Volume XXIX, No. 19 • May 20, 2005

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College of Business announces curriculum changes - top

Amin Sarkar

The College of Business and Technology at Black Hills State University has just undergone a revision of their curriculum and course offerings which will enhance the rigor of the business administration program according to Dr. Amin Sarkar, dean of the college.

Curriculum changes include the addition of courses in ethics, business statistics, quantitative decision analysis, and an upper-level economic theory class. The addition of these courses makes the business program more flexible because students have the opportunity to choose from more electives.

Business students at BHSU now have the option of earning a bachelor of science in business administration with one of seven specialization areas: accounting, entrepreneurial studies, health services administration, human resource management, management, marketing, and tourism and hospitality management.

Other bachelor of science degrees offered by the College of Business and Technology include business education, professional accountancy, industrial technology, technology education and applied technical science.

According to Sarkar, modifications to the program provide flexibility by allowing students to select from more electives to pursue business topics of interest to their specific career goals.

Faculty members have been designated as program coordinators and will answer questions from prospective students, help promote the programs, and be involved in the planning and assessment of the programs. For questions on any of the business programs, visit www.bhsu.edu/businesstechnology or contact the program coordinators:

  • Accounting, Randi Ellis, 642-6734
  • Applied Technology Science, Jerry Miller, 642-6387
  • Business Education, Priscilla Romkema, 642-6091
  • Business Services Management, Pat Mackin, 642-6869
  • Entrepreneurial Studies, Priscilla Romkema, 642-6091
  • Health Services Administration, Steve Andersen, 642-6417
  • Human Resource Management, Carrie LeBrun, 642-6876
  • Industrial Education, Tom Termes, 642-6498
  • Industrial Technology, Jerry Miller , 642-6387
  • Management, Verona Beguin, 642-6398
  • Marketing, Patty Bellamy, 642-6868
  • Technology Education, Jerry Miller, 642-6387
  • Tourism and Hospitality Management, Siriporn Sujithamrak, 642-6702.

Business professors publish article about Internet learning in accounting courses - top

Don Altmyer
Pat Mackin

An article authored by Don Altmyer, Black Hills State University associate professor in the College of Business and Technology, and Pat Mackin, BHSU assistant professor, has been accepted for publication in the refereed teaching journal for the Consortium for Teaching, Research, Learning and Development.

The article, Is Academic Success Influenced by Student Learning Preferences in an Internet Based Accounting Course?, researches whether students studying introductory accounting courses learn equally when course content is delivered in a lecture format or in a Web-based format.

Altmyer said the idea for the research began when he delivered his first Internet accounting course in the fall of 1999 and saw a distinct difference in the distribution of grades between the internet course and lecture course.

In the article Altmyer and Mackin present a statistical analysis of data collected over a two-year period in eight Principles of Accounting I and II courses completed by 150 students. Four of the courses were taught in the traditional face-to-face lecture class format and four of the courses were taught in an online format. Students had the option to enroll in either method of delivery. The courses, which were taught by the same instructor, used the same course materials and objective multiple-choice questions. The key difference was a lack of a traditional lecture and class interaction in the online class.

The professors’ research findings showed that Internet students were on average four years older, confirming prior research that internet courses are very popular with non-traditional students. There was, however, no difference in the average test scores of the Internet students and the face-to-face students.

The results did show that test scores in the Internet classes varied according to student learning preferences. Scores were higher in the Internet classes for students who were found to be “active learners” as opposed to “reflective learners.” Active learners in an Internet course can independently pace themselves and actively manipulate the course content, assessments and communications throughout the course. Reflective learners learn by passively observing and listening to instructor lectures and student interactions. Data on student learning preferences and learning styles were determined using Kolb’s Learning Style Survey.

Research findings also showed that students scored better in both modes of content delivery in the Principles of Accounting II courses when the students had “abstract” versus “concrete” learning preferences. The BHSU professors attributed this to the fact that the Principles of Accounting II course has more abstract concepts such as corporate financial statement analysis rather than the mechanical operations of recording journal entries and preparing ledgers and financial statements in the Principles of Accounting I course.

Altmyer received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Duquesne University and his master’s degree in taxation from California State University-Fullerton. He has been a member of the BHSU faculty since 1995.

Mackin has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Montana. He received his doctorate in business administration from Arizona State University. He has been a member of the BHSU faculty since 2002.

Sigma Tau Gamma donates 2,500 books to Youth and Family Services - top

The Black Hills State University fraternity Sigma Tau Gamma recently donated 2,500 books to the Rapid City chapter of Youth and Family Services. The books were collected during the fraternity’s annual national philanthropy project “Books for Kids.”

Each year, during the “Books for Kids” fundraiser, fraternity members collect new or slightly used books for elementary schools that lack the funds to buy books. This year, Sigma Tau Gamma members worked with students from Lead/Deadwood Elementary School and the East Elementary and West Elementary Schools in Spearfish to collect books. The elementary students brought books they were no longer using at home and put them in the classroom donation boxes provided by Sigma Tau Gamma. The two classes from each school that donated the most books received prizes.

“The generosity of our local elementary students surpasses my expectations every year,” said Andy Steele, vice president of Sigma Tau Gamma, “After donating more than 2,000 books each year the last two years, I never expected them to bring in more than 2,000 donations again this year.”

Sigma Tau Gamma members delivered the books to Rapid City for the 2005 Readiatrics Book Drive. Readiatrics, a yearly book drive that supplies new and used books for children in hospitals, shelters and head start programs, then presented the books to Youth and Family Services, their designated recipient for the year.

