The RFLSB launched a revolution of excellence in 2009. As a result, the entire curriculum was redesigned and the School became the first in the country to deliver an integrated curriculum in a predominantly digital format. Governor McDonnell awarded the RFLSB the 2011 Governor’s Award for Technology in Innovation in Higher Education.
Mission: To develop global business leaders through a market-driven, integrated curriculum. The faculty, who exemplify teaching, research and service excellence, is dedicated to working collectively to build effective communicators, critical thinkers, ethical decision makers and professional scholars. We emphasize the importance of experience-based learning and technological innovation to help our students gain a competitive advantage and be successful in a changing marketplace.
RFLSB Vision: To be the preeminent provider of business talent.
RFLSB Mantra: Educating, Empowering, Evolving
The new RFLSB integrated curriculum adopts a process approach to delivering the core undergraduate curriculum. Unlike other colleges and universities, at the RFLSB, freshman are advised internally by a professional group of advisors during the first two years, and after then by faculty in the last two years (Junior/Senior). Students start taking courses as freshman in the School of Business. Every course builds upon the previous course for content. There are 5 or 6 core competencies expected from each course. Students are expected to achieve mastery for each of these competencies (concepts). As a result, faculty do not have to repeat and/or teach the same concept over and over again. Learning is integrated throughout curriculum and each course takes the learning to another level – increasing the breadth and depth of the knowledge.
The curriculum begins with skills-based courses in the first two years and moves to the integrated business core (COBU 903) in the junior year. Students are placed in their “major courses” in the senior year. Knowledge and learning are tied together by a capstone strategy course (COBU 400) for graduating seniors.
In many courses, textbook cases and in-class projects have been replaced with real-life opportunities, where students work hand-in-hand with local and regional businesses to formulate strategic plans, marketing plans, etc. and learn the value of their education while addressing a need in the community.
The RFLSB has thirteen courses in which the textbooks are digitally downloaded to iPads, smart phones, PCs or laptops. The goal is to be 100% digital by Fall 2013. In the fall of 2011, we launched our GoingOn platform which is an “on-line learning community”.
- Digital textbooks are less costly to the student (i.e., $19.95 per book per course instead of $200 - $300 per book per student per course).
- Digital textbooks and study material can be downloaded in a variety of formats, including, epub files, pdf files, mp3 files, MOBI files, etc. Once downloaded, the textbooks are students to keep forever.
- All chapters can be printed.
- Allows students to read or listen to the textbook information in what ever format works best for them.
- The Learning Community allows interaction with other students and the instructor in a format that today’s student is comfortable with.
- The Learning Community allows the instructor to bring in up-to-date information into the course at any time.
- One tremendous benefit to both students and faculty is that it allows for Continuous Improvement.
The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business is an international Business School accreditation that is only bestowed on the “best in business”. Only 5% of the Business Schools worldwide have earned this distinguished hallmark of excellence.
Most important tenet of AACSB – CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT
In 2006, The VSU School of Business earned accreditation through The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, which represents the highest standard of achievement for business schools, worldwide. Institutions that earn accreditation confirm their commitment to quality and continuous improvement through a rigorous and comprehensive peer review.
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Job Shadow Program
The RFLSB has developed partnerships with companies and CEOs in the immediate area which allows our students the opportunity to “shadow” an executive for a day. This program gives the student the opportunity to see first hand what happens in industry and create a network of contacts. This interaction may lead to internships and hopefully full time careers upon graduation. It also gives industry a look at the caliber of students we have at the RFLSB.
The RFLSB has three industry councils (one for each department: Accounting/Finance; Management Information Systems (MIS); Management and Marketing) and one alumni council. It also has an Executive Industry Board. Together, the industry councils provide curriculum suggestions to the faculty to ensure the curriculum is current and meets employers’ hiring needs. The Alumni Council provides outreach and development (fundraising) into the community. The RFLSB also has Business Week in November and BEEP in February. These are initiatives designed to bring industry leaders to meet with students, create networking opportunities, and internships.