Six New Degrees At Davenport

May 24, 2005
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GRAND RAPIDS — Davenport University is introducing six degree programs for the fall semester designed around growth careers in business and technology. The programs — in technology, globalization, service, human resources and corporate governance — are either the first of their kind in Michigan or include unique aspects that address trends in the workplace.

“Davenport is committed to being a leader in providing innovative degree options that prepare our graduates to excel in the knowledge-drive environment of the 21st century,” said Davenport University President Randolph Flechsig. “An essential measure of the quality of our academic programs is how closely they align with changing work-force needs.”

Two new bachelor of applied science degree programs offer specialties in global information technology and database management.

Reid Gough, dean of the School of Technology, said the two specialty degrees were created because all current statistics, including government forecasts, indicate that these areas will be top 20 growth sectors.

“We need to provide the skills and knowledge necessary for our graduates to find professional level IT positions. In order to do so, we need to offer some unique classes and programs.”

The global information technology specialty is a one-of-a-kind program in the state that prepares students to become the “project managers” of the future by concentrating on issues dealing with the trend of global outsourcing. Subjects include distributed architectures and working on a global platform that provides students with the critical skills needed to compete in the global IT marketplace.

The new database management specialty incorporates the study of database management and distributed systems with a concentration on the new study of data mining and knowledge management.

“Anybody looking at the current job market and job listings can’t help but notice a high demand for this ability to extract key information from databases,” Gough said.

The bachelor’s of business administration in human resource management and the post-baccalaureate certificate in human resource management will provide students with the knowledge of a broad spectrum of HR topics through theory and teach real-world HR management applications.

“The role of the human resource professional is being redefined by the combination of outsourcing and functionalizing duties and responsibilities. These new programs will prepare students for these changes,” said Janet Attman, chair of the division.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, demand may be particularly strong for certain HR specialists. Employers are expected to devote greater resources to job-specific training programs in response to the increasing complexity of many jobs. In addition, increasing efforts throughout industry to recruit and retain quality employees should create demand for employment, recruitment and placement specialists. Michigan Department of Labor statistics identified growth rates of 6.7 percent, 6.6 percent, and 7.9 percent in the specialized areas of employment/recruitment, compensation/benefits and training development with 556 annual average openings. (2000-2010).

“We have repositioned our human resources program from a specialty to a major, because it provides a more in-depth study of the field and the additional knowledge that the changing work force will require,” said Attman.

The new post-baccalaureate certificate was created for individuals already working in the field of HR who had previously received their bachelor’s degree in an unrelated business discipline. It will allow graduates to improve their professional expertise, broaden their overall knowledge in the field and demonstrate their interest in the field of human resource management.

To meet the growing demand for greater corporate governance, Davenport will be offering Michigan’s first bachelor’s degree in internal auditing, a specialty business administration program.

“An internal auditor’s specialized skills are in demand now more than ever,” said Irene Bembenista, chair of Davenport’s accounting and finance division. “Due to a call for greater corporate governance and the accompanying legal environment changes, internal auditors are at a premium and have a greater starting salary than the median for general accountants.”

The work of internal auditors has developed to involve evaluating a company’s operations for efficiency, effectiveness, and compliance with corporate policies and procedures, laws and government regulations.

The program, housed in the Accounting Information Management BBA program, provides students with the skills to perform through appraisals within an organization to assure adequate and effective controls over company policies and regulations, assess the economical use of resources, and operational goals and objectives.

Davenport will also be the first university in Michigan to offer a bachelor’s degree in service management and marketing.

“Davenport is on the cutting edge of changing the economy by providing trained professionals who can help market products and services as well as build customer loyalty through excellent customer service,” said Fred Hoffman, state relations director for DaimlerChrysler and a Davenport trustee.

The degree is designed to train people seeking careers in service industries such as banking, retailing and health care, or who will manage operations and areas that work directly with an organization’s customers, such as customer service mangers, customer call centers, and service logistics and field service managers.

The service industry is projected to have the second largest gain in total employment (about 22 percent) for the period of 2002-2012, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics.    

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