“Students come first,” explained David Conklin, President of Jamestown Business College. “It’s just that simple.” Conklin joined the faculty of JBC thirty years ago and immediately learned the school’s basic philosophy: “Whatever is best for the student is good for the college.”
Jamestown Business College, JBC, was founded in 1886 “…to qualify young men and women for office requirements at low cost to those whose inclinations and ambitions lead them to business pursuits.”
Today, 126 years later, JBC students continue to satisfy their business ambitions at JBC at ever higher academic levels. JBC now offers a 2-year Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree, a 4-year Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) degree and, through a newly formed transfer agreement with Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania, a Master in Business Administration (MBA) Degree.
“One of the comments I enjoy hearing the most at JBC,” Conklin said, “is, ‘Oh, I didn’t know you could do that here,’ whether I hear it from a prospective student or a corporate president looking for new talent.” A major source of new programs and degree tracks is an ongoing survey of the needs of the business community of Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania. “Local needs are relevant because most of our students are local and most stay in the region after they graduate,” Conklin explained.
Eighty to 90 percent of JBC’s faculty, and most of the administration, come from the corporate world, according to Conklin. “They know what business will need from our graduates. And at the start of every academic year we send the faculty out again to take the pulse of corporations and institutions our students will he head for when they graduate. Our faculty has a passion to make their teaching relevant.”
Jamestown Business College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education which assures compliance with core values published in Characteristics of Excellence in Higher Education. “Our faculty has achieved a degree of excellence,” Conklin said, “such that our BBA graduates may be eligible to waive up to 18 Gannon University MBA credits and complete both the BBA and MBA degrees within four and one quarter years of first entering JBC.”
Business in the 21st Century moves fast. Employees entering the business world today need the right skills to move up quickly. The faculty of JBC, based in part on their own wide ranging business experience, has identified a set of critical skills not usually taught in traditional college classrooms.
A specialized program called EDGE, a curriculum element for the last 10 years at JBC, provides practical and academic training in Etiquette, Dress, Goals and Ethics for the business environment. Accepted business etiquette and dress can make the difference
between a successful job interview and a string of lost opportunities. These are referred to as ‘soft’ skills, as critical but not traditionally academic. Goal setting and ethics are ‘hard’ skills, taught through practical case studies and academics.
Ethical challenges in business have been at the heart of national and global economic news for the last few years. “We integrate case studies in ethics and exercises in ethical behavior throughout the curriculum,” Conklin emphasized. “Ethical business practice is a core value for us.”
According to Rosanne Johanson, JBC Dean of Student Affairs, “The combination of hard and soft-skill training gives JBC Graduates the win-win combination that is essential in today’s business environment.”
“We’ve had rave reviews on our graduates, because of EDGE,” said Jessica Golley, Director of Communications and Marketing. “So we’ve introduced an advanced program of the same kind, called LEAD; Leadership, Effectiveness, Accountability and Diversity, into the Bachelor Degree program.”
“But if you want to succeed, you’ve got to get your hands dirty,” President Conklin said with a knowing smile. “You’ve got to get out and see what your studies really mean in the working world. One of our students, for instance, is currently interning with Disney in Florida. She’s earning credits in Organizational Behavior. The mixture of coursework and employment is the kind of learning experience I call ‘getting your hands dirty’.”
Another advantage of “getting your hands dirty” is that practical work tied to the curriculum may also help pay the bills while studying. More than 90 percent of JBC students also receive financial aid.
Katelyn, a BA student in Hospitality Management, explained, “From the start, the team at JBC has made me feel right at home. They made the application and financial process easier and really helped me make good choices for my career.”
Electronic communication is a critical skill in the modern workplace. “Our evening students attend classes in person on Tuesday and Thursday nights,” Golley said. “But their Saturday morning session is done on-line, with participation by video, voice and text. While they learn the course material they also learn about web conferencing, internet etiquette and technology.”
Mitch, a BA degree student in Marketing and Management, said, “I chose JBC because I knew I’d get individual attention from instructors and that I’d actually get to know the people in my classes. I also really like my new schedule – I can easily fit in school and my part-time job.”
Jamestown Business College recognizes that many students can no longer follow a traditional college schedule but must add employment and family responsibilities to their daily lineup. The “Schedule for Success” provides a day track, day courses that end in the
early afternoon and an evening course track that also includes a Saturday morning session. Students can select either schedule for success to suit their needs. Both schedules are full time programs.
“Most of our success stories are not dramatic,” Conklin explained. “Our success stories are simply about people finding good jobs and satisfaction in careers they enjoy. We have thousands of stories like that, of people just getting the life they wanted.”
“What I want most for people to know about JBC,” president Conklin added, “is how special our college is and what we have here. JBC is a wonderful resource for our region.”
For more information, readers can log on to jamestownbusinesscollege.edu, call 716-664-5100, text 716-640-o631 or schedule a visit to the campus at 7 Fairmount Avenue, Jamestown, New York, 14702-0429.