IBC Program Makes Headway

by Victoria Stearns, Public Relations Writer

Cedarville University’s School of Business Administration is becoming the leader in biblical, innovative business education with its Integrated Business Core (IBC) program. The IBC program has provided an innovative hands-on experience for over 500 students, since its inception in 2002. 

The IBC program includes three core business classes, marketing, management and finance, which prepare students for the rigorous activities of the fourth class, the IBC practicum. In the practicum, students form their own company, write a business plan, obtain a loan based on the approval of a ‘board’ of business professionals and implement their plan, leading to a profitable business. While running their company, students choose a local non-profit organization and donate all of their profits at the end of the semester. In addition, each student provides a minimum of 10 hours of work to that non-profit organization. 

The IBC program breaks down the “silo mentality” present in traditional approaches to business education and helps students develop a more cross-disciplinary view of business. The IBC gives students practical, real-life experience of “doing” what they have studied along with more ownership of the learning process.

 Micah Brant, small business unit director within the 2013 IBC said, “IBC is the experience of a life time. It gives you real business experience that you will use out in the real world.” In the years since the program’s inception, more than 530 students have participated, and they have donated $45,100 and 5,900 hours of service to nonprofit organizations. 

The IBC program’s success has recently gained attention in the Washington Post. The story written by Casey Ark entitled, “I Studied Computer Science, not English. I Still Can’t Find a Job,” focuses on the struggle some college graduates encounter in the job market due to their conceptually-- based educations and how Cedarville’s hand-on approach to business strategy has equipped many CU graduates for successful careers in business. 

Ark commended Cedarville’s IBC simulation. The result of the program, as he describes in the article, is a “concrete learning experience that allows students to try their hand at their field of study and actually apply some of the concepts they’ve learned.” Cedarville also has the highest ranked CPA pass rate among all universities in Ohio. This fact, along with the IBC program, lends itself to success for graduates from Cedarville’s school of business.  

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,620 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings.