Northwest Missouri State University's Board of Regents made some significant curriculum changes during their meeting last week.
One of the biggest changes involves admission into the university's Master of Business Administration program.
Typically, students who have not earned a business degree at the bachelor level have to take seven prerequisite courses, totaling 21 credit hours, to be eligible for admission.
The new policy will allow students to complete a single course, worth nine credit hours. It was developed by Northwest faculty.
The course will cover fundamental concepts in accounting, economics, finance, management and marketing.
"We knew that there were elements in each course that are necessary," acting dean of the Booth College of Business and Professional Studies Gregory Haddock said. "We asked professors in the department to narrow it down. They included the parts that they thought were needed for the students to be successful after the class."
Haddock said that the new prerequisite course will make the MBA degree more available for non-business degree holders who otherwise might not have pursued an MBA.
"This allows the best way to offer these courses and provide them for everybody," Haddock said. "It will broaden the diversity of students enrolled in the MBA program, and allow students not in the program to gain knowledge in key areas that make people successful in business."
He went on to say that many students have been successful in their respective careers, but can't necessarily commit to earning an MBA.
The eligibility requirements for the program have also changed, including the entrance exam.
Those that already have a master's degree in a different discipline will be accepted, along with military personnel ranked E6, O3 or higher.
The course will only be available online. Even though it has yet to be fully created and listed on the university's course offerings list, it will be available for students beginning in the summer of 2013.
The reason for the change is multi-faceted, Haddock said, gearing towards opening the program to more students as well as increasing the enrollment.
"We need to stay ahead of just being relevant," Haddock said. "We have to be cutting edge and give the public what it wants."
The program will operate in conjunction with Missouri Southern State University and will be available at Northwest's Kansas City, St. Joseph and Maryville campuses, as well as to online-only students.
The board also approved a change to the university's policy of superseding classes, which allows students to repeat a course to raise his or her grade.
Formerly, the supersede policy was limited to students who received a "D" or "F." Now students who receive a grade of "C" will be able to retake the class.
Page 2 of 2 - Northwest Provost Doug Dunham told the board that after reviewing other state institution's policies, Northwest was the strictest in the state.
Other curriculum changes approved by the Board included a package of classes, as part of a collaborative agreement among five Missouri universities, to help students achieve certification as an elementary mathematics specialist.
The Board also approved the addition of two elective courses to the MBA curriculum, Advanced Marketing Communications and Innovation and Entrepreneurship, as well as the addition of Knacktive, formalizing it as a capstone course.
Begun as a pilot course in the spring of 2011, Knacktive is an opportunity for select undergraduate students in the departments of business; communication and mass media; English and modern languages; fine and performing arts; and math, computer science and Information systems to work in diverse teams in a competitive environment to create an integrated marketing campaign for a contracted client.