College of Business and Technology’s first projects showing innovative momentum
n an explosion of energy, the J. Whitney Bunting College of Business and Technology (CoBT) has directed their initiatives to focus academic innovation and spur positive societal impact.
Already gaining ground on their goals, the college launched two new degree programs and opened the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship this fall.
“The J. Whitney Bunting College of Business and Technology community joins together to prioritize and deliver a preeminent business education for the public good,” said College of Business and Technology Dean, Dr. Micheal Stratton. “The strategic directions underscore our core values and mission to develop agile business professionals and socially responsible citizen leaders who embrace intellectual inquiry.”
Announced in August, the college named their 2022-2027 Strategic Plan “Lighting a Path for our Future: Business and Technology Education for the Public Good.”
It stands on two major directions—academic innovation and positive societal impact—with specific projects to accomplish under each. Their key initiatives for academic innovation will be to develop and implement a B.S. in finance, expand and enrich high-impact practices, and ensure graduates are learning industry-standard technologies.
“A comprehensive review of the core business curriculum is underway this academic year to assist CoBT faculty and academic leaders in identifying opportunities to even further align the student learning experience with employer expectations,” said Dr. Tanya Goette, CoBT associate dean.
Action has already been taken in this direction, as a new B.S. of Finance was added to the curriculum this fall. This fall, the CoBT also introduced a B.S. in data science. This innovative curriculum emerged as part of an interdisciplinary collaboration with the College of Arts and Sciences.
“Both degree programs reinforce the critical role of a contemporary liberal arts education in workforce development,” Stratton said. “Learning across disciplines and infusing technology will prepare students as nimble, productive citizens for careers today and in the future.”
The new finance degree doesn’t require most core business classes, and instead puts students on the fast-track to targeted finance topics. With a lot of flexibility for students, the degree program allows 30 credit hours of elective exploration into other CoBT courses and/or complimentary areas of study across Georgia College like non-profit management, math, or political science.
"Our well-designed finance program based on the literal arts foundation is very challenging, in which students will develop their knowledge and analytical skills that are critical to their future success in the financial industry,” said Dr. Leng Ling, professor of finance and coordinator of the degree.
With concentrations in either financial technology or financial analysis, the degree program is designed to set students up for success in their careers.
“We want to help our students to have very good job prospects and be in line with industry trends,” said Dr. Isarin Durongkadej, assistant professor of finance and champion of the major.
Senior finance and economics double-major, Lauren Moskowitz, is one of about 15 students to have joined the program already.
The college has key initiatives for contributing to positive societal impact, as well. They plan to further develop partnerships with large employers and drive growth in diversity, equity and inclusion.
Already open for business, they will also develop and grow their Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, an interdisciplinary resource for students, faculty and wider community.
The center will serve as a library and laboratory for the business-facing needs of students and the community. It will be the site of an entrepreneurial incubator for student and community businesses with low-cost resources and expert guidance.
“We’re a purpose-built administrative arm of the university that looks to maximize economic impact, whether it be through students building community or outreach to the community,” said Nicolas Creel, assistant professor of business law and director for the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “We can be the arm that helps connect people in the community to grants and other resources to stir up as much economic activity as we can.”
To view the whole plan, visit the college's page on Issuu. It’s clear the college is making strides in their strategic objectives. The CoBT Strategic Management Committee, including members of the CoBT Leadership Team, will review and access progress toward goal achievement biannually, and additional action steps may emerge over time.
“We strive for excellence in all aspects of our mission,” Stratton said. “The strategic directions and initiatives, along with associated action steps and goals, outlined in our plan affirm our commitment to learner success and meaningful, positive impact for the communities that we serve.”