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Bentley University Launches General Business Core Requirement Using Enterprise Resource Planning Software from SAP
Beginning this fall, Bentley University will require all junior-year business students to take a Business Processes and Systems course. A key component of the course is the use of SAP ERP software.
“The requirement is fairly unique among business schools,” says Catherine Usoff, professor of information and process management at Bentley. “Most members of the SAP University Alliances Program offer elective courses that include SAP. But requiring such a course in the general business core is fairly unique in our area.”
SAP is the world’s leading provider of business software, offering enterprise resource planning (ERP), business intelligence (BI) and related applications and services that enable companies of all sizes and in more than 25 industries to become best-run businesses. Bentley incorporated SAP into the curriculum more than a decade ago; in the Accountancy department curriculum in 1998 and the full-time MBA program in 1999. Recent developments are the inclusion of SAP in the required undergraduate course and an elective course on enterprise system configuration. In the configuration course, undergraduates worked with Boston Scientific, an SAP user. Participating employees acted as mock clients, providing the students with a realistic and enriching learning experience.
“Most large companies use SAP or a similar application to support their business processes across the organization,” Usoff notes. “Through hands-on experience with SAP, students learn not only how such a large enterprise system works, but also how the various parts of the organization are integrated. The resulting knowledge will enable Bentley students to be better informed business leaders at earlier stages of their careers.”
Bentley is a member of the SAP® University Alliances program, a global endeavor that provides university faculty members with the tools and resources necessary to teach students how technology can enable integrated business processes and strategic thinking, and gives students the skills to add immediate value to the marketplace. Students who participate in the program gain hands-on experience with state-of-the-art software and grow skills relevant to their careers and chosen fields.
In April, Bentley faculty members Alina Chircu, chair and associate professor of information and process management, and Jane Fedorowicz, Rae D. Anderson Professor of Accounting and Information Systems, were keynote speakers at Americas' SAP Users' Group (ASUG) New England Chapter Meeting in Norwood, Mass. As part of a joint presentation on the SAP University Alliance program and its benefits for ASUG members, Fedorowicz and Chircu presented an overview of Bentley’s school profile, program history and content with SAP, and benefits to students and employers.
The Yawkey Foundations have recognized Bentley University’s longstanding commitment to service-learning and awarded the university $500,000 to educate students to effectively lead nonprofit organizations and expand student efforts to help community groups.