VSB Core Curriculum Highlights

image Michelle Casario teaching

VSB students begin taking business courses in their freshman year and continue to fulfill VSB core requirements during sophomore year.  In junior and senior years, students focus on major and minor coursework.

Freshman Year | Sophomore Year | Junior Year | Senior Year

Freshman Year

All VSB freshmen take Business Dynamics (VSB 1015), a freshman course, emphasizing the overarching purpose of business within society and the manner in which business vision is actualized. The course provides context for students’ business learning experience and integrates global, political, ethical, and technological dimensions of business. Business Dynamics serves as the first step in preparing students to become creative and innovative problem solvers, and seeks to develop analytical, business writing, and presentation skills. VSB Freshmen, also, take Information Technology (VSB 1000), a one-credit freshman online course designed to increase students’ ability to utilize spreadsheets as analytic tools for business decision making and problem solving.

Sophomore Year

In sophomore year, students register for:

  • Financial Management & Reporting (VSB 2030 and VSB2040 or 6 cr. VSB 2010)
  • Competitive Effectiveness (VSB 2020)
  • Strategic Information Technology (VSB 2006)
  • Corporate Responsibility and Regulation (VSB 2007)
  • Business Analytics (VSB 2008)

Financial Management & Reporting (FM&R) and Competitive Effectiveness (CE) are 6-credit, team-taught, courses; one taken in the fall and one taken in the spring semester.  

FM&R presents an integrative perspective in understanding financial issues in business by combining principles of finance and financial accounting. Introducing the basic tools used for financial reporting and decision making, the course enables students to evaluate a firm by understanding underlying business (economic) transactions and their impact on the firm’s financial statements.

CE makes a strong, concrete, graspable link between the core concepts of both marketing and management, and teaches students to learn concepts from multiple disciplines by working on real problems.  It pairs undergraduates with executives at local and regional companies; students have the opportunity to pitch marketing campaigns, including market research, competitive analysis and a budget, as well as individual advertisements, promotional materials and a management analysis, as they work on actual problems rather than historical cases.

Strategic Information Technology (SIT) presents examples of organizational, process, and strategy alignment, and teaches students to clearly recognize key performance measures for business processes in a global economy.  Students further learn to articulate details of implementation lifecycles for enterprise-wide applications, knowledge management, and e-business initiatives.

Corporate Responsibility and Regulation examines the subjects of ethics, regulation, corporate social responsibility, and business law as they relate to business decision-making.  The course emphasizes the need for managers to consider both the legal, regulatory and ethical implications of their conduct, as well as how that conduct could impact on the relationship the business has with government and society.   

Business Analytics teaches students the use of business intelligence and quantitative methods, including statistical analysis, forecasting/extrapolation, predicative modeling, optimization and simulation in the context of organizational decision making and problem solving.  Students gain an understanding of how managers use analytics to formulate and solve business problems to support managerial decision making, and learn how to use and apply selected business analytics software. 

Junior Year

During junior year, students enroll in Managerial Accounting (VSB 3006), Operations Management (VSB 3008), and Global Political Economy (ECO 3108), and begin taking courses to fulfill major and/or minor requirements. 

Managerial Accounting teaches students how management accounting information can be used to help firms achieve strategic goals and profitability objectives.  The course employs an entrepreneurial perspective to examine how managers apply risk measurement and management techniques to business planning and control systems.

Operations Management provides an understanding of the critical role and the contributions made by operations managers in manufacturing and service firms including decision making, forecasting, resource allocation, project management, quality, materials management, technology, and strategy.

In Global Political Economy students learn about the political history, socio-economic conditions, and government policies of various countries and regions to analyze and evaluate the global impact on international trade and monetary relations.

Senior Year

Senior year, students continue to take courses to fulfill major and minor requirements. In addition, all students are required to take Strategic Thinking and Implementation (VSB 4002). This capstone business course teaches students to think strategically and holistically about companies and non-profit organizations from the top down and with a long term, organizational perspective.


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