JBU Unveils Redesigned Organizaional Management Program

By Lori Walker
Monday, August 12, 2013

Back in 1993, JBU began offering working adults in Fort Smith, Rogers, Bentonville and Little Rock the same opportunity traditional students had on campus—a quality Christian education.
Now, the Degree Completion Program not only celebrates its 20th year of operation, but also the opening of a facility in Little Rock and a redesigned organizational management program.

“We saw the need for a business program that prepares aspirational, mid-career professionals to move up in their organizations, and to take on greater leadership roles,” says Dr. Joe Walenciak, associate dean for the College of Business. “It’s the twentieth anniversary of our organizational management program, so it was a natural point for us to ask ourselves what we need moving forward to ensure that we’re providing the best opportunity for our adult students to get a quality business education.”

Susan DeWoody, dean of Degree Completion and Non-Traditional Programs, said the redesigned program will help meet the needs of today’s working, adult student. “We are thrilled for the opportunity to re-tool our organizational management program to further meet market demands and to provide an innovative opportunity for professionals to complete a top-notch bachelor’s degree program at John Brown University,” DeWoody says.

Redesigned in consultation with program alumni and corporate hiring directors, the updated program emphasizes the key skills that so many employers seek when hiring managers: critical thinking, effective communication and ethical decision-making.

"My clients come to me to find that person who is the best fit for a specific role in their company,” says David Bates, executive recruiter at Cameron Smith and Associates. “While different positions call for different skillsets, the very best candidates I see all have a few qualities in common: excellent communication skills, verbal and written; attention to detail in every aspect of their work and an overall sense of integrity and honesty in how they deal with people."

The new program will also focus on the diversity in today’s economy. “Graduates of the Organizational Management program will understand how to navigate a workplace where people can be very different and yet come together for a common goal,” Walenciak says.

Alumni like Anita Williams, senior director of human resources for a major retailer, provided valuable input into the curriculum change. “The new courses in the program are spot-on to help managers succeed in today’s corporate environment,” Williams says. “Being able to communicate on a global level is crucial.”

Unique courses in the program include Christian Faith for Business Leaders, Team Processes and Coalition Building, Entrepreneurial Spirit, Contemporary Metrics and Organizational Performance, and Designing and Executing Competitive Strategies, among others. The redesigned program culminates with a comprehensive portfolio that documents each student’s accomplishments and learning throughout the program.

“Prospective students come to us seeking current insights and critical skills required to contend for top leadership roles in this global economy, and JBU has delivered with the improved Organizational Management degree,” says Kent Shaffer, senior admissions counselor.

Classes in the new program begin this fall. For more information, visit www.jbu.edu/dcp/om.