Rolling out new career paths
How does it sound to make a living with Facebook or Twitter? Want to manage a hotel? Interested in internal auditing, but not accounting? At Bradley, there's a class for that. The University is rolling out new programs, including a master's degree and certificate in nursing education, a major in hospitality leadership, a dietetics internship, a minor and concentration in social media marketing, and a minor and concentration in internal auditing.
In spring 2010, the nursing department launched the Master of Science in nursing education program, along with a master's certificate in nursing education.
"We know that there is a shortage of practitioners, but along with that, there's a shortage of nurse educators," said Dr. Francesca Armmer, chairperson of the nursing department.
The master's certificate allows those already holding an MS in nursing to take 14 semester hours of education to become nursing educators. Undergrads can now apply to enroll in a program during their junior year, which allows them to earn their bachelor's and master's degrees at the same time, completing both in five years. Students have the choice of an MS in nursing administration or nursing education.
Several students are already taking advantage of the five-year BSN/MSN program. A maximum of eight students will be accepted annually to each program.
"People say that's really a small group," said Armmer. "It is and it isn't, because it has to be done in a way that allows us to provide the kinds of experiences that we want an individual who's moving through the program to receive."
The College of Education and Health Sciences has announced a new hospitality leadership program in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS). Students will have the opportunity to study food service management, lodging, event planning, and tourism, leading to a Bachelor of Science degree.
According to Dr. Nina Collins, chairwoman of FCS, Bradley's hospitality program will be unique in that it requires students to work in an on-campus food service operation — Lydia's Lounge. "Some hospitality programs have an executive dining room, but they don't necessarily have to make a profit," said Collins. "They just have to serve a meal and not have 'real' financial data to analyze the results. So that will be a distinctive part of ours."
Collaboration with other colleges on campus, especially the Foster College of Business Administration, will be a major part of the hospitality major. Collins envisions a variety of collaborative initiatives, including a proposed plan that would allow students to complete a Bachelor of Science in hospitality leadership and an MBA in five years. Other collaborations could include students working together on senior projects for companies specializing in hospitality.
The program, which has room for 20 freshmen in fall 2011, requires students to have a minor in management, marketing, or professional sales, along with completing a 640-hour internship spread over two summers. Students must also complete the Bradley Global Scholars Program or a Study Abroad session.
Before dietetics majors can become registered dietitians, they must complete an accredited dietetics internship. In fall 2010, Bradley began a dietetics internship program in which students obtain practical experience while earning credit toward a master's degree.
A dietetics internship isn't like a typical internship, however. After completing a didactic program in dietetics, the student obtains supervised hands-on practice before taking the licensing exam.
While numerous colleges and hospitals offer dietetics internship programs, Bradley's is different because of its research aspect. "Very few internships focus on a research project," said Amanda Newell, assistant professor of family and consumer sciences and director of the internship program. "We hope some of the students will publish [their projects] in professional journals or present them at professional conferences."
According to Newell, there is only a 50 percent place-ment rate among dietetics graduates into internships. Bradley's program is open to 10 students each year.
Social media marketing
For many students, spending the whole day on Facebook or other social networking sites sounds like a dream job. Some companies now offer positions that allow just that. With the growth of promotion using social media, Bradley has created a minor and a concentration in social media marketing.
The program adds a class in social media to the marketing curriculum. Students will then choose a specialty to pursue, and take a course in that discipline. Other marketing courses are required, as well.
According to HEIDI MAURER ROTTIER '98 MBA '01, instructor of marketing, few undergraduate programs offer a course of study in social media. Most of the academic programs studying social media are certificate programs for professionals or graduate programs in promotions.
The greatest challenge to this program, according to Rottier, is that there are few best practices established and no traditional textbooks on the topic. Rottier plans to concentrate on case studies and hands-on experience with local businesses. She plans to invite alumni working in social media to speak to classes.
"Companies know that young people know social media and they use social media," says Rottier. "They're excited about hiring candidates who have had some instruction in how to use what they're doing naturally in a marketing capacity for the firm."
To provide new career opportunities for students majoring in accounting and business, Bradley has added a minor and a concentration in internal auditing. According to Dr. Simon Petravick, professor of accounting, some businesses are looking for internal auditors with backgrounds in disciplines other than accounting.
"Because internal auditing touches every part of a company, it's a career path that could be followed by many students, not just accounting majors," he said.
The minor is open to students with any major in the Foster College of Business Administration, except accounting majors, who have the option of a concentration in internal auditing.
Bradley will be the first university in Illinois to offer a minor in internal auditing. "Our internal auditing students will have a different background than those who come out of other schools," said Petravick. "Hopefully, we can develop a reputation of having graduates with diverse business backgrounds who can contribute to an internal audit department and the company's success."
The accounting department already has an array of resources for students from the Central Illinois Chapter of the Institute of Internal Auditors. Members of the organization frequently serve as guest speakers in internal auditing classes. The chapter also provides financial support for faculty and student professional development.