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University News

Following review, COE concentration to be renamed

Contributing Writer
Tuesday, March 20, 2012


The Commerce, Organizations and Entrepreneurship concentration will be renamed Business, Entrepreneurship and Organizations. Concentrators graduating in 2013 will be the first to earn degrees under the new name, said Maria Carkovic, administrative director of the program and lecturer in economics. Though the change officially will take place July 1, the new title has already been updated on Focal Point, the University’s concentration website.

The name change was part of a COE curriculum review last fall conducted by a committee chaired by Dean of the College Katherine Bergeron and Professor of Sociology Mary Fennell. The committee, which had a student representative from each of the three COE concentration tracks, met regularly “to review the curricular objectives, foundation courses, strength of quantitative courses and senior year experience,” Carkovic said.

The committee decided on the name change and also made adjustments to the concentration’s foundation courses and capstone program in response to student feedback.

Cory Abbe ’13 said she brought the idea of the name change to the committee. “I’m a tour guide, and the COE concentration is the only concentration that I have to explain what it is,” she said.

“Commerce was an old-fashioned word, and (business) captures the concentration better,” Carkovic said. She noted that the title flipped the order of the words “organization” and “entrepreneurship” because BOE was already taken as a concentration acronym. 

Abbe said both students and faculty members approved of the change. “I’m a lot more proud of my concentration now,” Abbe said, calling the new name less confusing.

Other students echoed Abbe’s sentiment. “It is very hard to communicate what the COE concentration is,” said Daniel Prada ’12, another student on the committee. Prada said he had to explain the concentration to potential employers in job interviews. 

Neil Parikh ’11, executive advisor for WaterWalla, said he wished he had graduated under the BEO title. The change is a “good direction to head in the future. The problem is that not many people know what commerce is,” he said.

Kenya Wright ’15, a potential concentrator, also expressed enthusiasm about the change. “If anything, it makes it sound more like what I do, what I’m interested in,” she said. She said the name change will not have any bearing on her decision to concentrate in the subject. 

Though current juniors will be the first to graduate with degrees in BEO, current sophomores will be the first to complete the new curriculum, which includes required capstone projects and slightly altered foundation courses. 

Currently, there is an optional start-up venture capstone concentrators from all tracks can work on during their final year. The concentration will now require capstones in all three tracks, Carkovic said. In addition to the start-up project, BEO will offer social entrepreneurship and business problem-solving capstones, she said. 

“Everybody who was on the committee was very excited about the idea,” Abbe said. 

The committee also decided to offer the concentration’s foundation courses more frequently and to adjust the content of some of those courses in response to student demand, Carkovic said. For example, ENGN 0020: “Transforming Society-Technology and Choices for the Future” will be called “Business and Technology,” and its syllabus will be altered, Carkovic said. The exact changes to ENGN 0020’s and other courses’ syllabi are still under review, Abbe said. 

“Having new capstones and redesigning ENGN 0020 are more important changes for me than the name,” Prada said, explaining that he thinks the changes reach beyond the name and enhance the entire concentration.

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