BCOM Certificate Advances Skills, Careers
By Mike Boley, Ross Hellenbrand, Scott Liebelt, Mike Vonasek
Each year, many students enroll in College of Business programs to pursue their bachelor’s degree. By taking a variety of courses, students can gain practical, real-life information pertaining to the business world. However, some students may be unaware of additional certificates available within the College of Business.
The Advanced Business Communications (BCOM) Certificate, created in 1993 by members of the former Business Education and Administrative Management Department, seeks to develop an individual’s oral, written, interpersonal and group communication skills. These skills are highly valued in the workplace.
“Many employers select UW-Eau Claire over schools like Madison because of our graduates’ strong business communications background,” said Dr. Jack Hoggatt, chair of the Business Communication department.
Since the program began, approximately 70 students have attained the business communication certificate each year, according to Hoggatt.
The BCOM certificate had its beginnings in a single, three-credit course all business students were required to take. This single course was replaced by six, two-credit courses: two business writing courses, two business presentation courses, a business technology course and an advanced business communication course. Students must complete five of the courses to attain the BCOM certificate.
Students who choose to pursue the BCOM Certificate do so for several reasons. One motive is to strengthen their communication and interpersonal skills in various business settings. Another is to give themselves an advantage over other students who are pursuing the same career paths.
Jon Metcalf, a junior human resources major, first learned about the certificate and its benefits from business communication lecturer Keith Sterns. Since then, Metcalf has completed two of the required courses and already sees an improvement in his writing and speaking skills.
“There have been a lot of ways my communication skills have improved,” he said. “I learned how to write professional business documents, became more proficient at interviewing for internships, and most importantly, have improved my public speaking skills.”
However, Metcalf advises students to be aware of the B- grade requirements and the work involved within each course.
“Don’t be fooled by the courses being two credits,” said Metcalf. “They are just as demanding, if not more, than a three-credit course.”
The BCOM Certificate is offered to all students upon approval of the department chair. Students interested in registration should contact Dr. Jack Hoggatt -Schneider 117- or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information regarding the BCOM certificate, visit the business communication department's website.
» View BCOM certificate requirements
Mike Boley, far left, is a junior print journalism major from Eden Prairie, MN; Ross Hellenbrand, middle left, is a junior information systems major from Middleton, WI; Scott Liebelt, middle right, is a senior management major from Eau Claire, WI; Mike Vonasek, far right, is a senior finance major from Eau Claire, WI. They wrote this article for their BCOM Advanced Writing class.