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August 16, 2002

 Business majors give their input on how to make
a strong school even stronger

Students work together on a project for the School of Business. 

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. More than two dozen seniors in Indiana State University’s School of Business spent their summer helping to shape not only their own future but also the future of the entire school.  [video]

As part of a capstone class that provides practical applications for four years of classroom study, senior business majors normally partner with local businesses on a variety of projects, but this year’s focus was solely on the School of Business.


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Twenty-six students conducted a thorough analysis of the school and the business schools or programs at Ball State, Eastern Illinois, Indiana and Vincennes universities as well as Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, Ivy Tech State College, the University of Illinois and the University of Southern Indiana.

“The more we learn about other schools, the better we can make ourselves,” said Raechelle Spurlock, a marketing major from Muncie.

The project is intended to help Ronald F. Green, the school’s new dean, identify ways to help an already strong school become even stronger, said Arthur Sherwood, assistant professor of management and instructor of the capstone class.

The students focused on areas related to three core missions of the school: teaching excellence, practical applied research and business community service.

The study involved a “full analysis of the school in terms of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, which is a typical business analysis,” Sherwood explained.

“We’ve progressively made this course more experiential in line with the direction ISU is going as a whole. It’s very important for business students because this is what they do when they graduate and this turns out to e very much like a real job.” Sherwood said.

 “The School of Business has a lot of very strong attributes to it and we think it’s important to take pro-active steps toward bringing the image of the school up and even with the actual reality of what’s going on here,” Sherwood said.

“We have a lot of quality here and good professors,” said Mia Hester, a management information systems major from Indianapolis. “They’re all experts in their field and they really do help out and we learn a whole lot. A lot of people don’t know about it, but that’s what we’re trying to advertise.”

The capstone class “introduces you to the real life experience that lots of colleges and universities lack,” said Nader Alwehibi, an insurance major from Saudi Arabia.

“We went deep into the market. We analyzed every aspect,” Alwehibi said. “We tried to reflect that we are moving toward excellence.”

Encouraging greater interaction between students and instructors outside the classroom and expanding internships are among the students’ recommendations.

Placing more students in internships would give the school a better feel for what businesses need and enhance the job prospects of Indiana State graduates, said Hester.

Another recommendation is to improve the physical appearance of the school’s building, already a goal for the university.

“Dr. Sherwood has taken a risk with this class and it’s been a worthwhile risk because he’s learning from it, we’re learning from it and our dean is learning from it,” said Spurlock. “This is one of the best classes I’ve ever taken.”

And if the school follows up on the students’ recommendations, “it will be one of the top business schools in the Midwest,” said Alwehebi.


Dave Taylor, ISU Public Affairs, (812) 237-3743.

ISU Public Affairs:
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