Senior business students take the MFT electronically

Senior business students take the MFT electronically

The Montana State University College of Business is now administering a new test that compares its students to students across the nation, and so far, College of Business students are measuring up quite well.

College of Business seniors enrolled in the Senior Seminar (a required course usually taken during the final semester before graduation) are now required to take the Major Field Test (MFT) - Business. The MFT-Business is a standardized test administered by Educational Testing Services (ETS), the same testing facility that administers the SAT and GRE. The test is designed to measure a student s knowledge of business and their ability to apply significant concepts, theories, and analytical methods to practical business problems.

Dr. Bill Brown, professor of business management, said that, since the summer of 2005 all graduating seniors have been required to take the MFT-Business and thus far 242 College of Business students have completed the assessment. Students can compare their individual performance to that of approximately 110,000 business seniors who have taken the MFT-Business since 2004. Brown said that Much to our pleasure, the average scores of our MSU College of Business students has consistently been at the 90th percentile as compared to the averages from 513 other institutions across the nation who have also utilized the assessment. It is truly gratifying.

The MSU College of Business, which is accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), is up for reaccreditation in 2008. One of the central tenets of our mission is that we seek to provide our students with knowledge of current business practices and theory and to be conversant in the language of business, said Brown. Instead of asking [the AACSB] to take our word for the fact that we are doing a good job of that, this test is a way to compare the business knowledge and skills of our students to students around the country.

When asked about the success of MSU s College of Business students, Dean Rich Semenik said, We are, of course, very pleased with these results which show our students have superior knowledge and skills relative to the majority of business graduates across the country. The Bracken Center for Excellence in Undergraduate Business Education in the College has most certainly had a primary effect on student skill development. The small classes, which are all taught by a highly skilled faculty member, give our students the personalized attention they deserve in their quest to prepare themselves for the challenges of a business career.

Students, who typically take the electronic test during their final semester, are able to get immediate results, which indicate their placement among all other students participating. They can also see how well they scored in sub-categories, such as the business option they are enrolled in or economics. Alan Poole, a marketing student graduating this fall, said, The MSU professors do a very good job of providing a well rounded education. Even though you may be in a finance class, a marketing class, a management class, or an accounting class, the professors go beyond the scope of that subject to apply the terminology to real world business scenarios. He continued, I think that is what helps us to do so well on the field test. It is basically a culmination of four years of study.

Students enrolled in this fall s Senior Seminar will be the next group of students to take the MFT. Brown said, We have really excellent students. They are hard working, they are conscientious, and they respond well to the course of instruction. He continued, saying that in seeing such scores, We are reassured that we are getting something right about our curriculum and approach to teaching.