations of technology change in both hardware and software,” White said. “We are operating Office 2013 now and Windows 2007.”

Globalization acceleration has also occurred in the business field, White said.

“More businesses are outsourcing; supply change is becoming more global, and to keep that all connected, they rely on information technology,” White said. “We have moved to instant communication.”

Enrollment in the MIS business program reached its lowest enrollment last fall with 90 students.

However, enrollment in this program had been steadily increasing from 2006 to 2011.

“In the last couple years it has been rising while university enrollment has been dropping,” White said.

The demand for informational system professionals has been rising.

According to a survey conducted by Eastern’s Career Services, 86 percent of MIS graduates found employment within six months of graduation during the 2011-2012 academic year.

White said the curriculum has been revised twice since the last review.

He said in 2008 the program was changed from Computer Informational Systems to Management Information Systems.

Further changes were made to the program in 2012.

“The curriculum was revised again in 2012 to formally eliminate the concentrations so students didn’t have to choose one or the other,” White said. “We gave flexibility to students to look at all sides.”

White said retirees have also affected the program.

“During this period, we have lost three full time Unit A faculty members,” White said.

Future plans for the program include continuing to make technological advances, he said.

John Willems, the school of business interim chair, said the bachelor’s degree in business administration has undergone two changes since the last program review.

He said one of the changes the program is currently undergoing is the rotation of courses.

For the first two years, students take courses at Parkland College where they receive their associate’s degree, and then they get their bachelor’s degree at Eastern.

Willems also said changes have been made in the Parkland College office.

“The office in Parkland College is now fully staffed and at a visible location across from the police station,” he said.

Enrollment in the bachelor’s in business administration program is low because part of it is only available at Parkland, Willems said.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the business and financial operations group, which is one of the concentrations most business students go into, is expected to grow by 13 percent from 2012 to 2020.

 Debby Hernandez can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].