Individuals from seven local community colleges met with School of Business faculty and administrators recently to discuss the changing narrative in business education.
The summit was attended by faculty and administrators from the business departments of Los Angeles Valley College, Glendale Community College, Santa Monica City College, East Los Angeles College, College of the Canyons, Mission College and Los Angeles Pierce College. After an inspiring welcome from Woodbury Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Randy Stauffer, a series of presentations were conducted by host and guest participants.
Dr. Joan Marques, dean of the School of Business, approached the topic from a holistic perspective, pointing out that there remains an urgent need to shift the business education paradigm from profit maximization and shareholder focus, to an understanding that it is the moral duty of any business organization to make responsible profit, while improving the quality of life for all stakeholders and the planet as a whole. She particularly focused on the two-tiered approach in both, the BBA and MBA programs, to ensure that Woodbury business students actively engage in both business consulting and social responsibility projects.
Dr. Tasos Sioukas and Mr. Jack Condon, representing Los Angeles Valley College’s business department, shared the immense progress the institution has made in recent years regarding its entrepreneurship education. In order to instill an entrepreneurial mindset in their students, LAVC’s influencers have created a center, a series of retreats, a boot camp, and competitions to assist students on their path to starting their own businesses.
Aileen Huang, associate professor of accounting at Santa Monica City College, spoke about the changing needs for educating millennials and generation Z students, given their shorter attention spans and need for a faster more constructive pace. She effectively highlighted current trends, as well as the incessant urge of students to Google everything rather than listening to lengthy lectures.
Dr. Paul Sabolic discussed the Woodbury MBA trend of actively consulting with business corporations in the San Fernando Valley, which confronts students with the real-life needs and complexities of today’s businesses, and provides them golden opportunities to establish lucrative networks. Dr. Adam Wood invited two transfer students, who each attended three community colleges before enrolling at Woodbury. The students shared interesting stories about what community colleges provide, as well as areas that could be improved. They also reflected on their Woodbury experience and praised the small classes and the swift connections that help propel them toward their degree accomplishment. They also mentioned the excellent institutional scholarship opportunities for students that meet the GPA requirements.
Mr. Mark Lampert, who represented LA Mission College, engaged the audience in a reflection about teaching business communication in non-conventional ways. He shared the path toward successfully convincing the administration that an interactive mode works far better than a lecturing format, and his experience of gaining rather than losing students by applying this format.
Mr. Jeff Neumeister, Chair of the Accounting program at Woodbury, shared areas of development in the accounting field, and the ways education of this subject has to adapt to the requirements of our times. Through practice-based reflections, Neumeister evoked a vivid conversation about must-knows when it comes to accounting practices.
Overall,the summit was yet another step toward establishing and nurturing connections with colleagues from business departments in local colleges.