iPad leasing and changes to Jay S. Sidhu School of Business

Abbey Haldeman, Assistant News Editor



When students enter the college environment they go in with a label: business major, biology, communications or whatever it may be.  Underneath those labels, lies another: their focus.

The Sidhu School of Business and Leadership has been working on a way to ensure the focus of the students is met and that they graduate with the proper education for their dream job.

This year, the school now offers three new majors to help the focus of students be narrowed.  There is now a bachelors of business administration in finance, management and marketing.

How might this benefit the students?

“Students are going to be able to say, ‘I have a major in marketing’ rather than saying ‘a major in business administration and a concentration in …’; the major is going to hold more weight,”  Sidhu School Dean Jeffrey Alves said.

The changes to the department came from listening to the feedback of not only students, but also businesses.  Businesses are looking for individuals, who have a degree in those three focuses, not just a concentration in them.

Professor of accounting Marianne Rexer believes this change is going to provide the school with the skills they need to help students create the job they want when entering the real world.

For those students who have been in the program now for three years, they have the opportunity to switch to the new system or  stay with the old.  Rexer feels it would be most beneficial for freshman and sophomores to make the switch to the new majors.

The changes to the department aren’t they only changes in the business.  Starting this fall, the Business Department has begun leasing iPads to students in both the Personal and Professional Development courses and the Integrated Management Experience courses.

For classes such as IME, students used to have to drag around two separate textbooks, one for accounting and one for management, to every class.  With the usage of the iPad and a program known as E-Pubs (the standard format for electronic books), everything is now paperless for students in those courses.

“When you guys graduate, you aren’t going to be handed a laptop or a desktop, you are going to be handed a tablet, so, the main objective was to help students make the transition from using a device that is primarily used for entertainment to making it a productivity tool,” Alves said.

The Business Department has been thinking about this for a while. After taking different types of tablet devices and researching which would be most beneficial to the students as well as the department, they came to the consensus that the iPad was the best choice.

“Between research and practical applications, we came up with a list of iPad apps that we would want, because we just found out Apple right now is supporting the educational system better,” Rexer said.

Students who lease the iPads will be using several apps that were chosen.  Notability is a study tool that allows not only for students to take notes, but also for their professor to go in and add things to their notes.  A flashcard app allows for a more effective way for students to study by creating flashcards right in front of them.  Each iPad also has access to Microsoft Office.

Rexer wants students to know the school is listening to them and trying their best to better their learning experience by giving them the tools to learn and study better.

While this is a new experience, they are hoping for the best. The leasing will begin with the freshman of this year and be an unfolding process after that so that next year they will accessible to both the sophomore and they freshman classes.

“There is contradictory research on whether or not it enhances the learning experience, but it does make for a lot more flexibility in the classroom,” Alves said.