These two new degrees are a Bachelor of Business Administration in Health Care degree and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Applied Business degree.
“The College of Business has received authority from our governing board, Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning to plan the two degree programs,” said Dr. Billy C. Moore, dean of the College of Business. “We are in the process of completing the proposals for the new degrees. This process involves among other items, detailing the admission requirements and curriculums of the new programs.
“The proposals will be submitted to our Academic Council for approval. Upon completion of the internal process, the proposals will be submitted to IHL for final approval.”
As far as the planning process goes, Moore said the Division of Management, Marketing and Business Administration, is responsible for developing the proposal for the BBA in Health Care Administration, and Dr. Rebecca Hochradel, chair of the division, will serve as the institutional contact person for the HCA program.
Moore said the Division of Accountancy, Computer Information Systems and Finance will submit the proposal for the BBA in Applied Business, and Dr. Clint Wood, chair of the division, will serve as the institutional contact person for the applied business degree.
Dr. Cooper Johnson, director of the Center for Business and Entrepreneurial Research, assisted with submission of initial proposals.
Conversations with industry leaders and analysis of job demands informed the College of Business’ decision to seek approval for these degree programs, said Moore.
As the mission of the College of Business is to prepare students for the market place by providing challenging educational opportunities, the two new degrees will prepare students for the growing health care industry and technical fields.
Moore said the Mississippi Delta is the region in the state with the worst health disparities, and health care facilities are often forced to look outside the Delta for individuals to assume managerial and administrative positions in their organizations.
“The Bachelor of Business Administration will prepare students for employment in the growing health care industry and futuristically help to decrease health disparities in this region of the state,” said Moore.
According to Moore, community colleges have seen an increase in the number of students choosing to obtain technical degrees, and these students often confront two similar yet different situations.
In the first situation, students may be limited in opportunities for continued education.
Moore said these students recognize the benefit of having a bachelor's degree for promotional opportunities but do not want to spend another 3-4 years in college.
The second situation students are faced with, Moore said, is that their technical degrees have provided them with the skills to perform certain tasks, but they often lack the business acumen needed to fully realize their income earning potential.
“The BBA in Applied Business is specially designed to educate those who desire to use their ambition and creativity to fulfill a need in the economy through their honed skills and extensive knowledge,” said Moore. “This program is an opportunity for students to continue their education to the bachelor's level and provide the skills, knowledge and qualifications to be successful in their chosen technical fields.”
Moore described the impact the new degrees will have on students and how the curriculum will be designed to prepare them for their chosen field.
“More opportunities are expected in the area of medical practice management and long term care administration,” said Moore, in regards to the benefits of the BBA in HCA.
In addition to gaining valuable information in management, human resources, information technology, and business theories, students will receive information unique to the industry such as health care informatics, health care ethics and culture, health care law and regulations, and health care economics and finance, Moore said.
“Graduates in health care administration will have the opportunities to apply training in an industry where the median pay is $84,270,” said Moore. “An added benefit is the opportunity to prepare our local residents to assume leadership in our local health care facilities and contribute to improve access to care in our region.”
Moore said coursework for the BBA in Applied Business will supplement technical studies with core business, marketing and management courses and is designed to enhance students’ knowledge of technical and managerial skills in fields such as agriculture related programs, hotel and restaurant management, hospitality services, construction management, information and medical technology.
Once the programs have been thoroughly reviewed through the university's internal processes and have received approval for submission, Moore said the programs will then be presented to IHL Board for final approval.
“We have a goal of submitting the program proposal to IHL for final approval early in the fall semester,” said Moore.