Baker College Shifts Classroom Setting with New Business Center in Flint

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Baker College of Flint has opened its new 10,000-square-foot Center of Business, offering a major shift from the typical classroom setting, says John Cote, dean of business administration.

“It’s a dramatic positive change for our faculty and students,” Cote says. “There are fewer lectures. Instead of using textbooks, instructors are turning to hundreds of digital sources. Because technology can easily calculate numbers, we don’t need to spend time learning how to calculate. We can use that time to interpret the numbers. Students participate as active learners, and instructors are facilitators.”

The renovated facility, in the southwest portion of the school’s undergraduate studies building, includes iPads available to all students; interactive whiteboards that store notes and presentations   in a cloud; and webcams that connect students with business leaders both nationally and internationally.

“The design and technology of the new center provide the tools necessary for students to focus on higher order critical thinking skills and develop data driven decisions,” said Julianne Princinsky, president of Baker College of Flint. “These experiences will enable them to hit the ground running at their first jobs.”

The new center also provides a setting where classes can collaborate with regional businesses. Baker’s Business Center has partnered with more than 100 businesses during the past six years in an effort to make graduates “job ready,” Cote says. For example, a past project included assisting the Coffee Beanery with its expansion into Japan.

The center’s curriculum is overseen by the an advisory board made up of business owners and administrators who provide direction to ensure the program is relevant and addresses the needs of current business organizations.

The college will host an open house at the new center from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Attendees will be able to talk with Kevin Shaw, vice president of the Coffee Beanery, and Michael Lavelle, senior associate economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, via Skype.

Since it first opened in 1911, Baker College has grown to a dozen locations throughout Michigan.

For more information, call 810-766-4000 or visit baker.edu

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