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NMJC Redesigns Business Degrees to Meet the Needs of Students

12/16/2015 3:16:05 p.m. - Hobbs, NM.  

According to Forbes, over 50% of the working population works in a small business, with over 500,000 new businesses starting each month.  Developing business skills and knowledge is essential for people who want to start their own company, or get hired in a management position at a corporation, small private company, department store, restaurant, in government and any number of other enterprises.

New Mexico Junior College has updated its Business and Computer Information Systems (CIS) degree programs to incorporate the marketable skills needed for people to be successful.

“We want to provide our students with a strong foundation in a variety of business disciplines,” says Chris Howell, Department Chair of Business at NMJC. “No matter what type of industry a person goes into, they usually need to know something about business operations to be successful.”

Two types of Associate degrees will be offered, depending on the needs of the student.  With an Associate of Arts with emphasis in Business, students can transfer their classes to a four-year university and start as a junior.  “We work with the students one-on-one to develop a degree plan that will transfer to the university they have selected,” says Howell.  “Students can save thousands of dollars by completing the first two years of their bachelor’s degree with NMJC.” Howell has been meeting with all the public colleges and universities in New Mexico to insure the curriculum taught at NMJC will be approved.

In addition students have the opportunity to stay at NMJC to obtain their Bachelors in Business.  “New Mexico Junior College has articulation agreements with several four-year universities,” says Dr. Michele Clingman, Dean of Enrollment Management for NMJC.  “Students can stay in Lea County, and attend online classes at NMJC to complete their Bachelors degree in business…and even their MBA with some universities.”  Articulation agreements have been achieved with Eastern New Mexico University, Grantham University, New Mexico Highlands University, University of New Mexico, University of Texas Permian Basin and University of the Southwest.

The second type of business degree plan is designed to give students the skills they need to immediately enter the workforce.  This Associates of Applied Science in Business (AAS) can be tailored to emphasis areas including accounting and management.   A revised AAS in Computer Information Systems is also available.

Certificate Programs in Accounting, General Management/Supervision, and CIS are also an option for students wanting to gain some business skills in a shorter period of time.

An advisory board of local Lea County business leaders indicated they need employees with more computer skills, communication skills, problem solving and professionalism. In response, NMJC has instituted these recommendations into their new career plan.

“We made significant changes to the General Education courses,” states Howell. “First we replaced the lab science requirement with an economics class.  Both teach critical thinking, but we wanted to place more emphasis on business.  Second, we are now allowing students to take Business Math to meet the math requirement for the degree. While the class reviews basic math principles, it concentrates on calculating mark up, mark down, discounts, interest, payroll, commissions and other business related concepts. We also added a second computer applications course to give students more in-depth computer skills.”

Students focusing in Accounting will learn more advanced accounting skills such as computerized accounting and income tax.  Those who choose management will take courses such as human resource management and principles of management designed to gain knowledge for supervisory positions.

Howell emphasizes: “Whether students leave New Mexico Junior College with their AA degree to continue to a university, or enter the workforce with their AAS degree, they will be more successful and have the business knowledge and critical skills for virtually any industry.

New Mexico Junior College is a comprehensive community college promoting success through learning.

For information contact Dr. Chris Howell: chowell@nmjc.edu or 575-492-2659

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