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Farmer School of Business

Unifying Goal: Promote a vibrant learning and discovery environment that produces extraordinary student and scholarly outcomes.

Objective 1: Prepare students for success at Miami and beyond through a liberal and applied education emphasizing inquiry-based experiential learning that integrates many disciplines.

Metric 1: Miami will achieve a six-year graduation rate of 85% and a four-year graduation rate of 75%.

Retention is best evaluated on a divisional basis for the Farmer School of Business (FSB). Business students often describe themselves as simply “business majors” and change majors often within the School during their tenure. For the entering cohort of 2012, the first-year retention rate based on fall 2013 enrollment is 93.6%.

Strategies:

Numerous efforts and significant outreach have been initiated to further engage and support our students, aiding in retention. In addition to those specifically cited by FSB department chairs in the department survey, recent and upcoming initiatives on a divisional level include:

  • Revise the advising model used in the division by:
    • Connecting students with their major faculty advisors during February of first year of study;
    • Expanding walk-in advising hours in FSB Student Services;
    • Providing expanded advising support to current non-FSB students through informational workshops and walk-in advising;
    • Improving our advising materials and website.
  • Enhance departmental and divisional outreach to students performing below expected levels (i.e., continuing pre-business students, underperforming direct admit and FSB Scholar students, student athletes, and second-year students on “academic warning”).
  • Offer new major and FSB career-development-related courses (e.g. ACC 256, BUS 206, ESP 101, MKT 292).
  • Personalize our outreach to multicultural students.
  • Upgrade the force-add website.
  • Raise additional need based scholarship funds to make the FSB more accessible and affordable to a greater number of students.
  • Include career planning in the FYE course offered by the FSB.

Challenges and Opportunities:

  • Given our already high retention rate, ensuring that students do not feel entitled to retention or that faculty members do not feel obligated to meet this retention goal when grades are calculated.

Metric 2: Within one year after graduation, 90% of graduates (excluding those enrolled in graduate or professional school) will be employed.

According to our internal survey of graduated Farmer School of Business students (11/2013), almost all of our students (98%) are either employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation, and 99.6% are employed within one year of graduation based on 2020 dashboard indicators. Our continuing aspiration is to reach as close as possible to 100%.

Strategies:

Continue and enhance efforts at helping students succeed in job placement and career success by:

  • Cultivating partnerships with Miami’s Career Services and employers to secure internships for students;
  • Collaborating with Career Services to provide high quality assistance in the job search process, including participating in Career Fair and on-campus interviewing;
  • Providing experiential opportunities in the curriculum to expose students to real-world business problems;
  • Launching an external relations initiative that continually brings external stakeholders into the business school;
  • Providing a number of “career-exploration” courses within individual majors (e.g., ESP 101, MKT 292, ACC 256);
  • Offering students a variety of job-search preparation services within the division, including career-related classes and workshops (e.g., BUS 206), resume-workshops, mock-interviews, and one-on-one and group advising.

Challenges and Opportunities:

  • Exploring combining study abroad with embedded internships, to expand the appeal and opportunity in both of these areas to our domestic and international students
  • Offering more international opportunities to students in their first and second years to preserve the junior year for internships
  • Taking better advantage of the winter term for our students’ international experience, thereby freeing their summer for internships

Metric 3: Upon graduation, 80% of students who apply to graduate or professional school will receive at least one offer of admission.

Attending graduate or professional school directly after graduation is not an applicable goal for most majors in the Farmer School of Business, and thus, while we can participate in this objective metric, the division does not see itself as having a strong impact on this objective. However, for those students pursuing this path (approximately 90 a year), achieving a placement rate of 75% should be easily obtainable. The majority of students in our masters of accountancy program matriculate to the program directly from our undergraduate program. Most of our students entering graduate study immediately after graduation are accounting and finance majors.

Strategies:

  • Offer advising to appropriate students at the department level to assist them in preparing for graduate school and gaining admission.
  • As part of our partnership, global, and diversity efforts, explore 3+1+1 partnership/completion programs, especially in economics, that will lead to students entering graduate programs directly after the completion of their undergraduate programs.

