Why I Love Hope’s Economics and Business Department

Stacy's diagram Economics and Business -- CFL Philosophy

Hope’s Economics and Business Department is projected to graduate 1.5x as many students as it did 3 years ago.   The number of students declaring Management as a major is likewise rocketing higher.  CFL is growing right along with EB.  Why the growth?

People Matter.

We’ve got great people on our bus!

Philosophy Matters.

We seek to give students exposure to various business disciplines and experiences early in their academic journey to give them better data for making major and career choices.  In other words, we seek to help students discern their gifts and calling early in their college experience.   This is a real advantage of a small Christian liberal arts school!

Metaphors Matter.

We see ourselves as a bridge to engagement at work and well-being after college.  Students get on that bridge when the choose Hope College.  EB is working hard to expose Management majors to the various disciplines of business already in their sophomore year (via MGMT 222: Management and its Wednesday afternoon labs) and experiences in their sophomore and junior years (via MGMT 331: Marketing, a project-based class, and CFL Consulting and CFL Incubator experiences).

Another important metaphor is journey.  College is journey.   A liberal arts education is a journey — a journey to help us all to discover our gifts and calling — to have integrity with gifts (self) and calling (God).   That may be leadership at its core.

Program Matters.

Thus Hope students exploring Economics and Business as a career spend approximately 1/3 of their required credit hours to complete the requirements of the liberal arts core, approximately 1/3 to complete the requirements of a major, and 1/3 for electives.  The liberal arts and then the major and then electives are a way to discern, and develop, and deploy one’s gifts and calling — as a journey toward a destination that hopefully gets clearer as time goes on.

That is very different from the process of choosing a career and a major and then a college when one is 18 years old.   The simple fact is that we don’t know what we don’t know.   Therefore we need to start out with a broad education and then slowly begin to narrow it.

Guided Exposure and Experiences.

Thinking about students term well-being and engaging them in guided experiences is putting students first.

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