Principia’s Business Administration major is designed to give students a foundational understanding of core business principles. Students are immersed in a curriculum that begins exploring economic principles affecting businesses and communities, continues through the primary functional areas, and concludes with a strategic business management capstone course. Students progress not only in their understanding of the principles and practices of businesses in the global economy but also in their ability to think, act, and communicate strategically, ethically, and creatively. Historically at least, small classes have enabled us to ensure individual attention and typically include team projects, discussion groups, frequent student presentations, and substantial amounts of writing. Upon graduation, Principia College business administration majors assume responsibilities in a wide range of organizations or enter graduate programs.
The Business Administration major is designed with the following six learning themes in mind: foundational knowledge of the discipline, critical thinking and problem solving, leadership and teamwork, ethics, quantitative reasoning, and communication.
Foundational Knowledge of the Discipline: Students will demonstrate a solid understanding of core business principles in the primary areas of accounting/finance, marketing, and management, as well as the interconnectedness of these disciplines in the running of an organization. In the area of accounting, students will analyze the key accounting statements and evaluate accounting information to assess the financial health of an organization. In the area of finance, students will explain the capital structure of a business and evaluate a financial strategy that creates and enhances shareholder value. In the area of marketing, students will define the fundamental principles of marketing and explain how to evaluate a marketing plan for decision. In the area of management, students will identify and describe the leading theories in management and their application to the key management functions of an organization -- planning, organizing, leading and controlling.
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: Students will demonstrate critical thinking characterized by the ability to define business problems with the evidence available, discern fact from opinion, determine underlying causes, and formulate and evaluate potential solutions. This would include the application of learned concepts to a problem in order to determine an answer. Problem solving skills will be evidenced by an ability to make judgments and identify solutions for unstructured problems that do not have obvious solutions, make decisions in the midst of uncertainty, and argue persuasively the solutions reached. Underlying problem solving is the courage to think creatively and to be comfortable with ambiguity.
Leadership and Teamwork: Students will demonstrate teamwork skills characterized by building collaborative relationships that recognize different styles of thinking and the strengths of team members, by working together as a team to define objectives and roles, by maximizing individual input to achieve team goals, by giving and receiving feedback, and by identifying areas of conflict and implementing problem solving strategies. Leadership skills will be evidenced in taking initiative, communicating objectives, building agreement, and motivating team members to perform. A key ingredient in the student’s development of leadership and teamwork skills is self-assessment; therefore, students will assess their own leadership style, strengths, and areas for improvement within a team, and they will create and implement a plan for development of leadership and teamwork skills.
Ethics: Students will recognize ethical issues, identify needed actions, and demonstrate the moral courage to implement them. They will embody integrity in their work and actions, honor confidentiality, and understand and follow generally accepted codes of conduct in the field of business.
Quantitative Reasoning: Students will demonstrate a facility with numbers to support decision making as evidenced by applying the proper use of statistics, estimating, forecasting, making projections, utilizing ratios, and performing cost-benefit analysis.
Communication: Students will demonstrate effective communication characterized by written work that is clear, organized, succinct yet exhibits depth of analysis and synthesis, and accurate in mechanics and documentation. Effective oral communication will be evidenced in two areas -- discussion skills and oral presentations. Discussion skills include the ability to articulate one’s point of view, listen to other views, synthesize ideas and contribute to the purpose of the discussion. Students will demonstrate presentation skills as characterized by articulate diction, comfort speaking in front of others, proper use of technology, poise, and the ability to connect with the audience both during the presentation and the question/answer period.