Challenges and Opportunities:

  • Enhancing our ability to achieve other placement related goals through the strategies listed above.
  • Meeting the spirit of this metric, while understanding that the majority of students graduating in business seek full-time employment, choosing to defer the pursuit a graduate degree until they have more work experience. For example, in our MBA program the average number of years of work experience is ten years.

Objective 2: Immerse faculty, undergraduate, and graduate students in research and creative scholarship that forms a vital part of the learning experience.

Metric 4: Continue to increase the quality and impact of scholarship or creative performance.

This metric aligns with FSB Strategic Initiative #4, Recruit and Retain World-Class Faculty.

Strategies:

  • Leverage the funds from the increase in the business course surcharge fee to be more competitive in the market for new faculty. As the fee increases to $100 per credit hour, we expect a commensurate increase in the percent of faculty who exceed departmental PandT standards.

Challenges and Opportunities:

  • Providing faculty with the resources and time necessary to engage in high-quality research. Initiatives in E-Learning, study abroad, certificate programs, and experiential learning draw from, and compete for, the same pool of resources and time.
  • Keeping pace with benchmark salaries will become increasingly difficult as the business course surcharge fee reaches it cap
  • Improving the scholarly climate as additional hiring takes place due to increased enrollment and a high rate of retirement.

Metric 5: Upon graduation, all Miami students will have participated in a research (40%) or a similar experiential learning activity (100%), e.g., fieldwork, field or clinical placement, service-learning, public or private sector engagement, performances, and other applied learning activities.

While undergraduate research is not an area of emphasis in the Farmer School of Business, other types of experiential learning play a critical role in the education of our students.

Strategies:

  • Continue to require students to engage in the design and execution of original research with a faculty member and present the work at the Undergraduate Research Forum.
  • Encourage students to participate in the Undergraduate Associates Program.
  • Continue to offer experiential opportunities in the classroom (e.g., MKT 495 – Strategy Works, ISA 495 – Managing the Intelligent Enterprise), through competitions (e.g., Investment Banking Competition, Mock Trial), through student organizations (Pi Sigma Epsilon consulting, First MU Student and Alumni Credit Union), and both nationally and internationally (e.g., Wall Street Week and High Wire Brand Studios London).
  • Explore the development of an “experiential” requirement as part of the core curriculum.
  • Incorporate experiential learning opportunities during the last term (summer) of the new revised MA Economics program so that students may apply the learning outcomes of the MBA program to their professional lives.
  • Find creative ways to leverage our many existing relationship, e.g., employers, to establish more comprehensive relationships with external stakeholders.

Challenges and Opportunities:

  • Supporting this metric, given that the MBA and Masters of Accountancy programs are not research focused and that the full-time MBA program has been suspended which decreased our pool of qualified graduate assistants
  • Building the relationships with enough organizations to provide the needed client-based projects for our courses, and the time to develop those opportunities into high-quality experiences.

Objective 3: Engage students with substantive co-curricular and internship opportunities that augment their learning and establish a strong foundation for lifelong success, growth, and adaptability.

Metric 6: 75% of Miami students will complete an internship before they graduate.

Internships in business are closely tied to employment; approximately 74% of Farmer School graduates report (5/2013 survey) having an internship while attending Miami, and 90% of those were paid internships. About 58% of these internship experiences resulted in job offers from the sponsoring firm. Further, students rated the internship experience quite favorably – 4.4 on a 5-point (excellent) scale. At the divisional level, our continuing aspiration is to reach as close as possible to 100% in student participation in internships.

Strategies:

Sustain and improve our students’ participation in internships by:

  • Engaging with employers on a regular basis (e.g., ISA and ECO);
  • Having professional advisory boards (e.g., FIN, MKT, ISA);
  • Conducting course in career exploration and holding career panels (e.g., MKT 292, ACC 256, ESP 101);
  • Taking students on field trips to companies as part of courses (e.g., MKT and FIN);
  • Keeping students informed of internships via email and advising (all the departments);
  • Partnering with FSB career services and external relations to assist students (all the departments).
  • Providing students with first-hand knowledge of the corporate world to better prepare them for internships (e.g., Wall Street Week, Chicago Week);
  • Collaborating with FSB career services and external relations staff members to offer career support through courses (e.g., BUS 206); resume/cover letter, interview, and negotiation preparation workshops and seminars; and one-on-one and group advising.