Sponsors of this year’s “Books for Kids” program were Domino’s Pizza and Lueder’s Food Center. If you would like to donate to or participate in next spring’s “Books for Kids” program, contact Steele at 645-6279.

Custer High School takes top honors in spring stock market game - top

Custer High School recently took top honors in the spring 2005 South Dakota Stock Market Game (SDSMG), sponsored by Black Hills State University. Custer finished the 10-week trading period with $102,568, the highest return on investment (ROI) in the state at 2.57 percent.

A total of 189 teams consisting of 505 students from 25 schools participated in the spring SDSMG. The teams competed in three divisions: middle school (grades four through eight), high school, and college. Each team started the 10-week trading period with a hypothetical $100,000. After conducting online research and stock trading, the teams with the highest ending portfolios in each division received cash awards and prizes.

Four teams competed in the middle school division. Taking top honors was: first place, Milesville, led by Carmen One Skunk, $99,691.

Custer, led by Nancy Gausman, received first place honors out of 154 teams in the high school division. Other top teams in the high school division were: second place, Sioux Falls Washington, led by Ronda Gassmann, $101,986; third place, Wessington, led by Charlotte Mohling, $101,782; fourth place, Douglas, led by Dale Pepper, $101,707; fifth place, Watertown, led by Kathleen Johnson, $101,695; sixth place, Wessington, led by Charlotte Mohling, $101,232; and seventh place, Bridgewater, led by David Eich, $100,800.

The top students in the college division were BHSU students: first place, Chandra Prillwitz, a freshman from Spearfish, with a final portfolio of $101,613, a 1.61 percent ROI; second place, Mackenzie Collin, a junior psychology major from Lakefield, Minn., $100,817; and third place, Alexandria Watson, a junior art major from Black Hawk, $99,802.

The three major market indices for the 10-week trading period produced negative returns on investment. They performed as follows: Dow Jones Industrial Average, $94,090, a -5.91 percent ROI; NASDAQ Composite, $93,020, a -6.98 percent ROI; and S&P 500 Index, $95,600, a -4.44 percent ROI. According to Don Altmyer, associate professor in the College of Business and Technology, SDSMG coordinator, and director for the BHSU Center for Economic Education, most professional portfolio advisors fail to beat these indices over the long term.

The SDSMG, an innovative education tool available in all 50 states, motivates students and supports teachers in building lifelong learning skills. It is the only stock market simulation endorsed by the National Council on Economic Education. Since 1977, more than eight million students have participated in the program.

“Teachers have successfully used the Stock Market Game to enliven core academic subjects including math, social studies and language arts,” Altmyer said. “Research has shown that there is no better way to teach the importance of savings and investing.”

The team registration fee of $10 per team of three or four students includes all teacher materials, student team materials and support, including newsletters with information on the stock market and a variety of business and economic topics to stimulate student discussion in the classroom. Teachers sponsoring seven or more teams receive a free eight-week subscription to the Wall Street Journal to be delivered to their classroom.

The fall 2005 SDSMG will begin Monday, Oct. 3. Registrations will be accepted online at www.smgww.org. Click on the “Register Now” button, follow the prompts to the South Dakota Stock Market Game information page, and click on the “Pre-register Now!” button. Team identification numbers and passwords will be issued immediately. Teacher and student team materials will later be mailed to the school for classroom use.

For further information, visit the SDSMG website at www.bhsu.edu/businesstechnology/cee/stockmarketsimulation.html or contact Altmyer at DonAltmyer@bhsu.edu or 605-642-6266.

The spring 2005 SDSMG was sponsored by the BHSU Center for Economic Education, the Central States Securities Industries Association and the South Dakota Council on Economic Education.

Grant opportunities announced - top

Below are program materials received in the Grants Office, Woodburn 309, through Thursday, May 19. For copies of the information, contact the office at 642-6204 or e-mail requests to grants@bhsu.edu. Fellowship information will also be posted on the Student Union bulletin board near the information desk.

Earth Sciences: Instrumentation and Facilities (NSF)

The Instrumentation and Facilities Program in the Division of Earth Sciences (EAR/IF) of the National Science Foundation (NSF) supports meritorious requests within and across Earth science disciplines. EAR/IF will consider proposals for:

  1. Acquisition or upgrade of research equipment that will advance laboratory and field investigations, and student training opportunities in the Earth sciences
  2. Development of new instrumentation, analytical techniques or software that will extend current research and research training capabilities in the Earth sciences
  3. Support of national or regional multi-user facilities that will make complex and expensive instruments or systems of instruments broadly available to the Earth sciences research and student communities
  4. Support of research technicians who will provide for optimal and efficient operation of advanced instrumentation, analytical protocol development, and user training for Earth science research instrumentation
  5. Development of cyberinfrastructure for the Earth sciences (geoinformatics) that will enable transformative advances in Earth science research and education through novel application, development or adaptation of information technologies

Planned research uses of requested instruments must include basic research on solid-Earth and surface-Earth processes. Support is available through grants or cooperative agreements awarded in response to investigator-initiated proposals. Human resource development and education are expected to be an integral part of all proposals submitted to EAR/IF. Proposals requesting equipment, infrastructure or personnel that will serve disciplines outside the Earth sciences may be jointly reviewed with other programs within the Foundation. EAR/IF will consider co-funding of projects with other NSF programs.

Deadline: See http://fedgrants.gov/Applicants/NSF/OIRM/HQ/05-587/Grant.html for deadlines and complete proposal information.

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