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OWU Business Department prioritizes both liberal arts principles and professional skills in teaching students

The choice to study finance or business at Ohio Wesleyan University is different from other liberal arts schools and public universities, including Denison University, and Ohio State University. 

One distinction between larger public universities such as Ohio State University and Ohio Wesleyan University is the class sizes. 

Professor Goran Skosples mentioned teaching a 300-student class and being a teaching assistant for a 700-student class at a larger university. Attendance was not required except for exams. 

He put it into perspective of how his role changed when he started at Ohio Wesleyan. 

“I am like a lifting coach, you can get a gym membership and sign up and not go, but I consider myself as the coach that pushes people to come to class and get out of bed each day.” 

Professor Barbara MacLeod believes Ohio Wesleyan is special. 

“Last week I went to Ohio Wesleyan's tennis match, and a guy on the team's friend from Ohio State came to watch. He couldn’t believe that his professor from Ohio Wesleyan came to his friend's match.”

Another difference is that Ohio Wesleyan offers fewer electives than Ohio State and other larger schools due to its smaller student population. However, they compensate by rotating classes every other year or between fall and spring semesters to keep course offerings fresh and interesting for students. 

In comparison with Denison, another small school similar in size to Ohio Wesleyan. Ohio Wesleyan is not strictly liberal arts based in the finance and economics departments, they follow an accounting based teaching method. Whereas Denison offers a more liberal arts approach. 

Ohio Wesleyan is the first liberal arts college in Ohio to start offering the business and “professional” way of teaching. Denison still doesn’t have a true finance major, but they have economics with finance classes and some in the math department. 

Ohio Wesleyan already offers a plethora of electives in the accounting and economics departments while Denison has very few. Ohio Wesleyan was considering adding on a business analytics class, but the more the departments thought about it, it’s not a draw for more students, as intro to business is already offered. 

Ohio State's undergrad occurs within their Fisher College of Business school, and offers mainly “profession-like” classes, as opposed to Ohio Wesleyan and Denison. You have to apply to the business school, and they draw a large emphasis on research. 

Haley Thomas, an Ohio State junior in strategic communication major, says graduate students are more involved in teaching at OSU. 

“My Spanish class is taught by a graduate student. She's working for her masters. There is also a teaching assistant who is teaching my math class.”

Many of Ohio State’s courses are taught by either graduate students, or a teaching assistant. And maybe one day a week, a professor will come in. At Ohio Wesleyan, all of our faculty have worked in their field, and sometimes still do. This helps students to be taught from a more practical and theoretical standpoint.

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