Rady School Goes Undergrad

    For the first time during the academic year, UCSD’s Rady School of Management will offer two undergraduate business courses through three separate lectures designed to cover a broad range of topics for students of all majors. The Academic Senate has approved the three courses for next quarter, as well as an additional summer course.

    Sanh Luong/Guardian
    Student Council of Eleanor Roosevelt College Director of Student Organizations Cortney Eakin (podium) and other SCERC members defend their decision to oust Freshman Senator Stephanie Usry.

    Clark Jordan, the assistant dean for undergraduate education at the Rady School, said that the classes’ curricula are meant to be broad in scope, and can be applied toward for-profit and nonprofit businesses, as well as “”high tech, societal, artistic and philanthropic industries.””

    While management science students take substantial theoretical and quantitative approaches to the economics of business, the Rady School courses will be “”application-oriented, integrative of several business functions (marketing, finance, operations, etc.),”” Jordan stated in an e-mail, adding that the courses will also focus on communication, teamwork and leadership.

    The only prerequisite for the courses is junior or senior standing so that students of every major can benefit once they graduate and enter the workforce for the first time. Management science courses, on the other hand, have numerous prerequisites, making it difficult for non-economics majors to enroll in business classes.

    “”It’s important [for students to know how to] work within a budget,”” Jordan said. “”It’s a chance for them to learn and practice these skills in a controlled environment.””

    One-third of the courses will teach quantitative skills, but there will also be equal discussion of both resource management and “”soft skills,”” such as how to be a strong project manager and motivate others.

    While the teaching of soft skills may make the Academic Senate critical of the program, according to Jordan, the committee is just being protective of their students.

    “”They want to know that it’s valuable, research-based – that it’s not voodoo and pseudo-numerology or some sort of psychic [skills that are being taught],”” Jordan said. “”They want to know that it’s good science and the students are learning good content.””

    Although Associate Vice Chancellor of Undergraduate Education Mark I. Appelbaum told Jordan that student demand would be high, administrators were not sure what the response would be when enrollment opened.

    Revelle College senior Jason Shinar, a management science major, registered to take business project management, the more popular of the two courses, in the spring. He signed up for the class at 9 p.m. on the first day of registration, Feb. 14, and found that 30 seats had already been filled. The two originally planned sections had waitlists within a couple days, prompting the addition of a third section. At press time, all 180 seats are full, and 79 students are on the waitlist.

    “”[We are] disappointed that we could not handle all of the initial demand, but we will build faculty to meet this demand, and having additional classrooms in our new building will help,”” Jordan stated in an e-mail.

    According to Shinar, the courses are great opportunities for students interested in business and wanting hands-on exposure to economic theories.

    There are currently eight to nine courses in development with plans for approval within a year, Jordan said.

    “”We’ve been directed by the senior vice chancellor’s office to develop a minor in business,”” Jordan said.

    The classes scheduled for spring include Innovation to Market (MGT 121A), which will teach students how to distinguish marketable ideas and take them to consumers, and Business Project Management (MGT 172), which will provide an important background in how to manage a team and plan projects.

    All courses are taught by “”latter-track”” tenured faculty, and will include guest lecturers, including businesspeople from Science Applications International Corporation – a project-oriented business – and the film industry, as well as entrepreneurs, lawyers and marketing, intellectual property and finance experts.

    Future courses will cover project marketing and management and will include creative approaches and marketing segmentation skills.

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