By Ashley Altus and Madi Allen
The Hankamer School of Business has experienced a ‘Great Divide’ of its own, by splitting Business 1301 into Business 1201 and 1101.
This past fall marked the first semester of altering the 20-year business school curriculum. What was previously a three-hour class, Business 1301, has now been divided into the two-hour class of Business 1201 and the one-hour class of Business 1101.
Dr. Blaine McCormick, associate professor in management and entrepreneurship, said the purpose of the change was to improve the freshman experience at Baylor.
With the revised course, McCormick’s class focuses solely on business and financial literacy with a hands-on business simulation. The accompanying course, Business 1101, introduces students to the resources available at Hankamer, which was previously in Business 1301.
Royal Palm Beach, Fla. Junior Douglas Drysdale, former student of Business 1301 said, the class introduced students to the business core, and could be a bit overwhelming at first.
The class has been reconfigured to fit closer to the needs of freshmen students.
“There is more emphasis on Baylor first-year success than ever before,” McCormick said. “We want students to succeed.”
Houston sophomore Hunter Hassebrock, McCormick’s teaching assistant, said another reason for the change was to increase the retention rate of first year students.
“Students who take 1201 will stay at Baylor because they’ve already been here a year and just change their major instead of transferring,” Hassebrock said. “It’s a way to keep more freshmen at Baylor.”
The Introduction to Business class was created to welcome students into the business school and familiarize them with basic concepts.
McCormick said his class is not just a weed-out class, but it’s not for all students.
“For some students, business is not for them and they choose to go somewhere else,” McCormick said.
Student evaluations for Business 1201 indicated students liked the tighter class format.
“As long as you do the work you’re fine,” Pilot Point freshman Hannah MacElroy said. “It doesn’t discourage me from being a business major.”
Another factor in the switch was the class reaching capacity in Kayser Auditorium. The course is able to hold over 300 more students, a 30 percent increase than in previous years. More students have a chance to enter the business school, McCormick said.
McCormick said he compares the change in the class to the freshmen introduction course, University 1000, without small groups. Business 1201 is a significant course because most first-year students experience it, he said. By decreasing the number of hours of the course, it also allows for less of an effect on a student’s overall GPA.
“Organizations need to change.” McCormick said. “It’s been 20 years since the change and it’s time. Students and Baylor are quite different than they were 20 years ago.”