New marketing curriculum to focus on small business

arrie Scully

Believe it or not, college graduates may find themselves employed at a small business upon entering the “real world.”

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses make up 99.7 percent of all U.S. employer businesses. These are the companies that write the paychecks to about half of the private work force and create about 75 percent of new jobs annually.

Starting this fall, the marketing department in the College of Business Administration plans to shift its focus onto small businesses when it launches new curriculum to incorporate entrepreneurial thinking and skills into the classrooms.

“The jobs are in small business,” said Richard Kolbe, chair of the marketing department.

It is the perfect time to make the change to entrepreneurship with the federal government and Bush’s new economic proposal focused on developing small businesses to boost the economy, he said.

The new marketing sequence will be required for marketing students entering as freshman under the Fall 2005 Undergraduate Catalog. The classes will build up in stages and focus on computer, analytical, presentation and writing skills, which are all needed of a successful marketing manager.

Marketing is at the core of entrepreneurship and makes it crucial to the success of a business, Kolbe said.

“If you don’t have a function that finds a market or a customer, the product just sits on the shelf,” he said.

The curriculum will prepare students to create different aspects of a marketing and business plans by teaching them how to identify problems and make decisions on their own.

“Because these businesses rely on smaller marketing departments, it may require students to stand on their own two feet the first day on the job,” Kolbe said. “They alone may be the marketing department.”

The program will prepare students in all areas of marketing and provide more hands on experiences with real life businesses, Kolbe said.

A tighter learning environment will cut the average marketing class size in half from 60 to 90 students per class to 30 to 35 students per class, said Paul Albanese, associate professor of the marketing department.

Four of the old classes will remain in the new course work as revised classes. They include: Consumer Behavior, International Marketing, Personal Selling and Sales Management, and Advertising and Promotions. Students following the 2002-2003 Undergraduate Catalog will have the option to go with either the new course work or the old.

For more information, contact the marketing department at (330) 672-2170.

Contact College of Business Administration reporter Carrie Scully at [email protected].