BBA students concerned about program integrity

A group of upper year students at Wilfrid Laurier University visited the undergraduate bachelor of business and administration  office on Tuesday to make their voices heard regarding concerns they have about the entrance average to their program.

The six BBA students decided it was necessary to engage in conversation as a group with faculty in order to express their concerns and provide feedback about the university’s business program.

They approached Lisa Keeping, director of undergraduate business programs, and explained why they, as students, feel the way they do.

Part of this conversation included the students discussing what they liked about the program and what changes they’d like to see in the future.

“For the most part it was them providing feedback,” Keeping explained.

“Other than that, in a general sense, they definitely talked about the quality of the program and wanting to ensure that the students who are moving through the program are students that we want to see graduating. Students that we’re proud to see going out into the business world and look good for Laurier.”

Maintaining the quality of the program was another point they touched on. Third year BBA student, Andrew Burton, who participated in the meeting, said that he believes there is not enough attrition in the program and that it isn’t difficult enough.

“What they tell business kids in orientation is: ‘look to your right, and look to your left, and only one of you will be here by third year,’” he explained.

“But I can look down the row and everyone is still here. And I don’t think a lot of those kids should be in the program.”

Coming away from the meeting, both Burton as well as Vanessa Frey, a third-year BBA student who also attended the meeting, agreed that the seven of them had similar desires and beliefs about the program.

Frey also explained how the meeting disproved a rumour she had heard that admission requirements for the business program had been lowered.

Kim Morouney, associate dean of business: academic programs, spoke to this as she said, “The fact is we have accepted more students, but we haven’t lowered our standards to do that. The cut off [last year] was an 87, and most people came in well above an 87.”

The program itself has also been reconfigured. Laura Allan, assistant professor at the school of business and economics, explained, “What we’ve done is to not make it harder or easier, but to make it better. To make it a higher quality, give them the things they need, and to make it make more sense.”

When asked what she would tell students who are concerned with the program’s quality, Morouney said, “The reason they see all these signs ‘building Canada’s best business school’ is because we believe that we are Canada’s best business school or that we are very close to being the best.”

But this is not Burton’s perception as he expressed, “I think my biggest concern is that they’re going from trying to make it Canada’s best business school to trying to make Canada’s biggest business school.”

24 Comments

  1. Hall of Fame WLU Football coach said, “Look to your right…look to your left, if the people you see are here in 3 years, we will win the Vanier Cup.” The ELITIST approach will never trump the COACHING approach. “Create the best programs” (L.Allan, 2012)…invest in student success, graduate every applicant. For my part…

  2. Wilfrid Laurier just won a gold medal for UFE writers and if I’m not mistaken has won more of these awards than any other university. For the last three years has competed against some of the best business schools in the country and has been awarded “School of the Year”. If you want to add to the reputation of your school, graduate first and make a name for yourself instead of listneing to rumors about entrance averages…

  3. I like the sentiment of your post but i still wish laurier was maintaining its high school like size rather than taking part in clustercuss like expansion.

  4. This can be solved, at least partially, with a better job at marketing the school (which ironically we do the worst at in the country, I’d argue) to create better clout amongst students, employers, and others. Also, just on the last point in the article (irrelevant but still interesting) we are in fact the largest undergrad Anglophone b-school in the country.

  5. Sounds like a good theory, how did Laurier do at the Vanier cup this year again? haha Kidding!

  6. When he says comments like this, “I don’t think a lot of those kids should be in the program” I think this kids issue is very obvious… he needs to focus more on himself, and not worry about what others are doing.

    haha, the program isn’t hard enough… I hope that kid has a 12 GPA, if he does than good for him. If it’s still to easy than maybe he needs to explore the limitless extra curricular activities available that offer infinite challenge…

  7. kid’s* issue, then* good, too* easy, then* maybe, extracurricular*. You’re not helping Matty! (just trollin’)

  8. You would Hani! But I totally agree with Matt, it’s not what other people think of the program, it is what YOU get out of it. After you get job #1 most people don’t give half a fuck about where you went to school. It’s about the knowledge you gain and how well you can apply it.

