The Action Plan summarizes what we aim to do in SOBA during the 2015-16 academic year. It is the one-year plan of the two-year strategic priorities. The Action Plan follows the logic of the Strategic Priorities, which themselves arise from the revised SOBA Mission Statement and related Philosophy. The purpose of the Action Plan is to identify transparent, measurable Key Performance Indicators that can be shared with SOBA, FLC, students, alumni and other stakeholders. Click here to view the Key Performance Indicators dashboard.
In the effort to be as transparent as possible to all our stakeholders, SOBA intends to ensure that our webpage is updated on a timely basis for all action items noted above. Additionally, a single location dashboard will be included to indicate progress on the action plan items.
One reason business students come to Fort Lewis College instead of the larger state colleges is the expectation that their business classes, including the foundational classes, will not be taught in a large lecture hall by a graduate student but will be taught in a small-size class by a qualified full time faculty member who is readily available for outside-of-class mentoring.
The new AACSB standard 12 (Teaching Effectiveness) calls for continuous improvement and development initiatives that focus on teaching enhancement and student learning. In Fall 2012 a FLC-wide task force recommended the development of a Teaching and Learning Center (TLC) whose primary charge was to conduct activities which support and enhance faculty teaching. However, as of Spring 2015, the search for a director of the TLC has not been successful and there is no organization on campus coordinating faculty teaching training.
As a result, SOBA will develop our own improvement and development initiatives focusing on teaching enhancement and student learning. This begins with the August 20, 2015 Teacher Effectiveness Seminar offered by Earl Simendinger of the University of Tampa. It is SOBA’s understanding an organization to coordinate campus-wide teacher training will be initiated in 2015-16.
SOBA faculty members, full and part time, will be offered the opportunity for formal teacher training.
SOBA has identified learning outcomes that go beyond just knowledge of modern business and organizational practice, although that is still included in out student learning expectations. We focus on critical thinking and problem solving through quantitative, analytical and technological tools. We expect our graduates to be effective in communication, both orally and in writing. And we expect our students to work effectively in teams.
To meet these learning goals our curriculum uses diverse pedagogy including experiential and applied learning activities. Our goal is to provide our students with diverse experiences preparing them for careers in business.
Besides the FLC international office sponsored study abroad programs, for over two decades the School of Business Administration has offered a unique Junior Term (formerly Trimester) Abroad program where one or two SOBA faculty members travel with a group of between 20-30 students offering a full semester of SOBA courses in various international locations. Additionally, SOBA faculty offered faculty-led study abroad trips (formerly Innovative Months) encompassing five weeks in the summer.
In connection with the curriculum revisions, it is the intention of SOBA to perform a review of all our international programs ensuring that the trips meet the needs of the students while following all relevant college-wide policies.
Part of the advantage of attending the School of Business Administration at Fort Lewis College is the closeness of the School to the business community in Durango and the Four Corners region. Besides the normal internship program available at many business schools, SOBA coursework often has a local business flavor. This might be as basic as a guest lecture given by a local banker, to the “Local Business” course which includes touring local facilities and meeting with the business owners.
The Fort Lewis College administration, as well as the faculty and staff of SOBA, are committed to AACSB accreditation. That being so, every effort will be made to ensure that the policies and procedures set up for the management and operation of SOBA will be in accord with the 2013 Business Accreditation Standards.
Prior to the 2010 AACSB accreditation visit, SOBA initiated an Assurance of Learning (AoL) plan in accordance with AACSB standards. In response to comments made by the Peer Review Team and with the establishment of a FLC office of assessment in early 2013 the SOBA assessment process became more robust. SOBA currently has a detailed assessment program in place for the current curriculum.
A revised curriculum has been put together for the 2016-2017 academic year. The assessment methodology for this new curriculum will be determined in 2015-16 and is scheduled to be in place by the implementation of the new curriculum in 2016-2017.
During the curriculum revision put into place for 2016-2017 nearly fifteen of the new courses added to the curriculum have previously been offered as topics courses by innovative faculty members trying out new courses to meet the needs of students preparing for the modern business world. In addition, a number of courses are utilizing the newest available technology to improve the delivery of the course by adding web-enhanced components to the courses to reach the expectations of technology-savvy students.
SOBA will continue to encourage innovation and creativity in course development and pedagogical approach.
Fort Lewis College and SOBA expectations for tenured and tenure-track faculty is for a minimum of one peer-reviewed journal article (or equivalent) every five years with additional expectations of between 1-2 intellectual contributions (depending on type). It is the priority of SOBA that all tenured and tenure-track faculty be given the financial support necessary to meet and exceed the minimum guidelines. SOBA is aided in this goal by College and College Foundation grants that are available to faculty in support of academic research.
SOBA will fund all faculty costs related to conference presentations and peer-reviewed journal articles as long as the faculty member has applied for all available FLC grants (TS/R, TIPA, FLC Foundation)
One of the strengths of the SOBA education is our interaction with the local business community (see 2.c above) which relies on engagement and cooperation of our faculty members with the local business community. Additionally SOBA’s ambition is to expand our engagement with other external stakeholders.
SOBA will fund all faculty costs related engagement with our external stakeholders as long as the faculty member obtains advance approval and shows the value of his/her participation to SOBA and FLC
One of the pillars of the 2013 AACSB business accreditation standards is the concept of impact; that is, a “focus on appropriate high-quality inputs and the outcome of those inputs within the context of the business school’s mission and supporting strategies…. Business schools must documenting how they are making a difference and having impact. The business school, through the articulation and execution off its mission, should make a difference in business and society.”
Although the concept of impact has not been fully operationalized by SOBA, there are many activities being performed by SOBA faculty, students and staff which clearly have an impact as defined by AACSB. These will be taken into consideration in the development of the impact metric and such activities will be supported financially by SOBA. Activities showing impact will be funded by SOBA as long as the faculty member obtains advance approval and can document the impact value.