Business Administration Department Senior Reflective Tutorial

September 29, 2008

This course allows students to complete a 100 hours field-based, real world experience, prompting them to reflect on their practical training within their concentration of Finance, Accounting, Marketing, Management or International Business. Issues pertaining to all aspects of professional development are discussed in the weekly RFT sessions, with particular emphasis on the challenges of transition from student to civic-minded professional.

Senior Learning Community:
As the ultimate goal of the Senior Program, all Business seniors merge the breadth of a liberal education with the depth of specialized knowledge into a real-world applied practice. As such, the Senior Learning Community in the Business major focuses on the development of analytical as well as professional skills by engaging students in the rigorous teamwork required in the case studies of corporate strategy employed in the senior capstone course (MG401). Students in this capstone course learn how to intelligently practice in an increasingly cross-functional business environment. In addition, students learn how to synthesize various elements of the strategic process into a well-formulated plan that addresses all aspects of a firm?s internal and external environments. The themes discussed in MG401 are applied through an experiential component in the BU400 ? Senior Reflective Tutorial course.

Course Description of BU400:
This course allows students the opportunity to complete a field-based, real-world experience, prompting them to reflect on their practical training within their chosen concentration of Finance, Accounting, Marketing, Management or International Business. Issues pertaining to all aspects of professional development are discussed in the weekly RFT sessions, with particular emphasis on the challenges of the transition from student to civic-minded professional. In particular, this RFT is devoted to civic engagement. Partnered with the Staten Island Economic Development Center, and part of P.L.A.C.E.?s Civic Engagement grant, this class will devote 100 hours per student to the improvement of the St. George area in Staten Island. The class is made up of six students from the varied concentrations in the Business Department: Accounting (1), Finance (2), International (1), Management (1), and Marketing (1). These students will interview the business community, local public officials, government leaders, leaders from the St. George Civic Associations, and residents of the area to identify the economic, social and civic problematic issues. Operating under a similar guise as a business consultant in his or her own field of specialization, collectively, they will then develop a needs-assessment plan of the area and propose viable solutions. It is the hope of SIEDC (and ours) that the culmination of these efforts will serve as a springboard to the actual implementation of some or all of the proposed changes that reflect the needs and wants of the St. George community and its partners. The class will be making a presentation of their final research to the Wagner community on Tuesday, April 20 (part of the ACE program) and at the SIEDC yearly seminar to be held on Tuesday, April 27, 2004.

Course Objective:
Together with the Capstone course of Business Policy, the practicum and the thesis paper should prepare the student for the ?real world? environment they are about to face. Other specific objectives include

  1. Learn to develop & research a topic of interest
  2. Improve your professional writing and communication skills
  3. Set personal standards of excellence
  4. Establish your individual mode of handling heavy workload and establishing priorities to meet deadlines
  5. Establish the discipline required to compete in the marketplace
  6. Practice working specifically toward a final result (completion of a needs-assessment plan of the St. George area).

Course Requirements:
The Reflective Tutorial (BU400) is designed as a one-unit course, to be taken concurrently with MG401, to include the following components:

  • 100 hours of field or applied work. Business students will be partnered with the Staten Island Economic Development Center. Students are to maintain a log/diary of their field work that, at a minimum, includes the dates they attended, a brief description of the duties performed on each date, and the signature of an appropriate supervisory person, verifying the dates and work performed. This component constitutes 30% of students? final grades.
  • A senior thesis project, in this case a needs-assessment plan of the St. George area, involving applied and/or research-based learning, is required. The expectation is of a well-defined and rigorous paper (about 15-20 pages in length) that will ideally encapsulate the student?s field experiences and personal reflections, integrating them to a larger academic theme and body of literature. During the semester, there will be several intermediate due dates for the topic, thesis statement, reference list, outline and initial draft of this paper. These due dates are absolute, and failure to submit required material on time would have an adverse effect on the student?s grade. This component constitutes 50% of student?s final grades.
  • Students are to maintain a log of their hours and have it signed by their supervisor upon completion of the field work. This is to be coordinated through the Office of Career Development. There will be an evaluation form to be completed by your practicum supervisor and submitted to me.
  • A weekly (subject to the instructor?s discretion) RFT meeting, to include class discussion of any assigned readings, class discussion of students? field experiences and progress on their senior theses, and professional/career/civic development issues through guest speaker presentations, field trips or any other suitable on/off campus events. This component constitutes 20% of students? final grades.

Required Text for the Course:
Bergman, Garrison and Scott, The Business Student Writer?s Manual, Prentice-Hall, 1998.
Tooch, David E., Building a Business Plan, Person Education, 2004.
Pocket Guide to APA Style, Robert Perrin
All business students are to use APA style paper format & citations in writing their papers.

As mentioned above, final grades will be determined as follows:

Experiential Placement 30%
Experiential Placement 50%
Attendance at RFT meetings 20%
Total 100%

Any student suspected of academic dishonesty or misconduct will be immediately sent to the Academic Honesty Committee for review. See ?Student: Academic Honesty and Integrity Handbook.?

Final Note:
It is the expectation of your RFT instructor that all students will approach this Senior Learning Community with the professionalism and commitment appropriate for college seniors who are on the brink of beginning their professional careers. As such, students are expected to be in attendance at all required RFT meetings, to submit all required material on time and in proper form, to dress appropriately, and to perform their fieldwork with integrity and professionalism.


January 27 Introduction to the Senior Learning Community;
Discussion of Placement and Course Requirements
February 3 Review of book ?Building a Business Plan?
February 4 Meet at SIEDC to discuss action plan
Tour of St. George area
February 10 Guest speakers: Prof. Pat Tooker, Nursing Department

?Best Practices in Interviewing, Assessing & Engaging a Community? and

Jessica Mazzia of CCDEL on resumes.

February 24 Discuss progress of interviews and research
March 9 Work on presentation for press conference
SIECD Rep Laura Bruzzese will also be present
March 10 Press Conference at SIEDC at 11 a.m.
March 30 Synthesis of data in a group
SIECD Rep Laura Bruzzese will also be present
April 13 Synthesis of data in a group,
Finalizing presentation slides.
IECD Rep Laura Bruzzese will also be present (?)
April 20 Presentation of Project to Wagner Community
Part of ACE?s Program
6:15 p.m. in Spiro 2
April 27 SIEDC Annual Conference Presentation
May 4 Last Day of Class
Recap, surveys, submission of presentations.

School: Wagner College
Professor: Dr. Mary Lo Re
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