Challenges and Opportunities:

  • Exploring the development of an “experiential” requirement as part of our core curriculum, which may also increase the number of students seeking internship as part of fulfilling this requirement.
  • Exploring combining study abroad with embedded internships, to expand the appeal and opportunity in both of these areas to our domestic and international students
  • Offering more international opportunities to students in their first and second years to preserve the junior year for internships
  • Taking better advantage of the winter term for our students’ international experience, thereby freeing their summer for internships.

Metric 7: 95% of Miami students will have two or more co-curricular experiences before they graduate.

According to the revised graduation survey (2012-2013) in the 2020 dashboard indicators, 94% of FSB students had two or more co-curricular experiences prior to graduation. Based on our internal surveying, the majority of students engaging in co-curricular experiences (78%) indicate that they are able to see a meaningful link between their co-curricular and curricular activities. By 2020, the Farmer School of Business has a goal of 90% of our students having two or more co-curricular experiences before the graduate.

Strategies:

  • Support and improve the 30+ FSB student-led clubs, business fraternities, and business honor societies, through improved marketing, communication, and measurement of impact.
  • Continue to offer department-level co-curricular activities, including case competitions, field trips to companies, exchanges, service learning projects, and work sites.
  • Find effectives ways to educate FSB students on university-wide (in addition to FSB-specific) activities.

Challenges and Opportunities:

  • Offering enough varied co-curricular opportunities to meet business student demands with growing enrollments
  • Maintaining quality experiences as our enrollments grow
  • Encouraging FSB students to become involved in broader university activities.

Objective 4: Offer flexible pathways to and through the University, including interdisciplinary, e-learning, and multiple degree options, to help students achieve timely and cost-effective completion.

Metric 8: 20% of our students will graduate with multiple degrees, majors, or co-majors, and 5% will graduate with a combination bachelor and master's degree.

Per the Office of the Registrar, for the 2012 calendar year, 9.3 % of students earning a BS in Business degree completed a second major or second degree (11.7% of MU students earned second degrees during this same timeframe). While we have always supported the pursuit of second degrees for FSB students, divisional resources limit the pursuit of second majors within the School to a large extent.

Strategies:

  • Assess which degree programs have excess capacity, and consider lowering the qualifying GPA necessary to declare a second major in those business degree programs from a 3.5 to a 3.2.

Challenges and Opportunities:

  • Advancing this metric when candidacy for many of the strongest business graduate programs requires three to five years of work experience and, thus, is better pursued after time in the workforce.
  • Providing the faculty and curricular resources to offer the 3 + 1 option in appropriate degree programs (i.e., accountancy and economics) 
  • Offering the combined bachelor-master’s programs at the same time that many FSB are prohibited from pursuing multiple majors due to enrollment constraints.

Metric 9: 60% of degree programs can be completed in three years or less through curriculum revision and by using different pedagogical approaches and modes of delivery.

All Farmer School of Business majors can be completed within three years (six semesters) consistent with the guidelines of HB 153. Six of eight programs are available at the following website: http://miamioh.edu/academics/three-year-pathway.html. The final two programs will be submitted for inclusion on the website by 11/1/2013.

Metric 10: Increase the online and hybrid credit hours to 10% of the total credit hours.

The Farmer School of Business offers a limited number of courses online or as hybrid classes. Every department has at least one class that is being offered online or as hybrid. Divisionally, our goal is to offer at least 10% of our credit hours online, aligned with the university objective metric.

Strategies:

  • Appoint a director of e-Learning to provide leadership of our e-learning efforts.
  • Offer division-wide workshops on the development of online curricula.
  • Engage the services of a university instructional designer to assist faculty in the development of courses.
  • Offer a faculty learning community to convert several core business classes to online delivery.
  • Offer and assess a new general business minor that, beginning summer 2014, can be completed entirely online.
  • Encourage faculty engagement in relevant E-Learning Office and CELTUA workshops and programs.
  • Constitute an e-Learning Committee to advise the dean’s office and recommend e-learning strategies for the division.
  • Develop new certificate programs that can be offered online and across the globe.

Challenges and Opportunities:

  • Securing the needed faculty time and development resources, expertise in instructional design and web execution, and overall program support to make this objective attainable
  • Developing online and international learning opportunities without clear university procedures and guidelines on how to market “outside” programs and offerings for non-MU students.