To have an interest in earning a business degree from UCF is one thing; to first get into the major is another.
Starting in fall 2015, students will be experiencing major changes to the College of Business Administration.
Changes made by Dean Paul Jarley will require students to apply and be selected to get into a business major, according to an email from James Gilkeson sent to faculty of the CBA.
"Generally, the goal for the new curriculum is to better prepare students to land and succeed in jobs in today's business market, and there's been a lot of internal support for this reorganization," said UCF spokeswoman Courtney Gilmartin in an email.
Over summer 2014, a committee called by Jarley met to discuss the requirements for the integrated business (IB) degree.
Degree requirements and courses are currently making their way into the 2015 catalog.
"The primary change, I would say, is an effort to improve the quality of our undergraduate education and academic standard," Jarley said.
With the vast number of CBA graduates, Jarley said there is only a small number of competing companies in Central Florida.
"We have been looking for a way to provide the best employment opportunities for those students coming up," he said.
Several Regional Campuses will no longer offer business programs.
The CBA will begin offering the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration IB major at Regional Campus locations including Sanford, Lake Mary, Valencia West, Valencia Osceola and Cocoa, for the 2015-16 academic year.
The IB major will replace the Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration option on Regional Campuses, and the large majority of students will be forced into the new program.
Students will be required to fulfill IB major coursework with a grade of "C" or better in each class along with past requirements that will still be in effect.
Faculties have been informed of the changes and now have to reapply for consideration of jobs under the new program, which may affect instructor-level faculties — those without Ph.Ds — as they have been warned to anticipate more layoffs.
While core courses in the CBA will be provided through video recorded from the Orlando campus, the eight courses in the IB major will be taught face to face.
Jarley recommends that students meet with career coaches to discuss not only what they want to be in the future, but what they want to do to make it possible.
"I don't think [the changes] will affect our enrollment at all," Jarley said. "What I do think it will affect is that more of our students will be with a great job when they graduate."
Roy Reid, CBA's executive director for communications, said graduates leaving with a degree from the College of Business Administration would now have a better understanding of how to apply the material to their future career.
"Students who graduate from the College of Business would be great communicators and collaborators, would be risk takers who would understand the value of getting out of your comfort zone, would understand how to use real time and fake data to make decisions and would be problem solvers," Reid said. "All of the effort going into structure, culture and experience focus on getting that outcome."
Rachel Stuart is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @RachSage or email her at RachelSCentralFloridaFuture.com.