Down to Business
Macon State's four-year business degree
is one of the most popular programs at the College
By Sheron Smith
Bill Russell of the University
of Georgia’s Small Business Center talks with members
of MSC’s chapter of Phi Beta Lambda, a national association
for business majors.
by Sheron Smith
is booming at Macon State College. The bachelor’s degree in
business, that is.
Launched in 1998 as Macon State’s fourth baccalaureate program,
the business degree has rapidly grown into one of the College’s
largest four-year offerings. Through the 2001-2002 academic year,
more than 500 students planning to earn their bachelor’s degrees
at Macon State had formally indicated business as their major.
President David A. Bell said the business degree’s success
is no surprise, particularly given the unique way Macon State has
structured the program. Besides the traditional business foundation
the degree provides, students get a solid core of information technology
courses to make them more competitive in today’s professional
“Business is generally a popular program at any college that
offers it,” Bell said. “I think Macon State’s
is particularly attractive because we’ve combined it with
an IT core. The next few years for our business degree are extremely
Even with the nation’s struggling economy and hiring downturn,
business degrees remain viable options for college students. According
to the Georgia Career Information System, over the next six years
employment in the state will grow by 13 percent for accountants
and auditors, 16 percent for business executives and 21 percent
for marketing managers.
“One reason the business degree is so popular is you can
take it and apply it to almost anything,” said Leslie Banister,
a senior accounting major from Warner Robins. “Business majors
at Macon State feel like they are part of something that’s
really growing, and that’s exciting.”
Accounting Especially Popular
Dr. Wayne Cecil, center, Georgia
Eminent Scholar in Accounting at Macon State, with accounting
majors Stacey Walker, 22, and David Godfrey, 23.
by Bruce Radcliffe
Offered through Macon State’s Division of Business &
Economics, the bachelor of science in business offers four major
tracks: accounting, management, marketing and general business.
Besides 24 semester hours in their majors, students take eight business
administration core classes and four information technology core
classes, including one elective.
The College is enhancing the business degree in ways directly connected
to Central Georgia’s workforce needs. The general business
track, basically a sampling of courses from the other major tracks,
is specifically designed to help working adults who already run
small businesses or simply want career advancement have the greatest
flexibility in finishing their bachelor’s degrees.
Growth in the business degree’s accounting track has been
especially robust. Since Fall 2001, the number of Macon State students
formally indicating themselves as accounting majors has grown by
71 percent. The College is positioning the major track in accounting,
a highly marketable profession in Central Georgia, to be the leading
such undergraduate program in the region.
Key to this effort was the creation of Macon State’s third
endowed faculty chair — the first for the business division.
Dr. Wayne Cecil, who holds a doctorate in accounting in addition
to being a Certified Public Accountant with extensive private sector
experience, was hired to fill the chair as a Georgia Eminent Scholar
“My objective for the business program is for it to not only
grow in enrollment but in quality,” said Dr. Larry Wolfenbarger,
the business division’s chairman. “There’s a lot
of pent-up demand in this area for a business degree that is high-quality
and convenient, and we’re meeting that need.”
Leslie Bannister, left, a senior
accounting major, talks to two students at a recent event
for MSC students deciding on their majors.
by Sheron Smith
Accounting majors are excited about the addition of new faculty
with top-notch credentials. Besides Cecil, Macon State has recently
added two accounting faculty members with impressive records of
college teaching and private sector experience as CPAs: Mimi Ford
(who also holds a law degree from Mercer University) and Dr. Harry
“They really challenge you here,” said Stacey Walker,
22. “I know I’m getting a good education from people
who have professional accounting experience. I’m learning
a lot of new things, and I enjoy the orderliness of accounting.”
Amy Minick, 26, has already earned her bachelor’s degree
in business from Macon State and is now taking additional coursework
to prepare for the Certified Public Accountant’s exam.
The instructors “give me a lot of confidence that I am learning
what I need to know to be successful and pass the CPA exam,”
Minick said. “Pursuing my accounting degree at MSC has been
the best possible experience I could have hoped for.”
MSC business major
Keith Moffett, right, talks with Chip Cherry, president of
the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce. An internship at the
Macon Economic Development Commission led to a full-time job
for Moffett, who graduates this spring.
by Sheron Smith
The business degree’s convenience attracted Keith Moffett,
31, a senior marketing major from Macon. Moffett, who holds an associate
degree in electronics technology from Georgia Military College,
was working at Robins Air Force Base two years ago and, as the married
father of three young children, wanted to finish his bachelor’s
degree in an area that interested him without making a long commute.
His choice of Macon State and the business degree proved serendipitous.
After taking a class from adjunct instructor Pat Topping, senior
vice president for the Macon Economic Development Commission, Moffett
became interested in business and industry recruitment. The College’s
Career Center helped him get an internship with the commission,
which evolved into a full-time job as projects manager.
Moffett is finishing up his bachelor’s degree this semester
and has been accepted to Wesleyan College’s Executive MBA
program. In his dealings with business and industry prospects, Moffett
is a walking testimony to Macon State’s economic value to
“One of the first things they want to know about an area
is what educational opportunities are available,” he said.
“Macon State, with its focus on economic development, is definitely
a selling point.”
The business degree is also popular among more recent high school
graduates now at Macon State.
Shanna Teeple, 22, a senior marketing major from Macon who hopes
for a career in pharmaceutical sales, said she chose the business
degree for its “real life” applications. She chose Macon
State because she wasn’t ready after her graduation from Southeast
High School to go away to a residential university.
“Macon State gave me the flexibility to go to a good school
and live at home with my parents,” she said.
Kelli Barnes, 22, a First Presbyterian Day School graduate who
is finishing her management major, wants to be a computer sales
executive. She thinks the IT component of her business degree will
give her an advantage.
“One thing’s for sure,” she said. “I won’t
be selling something I don’t know anything about.”
To Know More?
Macon State College’s bachelor of science in business
offers major tracks in accounting, general business, management
Accounting: Graduates can find jobs with
private companies, government agencies and non-profit organizations
in auditing, financial, tax, cost or managerial accounting.
Additional coursework beyond the bachelor’s degree is
required for graduates who wish to seek professional certification
as Certified Public Accountants, Certified Management Accountants
or Certified Internal Auditors. Macon State is committed to
making courses available to meet these requirements.
General Business: Students study in each
of the functional areas of business. This major will appeals
to those who desire a broad background in all areas of business.
Management: Students learn production and
operations management, organizational behavior, quantitative
methods, labor relations, human resource management, small
business management and international business.
Marketing: Focuses on consumer
behavior, marketing research, advertising and promotion.
Call the Macon State College Office of Admissions
Learn more about
the bachelor of science
in business at http://www.maconstate.edu/business/baccalaureate.aspx
MSC accounting majors
Dale Shaw, left, and Paula Nash work on their skills in the
College’s accounting lab.
by Sheron Smith