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Mihaylo College of Business and Economics has instituted two new joint emphases and two new concentrations for business students to select. Photo by Kelly Lacefield

New Ventures

Business Degree Offers New Concentrations, Emphases

August 25, 2009

By Pamela McLaren

Responding to industry requests and the needs of graduates, Mihaylo College of Business and Economics has instituted two new joint emphases — that merge studies in two separate fields — and two new concentrations.

The new concentrations in risk management and insurance for both the M.B.A. and for the bachelor's degree in business administration are offered through the Finance Department, said Weili Lu, director of the Center for Insurance Studies and associate director of finance, who noted that there were more than a 1,000 students attending insurance classes offered during 2008-09.

Members of the Center for Insurance Studies advisory board, leaders in the insurance industry, recommended the new concentrations, said Lu. “They said it would strengthen the student's knowledge and skills to compete in the field and add distinction to the program, which is one of only three offered on California State University campuses.”

The concentration requires that students take six courses and 18 units in addition to the courses required for the bachelor's degree and M.B.A. Classes offered are: Principles of Risk Management and Insurance; Personal Financial Planning; Retirement and Estate Planning; Life and Health Insurance; Business Property and Liability Risk Management; Professional Ethics, Corporate Compliance and Regulation; and Insurance Marketing and Distribution Strategies. In addition, two new graduate level courses have been added: Corporate Risk Management and Insurance Seminar and Enterprise Risk Management.

Effective this fall are two new joint emphases: one merges accounting and finance and the other merges accounting with information systems. Both emphases will be offered jointly through the respective departments.

Like the concentrations, business leaders expressed a need for employees with knowledge and skills in all three of these areas. All are experiencing rapid change and interdependence, noted Betty Chavis, chair and professor of accounting, in proposals she authored with Bhushan Kapoor, professor of information systems and decision sciences, and John Ericksen, chair and professor of finance.

For Kapoor, professor of information systems and decision sciences, the importance hit home when he realized a duel background in both areas would be helpful in his own consulting work in enterprise resource planning.

“I believe that students can benefit from this knowledge as well,” he said.

The information systems and accounting disciplines are heavily intertwined in several areas, including databases, information security and controls and integrative area of enterprise resource planning, according to the proposal. Both new emphases will eliminate the need for students to have to pursue double concentrations and another year of study before graduation. Students who seek the joint emphases will need to take a total of 30 units in addition to their other required business and general education courses, for a total of 126 units to achieve the undergraduate degree in business.

“These joint emphases offer our students a broader range of opportunities,” Chavis said. “It's good for students.”

Mihaylo College of Business and Economics offers 10 concentrations and the two joint emphases as part of the bachelor's degree.


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