Business division strives for cutting edge with curriculum

Ken Patton, Business Sciences dean, working on a lecture for an upcoming conference. (Oliver Yu – The Lariat)

By Daniel Arik Davis

Constant change and adaptation to the needs of students is crucial for entering the business world. For the 2009-10 school year, Ken Patton, dean of Business Sciences, said that his division intends to add new courses to meet a growing demand in the workplace.

“We want to make sure we are on the leading edge of educational opportunities,” Patton said.

Among offerings, the division has classes that simulate real business models and those are becoming very popular with students.

“Enrollment has increased every year,” Patton said.

The departments within the division also include a strong and well-respected accounting program led by Walt DeAguero, accounting department chair. Courses in the department can help fulfill the requirements to take the California Board of Accountancy examination.

Business Sciences also features a well-respected real estate program.

Patton credits the work of Martin Welc, real estate department chairman for the program’s No. 1 ranking in the state.

The Computer Information Management (CIM) department has achieved success in the past two years with video game software courses under the guidance of instructor Tom DeDonno.

“These courses have been filling up quickly,” Patton said.

Recently, the division has achieved great success with the establishment of the Entrepreneurial Business Program. The curriculum, developed by Patrizia Goldberg, involves digging into the more individual aspects of business sciences with strong focus on the legal aspects of business protection.   While both USC and UCI have similar programs, Saddleback’s program is among the first at the two-year college level, according to Patton.

The division’s notoriety has been attracting students from other colleges, as well as individuals coming to the program from the professional workplace.

“We have even been getting a lot of reverse transfers from universities because of our program’s focus,” Patton said.

While the entrepreneurial program is a couple of years old, it has seen significant growth and popularity due to its effectiveness at preparing future business owners.

“Once students get through this program, they will know exactly what steps to take to develop a business and protect their intellectual property,” Patton said.

Patton was also proud to mention the potential addition of a BICSI (Building Industry Consulting Service International) certification program to train students in the installation of home entertainment systems and networks.

“We are ready to go forward with the program, but we are waiting until we have space available for the courses at Saddleback,” Patton said.    

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(Oliver Yu – The Lariat)