Reflections On the WPC Business Program

Once again I find myself thinking about the educational experience associated with Business. We are closing out our school year, which is a time where I think back and reflect about what we accomplished and what we missed.

Some of our accomplishments are in the area of strategy. We changed our program offerings to make it more competitive, and we added a new major studying Social Entrepreneurship. However, I think our best accomplishment really is the focusing of our strategy into three areas: Engagement, Enactment, and Partnerships.

Engagement happens in the classroom. This means that as educators our job is to make our classes interesting, informative and challenging. This means that our students will actually want to show up and engage with the theory they will be using in the future. However, there is also a practical part; in the classroom students need to learn how to apply the theory to reality. This is critical.

Enactment happens in the community. This means taking the skills they are learning in the classroom and using them to better the community. There are many ways we can accomplish this. Our accounting program provides free tax return support for low income people. We did this for two years by ourselves, but next year we will be partnering with Concordia Univeristy. The prior years that we did this activity our accounting professor was overwhelmed. We did not do it this year for that reason. Because of the new partnership, we will offer the service again next year.

Enactment can also happen with our club. ENACTUS has become a huge success on campus. It has allowed our students to take skills they are learning in the classroom, and create positive social change in the community. ENACTUS has become a cross-disciplinary club that has provided educational support for Bridger Elementary, business skill training for young women at Shepherd’s Door, and Financial Literacy training to our first year students.

Partnerships involve creating solid partnerships with local businesses in our community. This means getting them on our campus to meet our students, getting the leaders of these companies into our classrooms to have direct interaction with our students, and getting our students into internships in their companies to gain experience and hopefully jobs.

A student coming to Warner Pacific College to study business will get a strong technical education, but they will also get a practical experiential education too. And in addition their education will be holistic. It will be technical, Christ-centered, and have a foundation within the liberal arts. This is consistent with what employers are looking for within employees, and why even MBA programs are now requiring students to read Plato and Kant.

I am fine with the Philosophy Department invading the Business Department. “The philosophy department is invading MBA programs at a handful of schools where the legacy of the global financial crisis has sparked efforts to train business students to think beyond the bottom line. Courses like ‘Why Capitalism?’ and ‘Thinking about Thinking,’ and readings by Marx and Kant, give students a break from Excel spreadsheets and push them to ponder business in a broader context.” I am so happy to read these words out of the Wall Street Journal.

I believe that the best leaders in our country are those that can see the bigger picture. They understand the importance of the bottom line, but they also have a heart. They believe in the importance of Social Capital as well as Economic Capital. They also see how business can create positive social change, which is what I believe. The motto of our Business Department is “Doing Well, While Doing Good.” The motto of our ENACTUS team is “In the business of making a difference.” This is why I am teaching business at WPC.

And that is my thought for the day!

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