College of Business to enhance student writing skills for employment

Terrell Johnson

Two new courses will be added to the College of Business Administration curriculum in January. One of the classes will be a two credit hour course focusing on written communication, while the other class will be a one credit hour course focusing on oral communication and professional development.

Liz Sinclair, assistant dean for undergraduate programs, said these courses are important for helping students with skills they are going to need in the future.

“Employers are saying our students don’t know how to write,” Sinclair said. “They have the knowledge on certain topics but lack basic skills when it comes to dressing appropriately and finding employment.”

Associate professor Dirk Remley will teach the new two-credit “Professional Business Practices A” course. Remley, who teaches in the department of English, said the College of Business Administration added the course in response to feedback that it received from its advisory councils regarding the need for students to have more practice with the specific skills associated with the course.

“This course can help students in programs such as business or engineering,” Remley said. “As a two credit hour course, it will be more focused on helping students develop certain skills associated with business writing to address particular needs of students majoring in business programs.”

Remley said he met with business experiences manager Yvette Clayton for the first time last week. Clayton will teach a communications and professional development course called “Professional Business Practices B.” Remley said they discussed general content of the two courses and how they might use certain activities within both courses to enhance the learning experience.

“I am aware of at least one other institution that combines two courses like these to facilitate development of integrated professional skills,” Remley said. “We hope to do the same thing to give our students the preparation they need to succeed once they graduate.”

Clayton said she is in the process of putting together the syllabus for the class and it will have four prerequisite courses. Clayton said Exploring Business (BUS 10123), Introduction to Human Communication (COMM 15000), College Writing I (ENG 11011) and College Writing II (ENG 21011) are the four classes students must take before they can schedule these two new courses. She said there will be four sections of the Professional Business Practices course she is teaching.

“I feel that the new course is definitely needed,” Clayton said. “A two-credit hour writing course will be taught concurrently with my course; therefore, I feel students will get a robust, well-rounded experience.”

Contact Terrell Johnson at [email protected].