Are you ready for the journey of a lifetime? That is what Mercer University's Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics (SSBE) is asking students with its innovative undergraduate curriculum called MAPS—Managed Academic Path to Success.
The new curriculum gives students numerous possibilities in developing a course of study while earning the prestigious bachelor of business administration degree.
"MAPS represents a whole new approach to curriculum development," said Carl Joiner, Ph.D., dean of SSBE. "It allows students to explore and identify their interests and, together with their faculty adviser, develop a program of study that incorporates and balances a strong business curriculum with individual career aspirations."
MAPS has four components: a guided course of self-exploration, intense and ongoing academic advising by business faculty, work experience through internships and structured career counseling.
Students are exposed to MAPS as freshmen and begin their journey as sophomores. Using a series of assessments, business resource guides and interactions with business professionals, students develop long- and short-term career goals.
"One of the strengths of MAPS is how it enables students to translate their personal interests, gifts and plans into career goals so faculty can better advise them," said Dean Joiner.
The students and their faculty adviser use the career goals to develop an individualized MAP. Each MAP starts with a solid foundation of 12 business core courses that ensure all students share a common body of business knowledge. Beyond the core, a MAP can include courses from any of Mercer's undergraduate colleges and schools.
For example, the MAP of a student interested in international finance may include finance and economics courses from SSBE, as well as courses in foreign language, sociology and political science in the College of Liberal Arts. A student planning to start a graphic design company may combine art classes in the College of Liberal Arts with computer courses in the Engineering School and accounting courses in SSBE.
"Of course, an all-business MAP can also be developed, for example, for those students who are interested in pursuing a career as a certified public accountant," said Dean Joiner.
The MAPS internship component has received high marks from students, parents, alumni and employers. Through internships, service activities or a study abroad, students have the opportunity to gain real-world experience while examining the fit between their gifts, desires and expectations with the realities of the workplace.
During the senior year, the MAPS career-counseling component helps students make the transition from college to business (or graduate school). As part of their coursework, students learn skills in resume preparation, job search tips and interviewing techniques that will help them stand out in the competitive job market.
"The faculty developed this innovative curriculum, and our students are extremely excited about the possibilities it offers," said Dean Joiner. "MAPS will certainly prepare our students to succeed in today's multi-faceted business environment."
For more information about MAPS, call Mercer's Office of University Admissions at (478) 301-2650 or visit Mercer online at www.mercer.edu/business.