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Course Descriptions

Below is a sampling of the courses available for the M.S. in Administration program, with the number of associated credit hours beside the course name.

Course Listing

Please note: Course availability and descriptions are subject to change. Refer to the CSU Bakersfield Course Catalog for the most up-to-date information.

Foundation Courses

ADM 5100 Advanced Technical Communications (3)

Principles and practices of writing material particular to science, technology, and specialized professions. Includes expanded definitions, technical descriptions, process explanations, instructional pamphlets, laboratory reports, proposals, writing for the web, communicating with international audiences, and managing effective presentations. Upon completion of the course, students should be able to effectively write various types of technical documents, adapt rhetorical forms to technical communications, and provide constructive feedback regarding written communication in collaborative and leadership settings. Satisfies General Education requirement GWAR.

ADM 5110 Interpersonal Communication Skills (3)

Conceptual and developmental views of interpersonal communication. Theory and practice of effective interpersonal communication. Self, perception, and cultural diversity in interpersonal communication. Skills relating to listening and responding, verbal and nonverbal communication, and conflict resolution. Understanding, developing, and nurturing interpersonal communication relationships with family, friends, and colleagues. Upon completion of the course, students should be able to effectively exercise fundamental interpersonal communication skills, build and nurture interpersonal relationships, provide constructive feedback regarding interpersonal communication in leadership settings, and exercise teamwork skills.

ADM 5200 Quantitative Decision Making (3)

Quantitative methods for solving real world problems encountered in various professions. The hands-on, case-study approach is utilized in the diagnosis of problems and search for statistical solutions. Upon completion of the course, students should be able to formulate research questions and experimental designs, collect and analyze data, estimate models, and interpret statistical results to assist with decision support. Prerequisite: one statistics course.

Core Skills Courses

ADM 5120 Leadership (3)

This course is designed to prepare students to understand and be successful in leadership roles. Topics include historical and contemporary models of leadership, effective leadership behaviors, power and influence, change process, self assessment, personal character in leadership, and leadership in the future. Upon completion of the course, students should be able to assess their own strengths and weaknesses as a leader, inspire and motivate others toward a common purpose, and articulate a personal vision for organizational leadership.

ADM 5140 Benefit-Cost Analysis (3)

Techniques for evaluating the benefits and costs of projects and policies. Topics include time value of money and financial math, decision rules, expected inflation and relative price changes, discount rates, after-tax analysis, replacement analysis, risk and uncertainty, input constraints and benefit cost ratios, and use of cost-effectiveness analysis when goals are mandated. Upon completion of the course, students should be able to use benefit-cost analysis to evaluate projects, utilize spreadsheets to make benefit-cost calculations, and concisely report the assumptions and conclusions of a benefit-cost analysis.

ADM 5150 Project Management (3)

The process of integrating and harmonizing systems, techniques, and people to achieve the desired results of a project within established goals of time, budget, and quality. Upon completion of the course, students should be able to identify a project, articulate its goals and objectives, plan all aspects of its execution, execute and control the project, close out the project, and devise appropriate follow-up activities.

ADM 5160 Program Evaluation (3)

Definition, history, and development of program evaluation. Professional roles, ethics, and standards for the practice of program evaluation are emphasized throughout the course. Topics include development of program goals and objectives, reliability and validity, importance of multiple measures, reporting results, and use of program assessment to plan and implement change. Qualitative and quantitative methods covered include interviewing techniques, focus groups, surveys, and observation. Case studies utilized. Upon completion of the course, students should be able to: (1) evaluate validity, reliability and attainment of ethical/professional standards in various case studies of program evaluation and (2) carry out an effective program evaluation.

