Emory piloted the Maymester program and the Goizueta Summer Business Institute (SBI) this past summer, both of which allowed students to gain course credits within a compressed academic term.
The Maymester program, held from May 15 to June 1, provided students with four credit hours. The program offered a total of four courses – each of which met daily for 4.5 hours – in English, history, interdisciplinary studies (IDS) and psychology. Students were permitted to enroll in only one course.
Philip Wainwright, the associate dean for summer and international programs, said Maymester’s condensed duration enabled students to pursue other summer opportunities such as internships, jobs or study abroad programs.
Student feedback was generally positive, Wainwright said.
“Generally, the courses were engaging and students enjoyed being immersed in a way they wouldn’t necessarily be immersed in a semester-long class,” Wainwright said.
One such course was Ethics of Leadership, which Senior Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies (IDS) Peter Wakefield and Professor of Interdisciplinary Humanities and Director of the Institute of Liberal Arts Kevin Corrigan taught. The course examined ethics in a philosophical context, supplemented with guest lectures from leaders including University President James W. Wagner and a former advisor to President Jimmy Carter, Steven Hochman.
Wakefield said that while student feedback for the course was largely positive, he feels that students were tired by the end of the three weeks due to the intensive nature of the course.
Wakefield explained that the class will probably not be offered again for a few years, despite the course’s overall success, because the process of scheduling daily guest speakers presented challenges due to their busy schedules.
“We put a lot of energy into getting this group of leaders in a tight succession,” Wakefield said. “Since they are in positions of great responsibility, it would become difficult to have them back each year.”
Wakefield said that while many students may have taken the course to fulfill certain graduation requirements, the purpose of the course was to attract students passionate about the topic.
“In the future, we would like to advertise that this is a demanding opportunity for students who are motivated,” Wakefield said.
Wainwright said the process for improving Maymester will be gradual.
“It’s a new program,” Wainwright said. “I anticipate that it’s going to take two to three years of offering courses until we really have the sense of what the potential is in that time slot.”
Six new proposals for next year’s Maymester came in last week, Wainwright said, and information about the new course offerings might be available in the coming weeks.
Goizueta Summer Business Institute
Goizueta’s Summer Business Institute (SBI) was an intensive three-week program designed for non-business majors who wished to gain business and management skills. The program took place from June 4 to June 22.
Upon completion of the program, students received six credit hours and a certificate.
“The most important motivation for offering this program is to address the needs and interests of Emory students who do not want to pursue a BBA, but do want to become conversant in the fundamentals of business and who would like to enhance their professional development and exposure to business and business-related fields,” Andrea Hershatter, senior associate dean of Goizueta Business School and director of the BBA Program, wrote in an email to the Wheel.
The SBI program was divided into two courses: the first focused on business fundamentals and management skills, while the second focused on professional preparation, networking and business etiquette.
Participants had to apply this knowledge to present a business plan highlighting how organizations manage scarce resources in order to create sustainable advantages within a competitive environment.
Hershatter wrote that she was able to measure the program’s success through the progress that was evident in the students’ final projects.
“These [final projects] showed a significant growth in their understanding about how the various functional areas of business fit together, what it means to manage resources like time, people and money, and how to move something from concept to reality within an organizational structure or framework,” Hershatter wrote. “They did a fabulous job.”
College senior Laney Tucker, who participated in the SBI program, wrote in an email to the Wheel that the program fulfilled her expectations.
“I’d always wanted to take a class at Goizueta, but felt that many of the classes were too specific within one particular realm of business,” she wrote. “I wanted more of a general overview, and that’s exactly what the SBI was geared toward providing students. We learned a surprising amount of information for a mere three-week class, and I feel like at this point I have a general understanding of how the business world operates.”
Hershatter wrote that SBI participants reported a deeper understanding of business functions as well as confidence and knowledge regarding their career searches. However, students reported frustrations with not knowing how to prepare adequately for quizzes, since different faculty members taught class every day.
As a result, Hershatter wrote, the planned changes for next year’s Goizueta SBI are in direct response to student feedback.
“This was a full immersion experience,” Hershatter explained. “We in the program feel we delivered what was intended with great success within the time frame.”
– By Harmeet Kaur
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