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Williamson College Invests in Students’ Success

By Betty Jo Licata, dean of YSU Williamson College

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Innovation, impact and engagement drive the academic, cocurricular and economic development priorities of the Williamson College of Business Administration at Youngstown State University. Whether it is course design, service delivery or developing new opportunities for our students, we are focused on delivering impactful and value-added programs and services.

Student success beyond college is driven by their ability to establish relationships with faculty members, participation in internships, cocurricular activities and long-term projects, and to graduate with a limited amount of student debt. These have long been the priorities of the WCBA and have enabled our graduates to benefit from an exceptional return on their investment.

Career assessment and career development experiences are becoming an increasingly important component of a college student’s experience. In the WCBA, our Center for Career Management provides a one-stop center for business majors and employers interested in internships or full-time jobs.

As a result of this investment, the number of internships has grown to over 200, with almost 60% of our graduates completing at least one paid internship. The placement of our 2017-2018 graduates increased to approximately 74% (87% for those with internships) and graduates are securing positions with companies around the country. All majors in the college of business continue to be in high demand by employers, expanding students’ opportunities here and beyond the Mahoning Valley.

Students also develop important skills through their involvement with the student consulting projects required in many of our courses. This past year, more than 700 students participated in over100 consulting projects for businesses and nonprofits. Projects required students to apply their knowledge and skills in marketing, exporting, human resources, management, accounting and strategic analysis. Not only did the students benefit, but the organizations benefited from the insight and analysis of smart, enthusiastic and motivated undergraduate and MBA students.

Other investments in our students include reimbursement for professional certification exams, travel to conferences and competitions, college-based scholarships of more than $200,000 and ensuring current technology in our labs, maker space and classrooms.

One of our great strengths is the excellence and dedication of our outstanding faculty. We are excited about the six faculty members who have joined the WCBA this year. With expertise in operations management, information systems, accounting and analytics, these individuals will be critical to the growth of the WCBA and the development of new courses, such as business analytics.

This year, we introduced our inaugural executive in residence, Jeanne Mosure, former senior vice president and group global publisher of Disney Publishing Worldwide. She will share her expertise with students through class presentations, mentoring, coaching and speaking engagements.

Impacting our community through community service is reflected through our students’ participation in the United Way Day of Caring, WCBA Dare to Care, Junior Achievement, fundraising for our Pay It Forward initiative, Youth Leadership Mahoning Valley and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance.

Our Small Business Development Center and its director, Patricia Veisz, lead the way in providing consulting services to our region. The SBDC’s value was recognized in 2018 with six statewide awards.
This year, we will be revising our curriculum, aligning our programs to meet employer demands, sending more than 30 students on global learning experiences, redesigning and expanding our online MBA program, expanding our employer network and aggressively recruiting new business students.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.