After years of offering the Business Administration Certificate to mature students and entrepreneurship minors for other colleges, the Edwards School of Business has now replaced it with two new programs. This is the result of a decline in enrollment to the programs.
The Edwards School of Business Faculty Council approved the motion to replace the BAC and entrepreneurship programs on Oct. 19, 2018. It was then proposed to the University of Saskatchewan Council a month later and was approved in January 2019.
The new programs are a Certificate in Entrepreneurship and a Certificate in Business. According to Natasha Katchuk, Edwards communications officer, the names are fairly similar, but the range of skills that each certificate offers are different.
“The entrepreneurship certificate is tailored towards those who are interested in entrepreneurial thinking, and the business certificate is intended for individuals who are looking for some of the tools that employers demand in the hiring process,” Katchuk said. “It’s a definite addition, a way to stand out to employers for students who are graduating and aren’t already business students.”
Tara Lucyshyn, Edwards undergraduate retention and programs advisor, says that these certifications resolve concerns raised by current BAC and minor in entrepreneurship students.
“Students under our old certificate programs were looking for … more course options and greater flexibility in terms of programming,” Lucyshyn said. “I think we’ve met that with these two options and with two distinct streams, so students can tailor [their certificate to] their needs and what drives them.”
Lucyshyn says, in an email to the Sheaf, that the Certificate in Entrepreneurship will be replacing the current entrepreneurship minors in the colleges of Engineering, Arts and Science and Kinesiology.
Current engineering students can transfer their COMM 102 credits if they are interested in the entrepreneurship certificate. Students who are in the BAC program will be transferred into one of the new programs, combining non-business and business students because the courses offered are through the Bachelor of Commerce program.
Katchuk says that the programs offer flexible options such as taking classes via faceto-face or online lectures. Lucyshyn says that the combination of students with different work backgrounds exposes them to how the business world functions.
“Because it’s going to be blended, all those different backgrounds will collaborate together, and we wanted to do that because that’s what today’s working environment is going to look like,” Lucyshyn said. “You’re going to have a mix of all types of people working together, so we’d like to expose students to that and have them start to collaborate while they are doing their program.”
The course programs for each certificate include four core classes and two capstone classes. The capstone classes will be different depending on the stream a student chooses.
“Obviously, [for] the entrepreneurship certificate, the capstone class will be entrepreneurship and venture development,” Lucyshyn said. “For the business certificate, it’ll just be business negotiations and business policy as well as ethics and strategic decision making, so it depends on the streams.”
The programs are structured to be pursued parallel to a student’s primary degree, and they can be finished in as little as 10 months or as long as four years, the regular number of years needed to attain a degree.
Katchuk says the recent accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International is one of the motivational factors behind replacing the BAC program.
“AACSB is … an accreditation that the top business schools in the world have sought out and achieved, and we got our accreditation last year,” Katchuk said. “What that means is that all of our programs are considered among the top five per cent of business schools in the world.”
The universities of British Columbia, Manitoba and Ottawa are among the 24 Canadian universities awarded an AACSB business accreditation. “Part of the process of the accreditation is that we submit ourselves to continuous improvement cycles,” Katchuk said.
“Part of the reason that we switched BAC … is about flexibility and listening to the feedback from the students so [that] we’re continuously improving and offering more flexible options.”