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Change is a good thing for FM business division

To succeed in business and in life, one must be able to change an adapt to new technologies, strategies and situations.

Change can be difficult for many people, but with practice, one can learn to, at least professionally, embrace change.

At Fulton-Montgomery Community College the business division is committed to helping students learn to develop their flexibility and adaptability.

For example, last year our college store, Raider Trader, offered a new program where faculty could select to have their textbooks offered to students digitally. The cost of the text is automatically added to the students’ bill at a significant cost savings compared to the hard copy version. Students seamlessly access their textbooks on or before the first day of class through our online learning management system, Blackboard.

When this concept was first introduced to the business students, some were apprehensive as they were accustomed to having a physical book. The business faculty encouraged students to be open to this change, as they would see many technology changes over the course of their careers.

The business division ran the digital textbook program, Follett Access, in the Spring 2020 term.

Even the apprehensive students embraced the new format and quickly realized how convenient it was to not have to lug around heavy books, be able to access their text from anywhere, have their books available on the first day of class, and save a significant amount of money (The Marketing textbook for Fall 2019 was approximately $165, the Spring 2020 digital text was about $48.).

For any student who still wanted a hard copy of the text, it could be purchased at the bookstore for a discount as long as they also kept the digital access. Of the 244 who students participated in the Follett Access Pilot program in Spring 2020, which is represents nearly all the students enrolled in business, accounting and economic courses in the Spring, less than a handful opted to solely use a hard copy text.

The digital textbook is one example of the business division at FM preparing students for the future. We have been offering some of our degrees fully online for about twenty years. In addition to fully online courses, we have also offered Flex Mode and web enhanced courses.

The use of the Blackboard software was integrated into business classes long before the switch to distance learning in March, 2020. For example, students submit all their written assignments in Blackboard, which was a change faculty had to embrace. It turned out perfectly for faculty; we can grade anywhere and no worries about spilling coffee on a student’s paper. It is also great for students; no spending money on printing.

During this unprecedented time, online and distance learning have become necessary to keep people safe and healthy. The FM business faculty are experienced, prepared and excited to help students learn in the remote environment. We understand that for many students, online learning is not their preferred method for earning a college degree, but we are confident, just as we were with the digital textbook, that once exposed to well-developed courses by experienced faculty, they will find many benefits.

Students will gain practice with new technologies, experience communicating in the digital environment, and become comfortable with change. All these experiences will serve them well as they head to careers where these skills will always be in demand.

The following business degrees are available, AS Business Administration. (designed for seamless transfer) AAS Management, AAS Marketing, AAS Accounting and AAS Administrative Assistant. Need help deciding? Just ask Alex who is always at the ready to help (ahenders@fmcc.suny.edu).

This article was written by Alexandra S. Henderson, Associate Professor Business and Academic Advisor at Fulton-Montgomery Community College.

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