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Professional and Community Education

Equipping businesses in multiple sectors with in-depth business expertise and continuing education is a long-standing tradition in OU's SBA. Now housed in the CIBRE, the SBA will continue providing outstanding professional education in financial planning, paralegal and CPA certification, the preparation of professionals (accounting, engineering, teachers and others), product management and advanced placement.

In addition, CIBRE will expand outreach activities and partnerships to address critical educational and economic issues - from the retraining and re-education of business professionals and displaced workers as well as advising businesses on key issues such as hiring and training, starting up or expanding in the marketplace, retooling to remain competitive and much more.

  • Business Futures Council (BFC): The driving force behind the SBA's BFC, founded in 2007, is to bring senior executives from various industries together to engage them in a dialog on future business trends and challenges. Segregated by industry, executives from manufacturing, IS leadership, health care, and global and entrepreneurial companies were invited to begin meeting in 2008 for intense discussions about critical issues such as: what should education in this field look like; what educational components can the SBA develop; what experiential activities should SBA students be encouraged to explore; and the role industry can play in education. Bridging the gap between academic theory and real-world practice, the BFC participants work together to better educate and prepare future employees while shaping future research projects. BFCs in other segments are planned for 2009 including entrepreneurship, global business education, IS leadership, health care management and others.

  • Events to Share Knowledge: To bridge the gap between theory and practice. SBA organizes several forums, symposia and conferences in topics ranging from information technology (applied technology, IS leadership), economics (Gorlin Lectures), marketing (Issue forums) and others (cultural sensitivity in global business, lean management and health care management). CIBRE will continue to host such forums to educate students, faculty and working professionals on contemporary issues.

  • Community Support: Business schools have the unique opportunity to support economic development. CIBRE seizes this opportunity by continuing to support the ongoing work SBA faculty conduct with non-profit and governmental organizations as well as small businesses. By sharing the knowledge and expertise of business faculty, CIBRE will continue to provide necessary support to businesses - small and large - as they face today's key challenges.

    SBA faculty and student participation in projects such as operational consolidation with Family Services Alliance (Oakland, Macomb and Detroit), Legacy project (with Rochester Hills organization), Resource repository project (with Rochester Mayor's office) demonstrate CIBRE's commitment to support such community engagement. The SBA's current and ongoing participation in activities of Detroit Export Consortium (DEC) and Automation Alley, Detroit Entrepreneurship Institute and Detroit Black Expo also demonstrates this commitment.

  • Professional Education: Regardless of industry, employment rates and the economy, professional development is an investment that pays immediate and long range dividends for individuals and the local economy. In response to the economic need and opportunities in Southeastern Michigan, the SBA is working with Michigan Works to develop and expand a number of new programs to retain our work force and prevent brain drain. The CIBRE offers individuals and business partners a variety of seminars, workshops and programs to help those looking to enhance or learn new skills to advance in their careers or expand their career possibilities.

    New and established certificate programs offer residents a chance to take positive action during economically challenging times by assisting individuals retool for new careers or enhance current skills for job security or advancement. Through CIBRE, the SBA offers high quality and respected programs:

    Established accredited certificate programs include:

    • Certified Financial Planning: Only 15 programs nationally are 20 years or better. Instructors from the SBA's program sit on the CFP Board of Standards. financial planning review. A CFP ethics course is available online.
    • Paralegal: One of the oldest and respected ABA-sponsored programs
    • Automotive Product Development Management
    • Various review programs and workshops including quantitative methods, project management, and appraisal

    New program offerings in development include:

    • Health Care Worker Certifications
    • Product Life Cycle Management Certificate
    • Post bachelor's certificate in special areas
    • Business Law on contracts and intellectual property


  • Expanded Outreach: Community Learning and Education

    CIBRE's focus also includes the important element of youth education. Several community-based programs support educating youth in ways that prepare them for success in higher education, business and life.

    • Financial Literacy: A partnership between OU's SBA and the YMCA will provide approximately 4,500 children - grades kindergarten through eighth grade - an important foundation in financial literacy in 2009, thanks to a program partly funded by United Way. Financial literacy is an important skill at any time, but even more so as the nation faces a significant economic crisis. The SBA's long and successful history in providing value for the financial and investment industries community - and particularly the high caliber of its longstanding Certified Financial Planning (CFP) program - will ensure that a strong and successful curriculum in financial literacy education will be developed and implemented for this important YMCA program.

    • Oakland Schools Partnership: Through partnerships with various schools in Oakland County, the CIBRE provides a nationally reputed Advanced Placement teacher education program, an award-winning entrepreneurship program for economically disadvantaged youth and expanded programs for youth that include a join business and engineering camp and a business entrepreneurship camp.

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