ADM 5180 Managerial Economics (3)

Methods and applications of managerial decision-making, covering topics of product and labor demand, production and cost functions, market structure, price and advertising, strategic decision making, decision making under uncertainty, organization architecture, contracts and outsourcing, incentive system, ethics, and leadership. Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to (1) develop greater knowledge of the types of problems faced by business managers; (2) develop intuition concerning how economics helps solve managerial problems; (3) learn the strategic workings of modern firms (i.e., small, large, domestic, and multinational); (4) understand how market organization, corporate culture, and public policy affect business performance; and (5) improve presentation skills, including developing an ability to convey information to others. These objectives are achieved by classroom lectures and discussions, data analysis projects, historical and current events, homework assignments and examinations.

ADM 5250 Human Resource Management Foundation (3)

This course is an examination of the Human Resource foundation. Students will complete a series of projects that focus on the labor market, the external legal environment, and the manager’s view of the employee life cycle (recruiting and selection, training, supervision, and termination). Upon completion of this course, students should be able to analyze the legal and market forces affecting jobs, perform a job analysis, hire an employee, supervise employees, identify initial training needs and methods, and separate an employee from an organization.

Elective Courses

ADM 5240 Organizational Structure and Processes (3)

This course is designed to acquaint students with the principles of organizational environments and structure and the ways in which decision-making, the use of technology, communications, political processes, organizational change, and conflict can be approached more effectively. Students will complete a series of projects in which they use the theories and models discussed in the course to critically examine an actual organization and to generate suggestions for improvement. Upon completion of the course, students should be able to analyze processes in organizations, diagnose organizational effectiveness, develop recommendations for improving effectiveness, and effectively communicate recommendations.

ADM 5260 Dealing with the Difficult Employee (3)

This course examines a topic that has become more important to organizations — the management of human resources. Students will complete a series of projects that focus on supervisory methods (e.g., coaching and counseling), discipline, training, termination, and related legal issues (e.g., unfair termination, sexual harassment, abusive employees). Upon completion of this course students should be able to analyze and interpret the changing legal environment, exercise supervisory methods to effectively manage human capital to meet tactical and strategic organizational goals, and effectively address disruptive employees’ behaviors.

ADM 5270 Contracting and Outsourcing (3)

This course identifies chains of production and marketing processes, considers the conditions under which buying in markets and vertically integrating these processes have inherent strengths and weaknesses, and analyzes the optimal structuring of outsourcing contracts. Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to identify separable production and marketing processes, identify and evaluate outsourcing versus vertical integration alternatives for specific production and marketing processes, and manage outsourcing activities through effective structuring of contracts.

ADM 5280 Strategic Competition (3)

The process for formulating, evaluating, and executing competitive strategies for services, products, and product mixes through identification and analysis of opportunities, challenges, and risks associated with dynamic and uncertain changes within industries in the domestic and international marketplace. Upon completion of this course, students should be able to analyze forces shaping and sustaining competitive advantage in an industry, develop strategies for creating a competitive advantage, and monitor and analyze technological and other trends influencing industry structure.

ADM 6250 Advanced Human Resource Management (3)

This course examines advanced topics in Human Resource Management. Students will complete a series of projects that focus on strategic human resources, selection, staffing planning, compensation, benefits, training, and employee development. Upon completion of this course students should be able to develop new selection methods, devise a plan for filling employment vacancies, develop compensation plans, and identify training and development needs. In addition, each student should be able to integrate information from the various areas for strategic HR planning decisions. Prerequisite: ADM 5250.

Culminating Experience

ADM 6900 Capstone (3)

Each course description in the Catalog ends with a delineation of the intended outcomes. Course assignments will be aligned with these intended outcomes. The capstone course will require compilation of the assignments into a portfolio that is presented to showcase skills attained in the program. Each year, a section of the portfolios will be examined by the Program Committee to assess a component of the academic program. The capstone course also will require completion of a culminating project. Students will propose a project that thoroughly applies and further develops a subset of skills acquired in the program (e.g., ADM 5150 Project Management or ADM 5160 Program Evaluation). To the extent possible, students will be encouraged to complete a work-related project. This will add realism and further their professional advancement.

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