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UCF's College of Business Administration canceled its Cornerstone class after 22 years of being a required course for business students.

The Cornerstone class was designed to teach students teamwork, leadership, time management and crisis management skills necessary for the job market.

Paul Jarley, dean of the College of Business Administration, said the decision to cancel the Cornerstone class was part of a large revision of the business curriculum. Part of the revision included the addition of four professional development courses and an integrated business major.

"From a content perspective, most of the teamwork, leadership and career development aspects of the [Cornerstone] course were moved into the new professional development course sequence," he said.

Jarley added that some aspects of the class were taught in other business courses, and the Cornerstone class is no longer up to par with the current job market.

"Cornerstone became redundant as some elements of this course got spread out into other courses and other elements were deemed less important than they were 20 years ago," he said. "In sum, times changed, the market needs changed, co-curricular opportunities changed and we changed the curriculum to keep pace."

UCF alumnus Rishabh Verma graduated in spring 2015 with a degree in finance. He thought the cancellation of the Cornerstone class was for the better.

"I thought that the class was constructive in certain aspects, but instructed in a poor manner," Verma said. "I feel like [canceling] Cornerstone is an effective way to let new business students find interest in the other various offerings that the UCF school of business has [to offer]."

On the other hand, senior general business administration major James Davison Heriot said the class was a good introductory course for business because it taught team and organizational skills that were vital for the rest of the degree program.

"Canceling this class is going to leave incoming business students without an overview of what they have to look forward in the UCF College of Business," he said. "This class sets the foundation for leadership, integrity, creativity and societal skills necessary for students to thrive in business."

One aspect of the Cornerstone class offered students a real-world experience by requiring a fundraising assignment to benefit local nonprofit organizations, such as the Maitland-based New Hope for Kids.

Dave Joswick, executive director of New Hope for Kids, weighed in on the Cornerstone cancellation.

"It's a shame that it was shut down," Joswick said. "Hopefully we'll be able to work out some sort of working relationship with the business school [in the future].

"I think it's important to get the interaction with students and the families [in need] in the community who benefit from nonprofits. ... You can learn more by doing things than reading books and filling out forms."

Though Cornerstone may be canceled, Joswick said the relationship with New Hope For Kids and UCF is still maintained through other clubs and organizations such as the DeVos Sport Business Management Program and a number of sororities and fraternities.

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Eric Gutierrez is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow him on Twitter @atticus_adrift or email him at EricG@CentralFloridaFuture.com.

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