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New Center for Business, Aviation and Entrepreneurship Brings a New Dimension to Learning

New Center for Business, Aviation and Entrepreneurship Brings a New Dimension to Learning

by Brent Wilhite

Thanks to the support of generous donors, dedicated faculty, and ambitious administrators, Westminster's Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business is now home to one of the most technologically advanced facilities for business education in the nation: the new Center for Business, Aviation and Entrepreneurship. This 35,000-square-foot expansion more than doubles the space of the business school and propels Westminster College to the head of business education in Utah.

The college made no compromises in its selection of technology, tools, and design in order to give students the most innovative and relevant education possible. The new center brings technology to the forefront of teaching and learning.

Before designing the center, Dean James (Cid) Seidelman toured the nation's top business schools to examine their facilities, technology, and curricula. Seidelman then went straight to the source the business community and asked what would represent the ideal business education for future employees. After considering all the input, Seidelman and his team designed the center and redesigned the curriculum, to fill the needs of the business community, integrating theory and hands-on practical experience.

The Center for Financial Analysis
The Center for Financial Analysis showcases Westminster College's determination to be a leader at combining education and technology. Here, a unique integration of theoretical and practical elements of finance provides students with real-world investment experiences.

Students can test solutions to finance problems with both live markets and historical data. They can access powerful business information available through Reuters, one of the world's foremost financial information providers. In this setting, students develop into financial professionals who can think critically, analyze data, and make sound investment decisions.

Only a few select campuses in the U.S. have facilities of this caliber: Carnegie Mellon University, MIT, the University of Texas, and Bentley College.

Aviation Simulation and Testing Center
Enhancing Westminster's nationally recognized aviation program is the new Sam and Aline Skaggs Aviation Center. This new center houses both single- and dual-crew flight simulators, instructor consoles, and a glass-cockpit jet simulator. Following simulated flights, students can receive feedback from instructors in the attached offices and debriefing rooms. In addition, a computerized testing center provides Westminster aviation students the opportunity to complete FAA certification exams at this convenient on-campus location.

Entrepreneurship Center and Program
The Entrepreneurship Center and Program at Westminster offers students practical experience by working with new and emerging companies. It connects students with entrepreneurs with plans to start and build organizations. Students gain first-hand experience in the challenges and rewards of creating new ventures.

In designing the facility, planners paid particular attention to ensuring the college remains at the forefront of entrepreneurial education. Team simulations relating to business negotiations, venture capital presentations, focus groups, teamwork exercises, and interviews can be recorded and projected into adjacent classrooms from the Behavioral Simulation and Team Learning Lab.

Other facilities in the center include an executive conference suite featuring state-of-the-art interactive video conferencing to connect Westminster with the global business community; a computer-based Business and Technology Application Laboratory featuring business applications, and software in accounting, management information systems, management, and marketing; Interactive Classrooms that allow professors to move away from formal lecture formats to team interactions; and Mentor Team Rooms that provide space for students to work with companies and that can be used for breakout sessions during class.