As part of a five-year strategic plan launched in 2012, DSU was granted approval from the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education to transition from the Department of Business and Management to the School of Business and Entrepreneurship.
The school’s mission is to educate and prepare skilled, principled and entrepreneurial graduates who will have a positive impact in their professions, their companies and their communities. Accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education, SoBE offers five bachelor fields of study – accounting, administration, finance, human resource management and international business – along with an associate’s degree program and three certificate programs.
“It’s grown into something that’s much larger than a department,” said Holly Gruhlke, chair of the School of Business and Entrepreneurship. “The re-titling of the department to the School of Business and Entrepreneurship is recognizing that that structure has changed; we no longer fall under the department umbrella.”
This change also coincides with the Small Business Development Center being added to the campus last year, serving as an entrepreneurship outreach to the community.
“With the combination of those two events, we wanted to align our curriculum for our students more correctly with where we were and how we can help them,” said Dr. Thomas Mitzel, Dickinson State University president. “Entrepreneurship right now has become such a major focus across the U.S. One of the things that’s talked about for the U.S. to remain competitive going forward is that we need to be producing more entrepreneurs. People learn about entrepreneurship in various ways, but if we can help with that aspect, then we’re doing our jobs much better and preparing our students.”
As education and the business world continues to evolve, DSU leaders continue to look forward.
“Hopefully, we will have a master’s program,” Gruhlke said. “It’s a lengthy process; any time that you add in a new program, there is a lot of steps that you have to go through. We have to make sure that we are not overlapping the other opportunities at the master’s degree level at the other state schools.
“We’re focusing on the entrepreneurship side, so we are looking at adding a master’s in science in entrepreneurship. I can see that and additional accreditation happening. We knew that for our programs to stay on the cutting edge, we’ll be looking at the possibility of bringing in some technology-related courses, looking at analytics and even things like business journalism.”