    I would also like to say that on top of all of the extra-curricular activities available, which most people who have put their time into will attest that you learn as much if not more outside the class as inside, there are so many options to be involved with entrepreneurship. How many other schools have programs where you can get a credit to build a business? Where they bring in experts in every area of business to help you succeed? Not many.

  9. Adam Smith just rolled over in his grave.

    It is particularly curious that the focus of this article is on protecting the integrity of the program, and that the proposed solution is to dissuade growth (via the final sentence), ergo limiting the number of students competing for the same resources and infrastructure.

    Fundamentally, most programs offer the same things, with the volume of services offered being the key differentiating factor. At the highest end of the spectrum, students in any program (should they choose to reside at the highest end of the spectrum) have access to a wide variety of value-added services that are not available to anyone else along the spectrum. Why? Because they worked for them, and fundamentally, all programs reward hard work.

    It is counter-intuitive of this article to suggest that by trying to grow in size, Wilfrid Laurier is doing itself a disservice when it comes to the quality of the program. All you are going to achieve is a greater number of students competing for the same top-tier resources. THAT is the real value of any program – leveraging the true value drivers that are accessible to only those few that are willing to work hard for them.

    The notion that the value of a program comes from the collective success of the program’s participants is nonsense. Everyone that completes a degree does not graduate with the same set of experiences, skills, connections and resources as that of their peers. The real tragedy of this article is that it highlights how prevalent this misconception really is.

    To quote the eloquence of Ricky Bobby: “If you ain’t first, you’re last”.

  10. “…we believe that we are Canada’s best business school or that we are very close to being the best.” I am sure it is a great school, but not many people equate WLU with one of the ‘best’.

  11. I’m sure when asked, any dean would say the same of their respective program

  12. Don’t get me wrong, I have no illusions that my program is “one of the best” either. I echo your sentiments that one’s success has more to do with the individual rather than the program itself. Though, I believe it must be noted that the program growth is to increase revenue. Many programs may dress it up and rationalize it one way or another, but really it’s all about tuition and funding.

  13. Why doesn’t this group of students concern themselves more with learning how to differentiate themselves then how to run Laurier’s Business Program? If you are the slightest bit concerned with the size of your graduating class your going to have anxiety when you eventually find out how many people are going to be applying for the same job as you after graduation. Take the immense amount of free time that you have (because the program is just too easy) and use it to differentiate yourself because guess what, the piece of paper you’re going to get after 4 years, while it makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside, won’t help you very much because everyone and their mother also has one. The undergraduate degree is the new high school diploma. The group of you, is no different then any other undergrad from any other school, you may not know that now, but you will find out very soon. I’m sorry you didn’t go to Harvard or Yale and you chose Laurier, unfortunately I don’t share the same disappointment and neither do many others, I’m sure I speak for thousands when saying I went to school for myself, and made it what I wanted, maybe when they said that during orientation week you guys didn’t listen, but school is always going to be what you make it.

    When I saw this article I could only think of one commencement speech, http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view.bg?&articleid=1061137286&format=&page=1&listingType=Loc it should wlecome you to reality and out of the fantasy world that Laurier has apparently created for you.

  14. bahaha that’s why you went to law school and I sell beer.

  15. Kevin, I agree with your last post. I think if this group of students paid more attention in class they would recognize this as a “business strategy”. In this day and age, as sad as this may be, if you want to increase the quality of the education you must have increased funding/revenue.

    I love the conversation this article has started!

  16. ummm way to go Matt!!! 100% agree!!! xoxo miss ya bud!

  17. you’re THE MAN MCNALLY!

  18. I agree with your assessment as well Kevin. A friend recently sent this to me, which I think proposes a fascinating correlation: http://www.paulgraham.com/swan.html

  19. –> the article is meant to define WHY universities are casting such a wide net when selecting applicants (hint – it has nothing to do with the marginal tuition revenue each student brings in)

  20. Andrew,

    I look forward to watching your ICE week presentation this semester…

  21. Bang on @[505881164:2048:Matthew James McNally]

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