Business and Economic Development

Since the beginning of civilization, metropolitan areas have served as the world's trade centers. These centers are vital to the economy in terms of production and consumption. Business and economic development, therefore, is central to the advancement of the metropolitan area. With a diverse and thriving economy, Springfield and southwest Missouri provide a unique setting for the university's emphasis in business and economic development.

Understanding the free enterprise system within a public affairs context is essential for all persons seeking the opportunity to work and providing for the advancement of society. Southwest Missouri State University has three goals for its emphasis on business and economic development. First, SMSU provides undergraduate, graduate and lifelong learning students with business and economic knowledge, capabilities and values to succeed and adapt in a technologically changing, dynamic global economy. Second, SMSU encourages students to engage in the scholarship of discovery, learning and service, and to convey the results to the broader business and scientific communities. And third, SMSU builds effective partnerships and seeks cooperative opportunities with business, industry and government to benefit students and the public at-large.

The core values that guide the development of this theme must include an understanding of ethical and global issues; the influence of political, social, legal, regulatory, environmental and technological issues; and the impact of demographic diversity on organizations. The character and integrity of the SMSU students, faculty, and alumni must stand out as the single most important element of the business education mix.

In the process of achieving its purpose of developing educated persons, Southwest Missouri State University strengthens the country's work force. Toward this end, SMSU's philosophy is to introduce students not only to academic theory, but also to the practical application of academic work in business situations. This philosophy results in linking the university with business and industry of all types — public and private, large and small, for-profit and not-for-profit.

Combining theory and practical experience for almost a century, the university has provided a resource of graduates in many fields of expertise, thus contributing to the state's economic well-being. SMSU alumni play significant roles in all areas of the economy. They have been and are now the leaders of many of the state's businesses, educational institutions and governmental agencies. The university is committed to continuing to develop well-prepared leaders for business and industry in the new millennium.

SMSU is uniquely positioned to address business and economic issues in both urban and rural settings. Located in a metropolitan setting where business and industry range from large-scale national corporations to small family-owned agriculture-related businesses, faculty members are familiar with a broad spectrum of business problems and challenges. This unique mix of resources provides learning opportunities for students, research opportunities for faculty, and service opportunities within the university and its centers. Accordingly, faculty, students, and alumni must use their SMSU business education to build on a personal commitment to quality so as to make a difference in creating opportunities, innovations, industries and philanthropies that will change business and life in our respective communities.

Selected University assets that support the business and economics development theme

  • SMSU is one of the only four public institutions in Missouri to have an AACSB-accredited College of Business in both the business administration and accounting areas.
  • The university's AACSB-accredited School of Accountancy has a nationally recognized internal auditing curriculum.
  • The Internet-based master's degree in computer information systems, which has attained a ranking in the Top 10 nationally, merges technology and graduate study necessary for leadership in the next millennium.
  • The university has centers and research units in the following areas: business and economic development, scientific research, productivity, resource planning and management, industrial productivity, economic education and research, small business development, and social research. The College of Business Management Development Institute provides professional leadership education and customized career development activities for the business community, industry, and governmental entities. The university's Small Business Development Center, affiliated with the World Trade Center in St. Louis, is an integral part of developing international business opportunities in southwest Missouri. The College of Continuing Education and the Extended University facilitate off-campus BearNet and Internet instruction in business for students throughout southwest Missouri.
  • The Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education provides opportunities for hundreds of students each year to enhance learning with practical work experience.
  • Relationships developed between SMSU and local, state, national, and international businesses and organizations assist the university in developing educated persons. SMSU has a cooperative academic-industry relationship in applied materials research that has been in continuous operation for a number of years. International internships and study programs prepare graduates to work and live in the global community.
  • The two-year programs offered on the West Plains Campus support the business and economic development theme. SMSU-West Plains uses a mobile computer laboratory, university/community programs, and certificate programs, customized training programs, and non-credit outreach programs to meet documented community needs.
  • The SMSU-Mountain Grove Campus, including the State Fruit Experiment Station, provides opportunities for collaborative efforts for the economic benefit of the state.