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Frostburg State University Fosters Business and IT Careers With SAP® University Alliances Program
08/01/2011

Students Gain Competitive Edge by Learning Current, Essential IT Skills

FROSTBURG, Md. — Frostburg State University has joined the SAP® University Alliances program, a global endeavor that provides university faculty members with the tools and resources to teach how technology can enable integrated business processes and strategic thinking. Students gain hands-on experience with state-of-the-art enterprise resource planning software and develop skills relevant to their careers and chosen fields.

“FSU sees this partnership with SAP University Alliances as a significant strategic opportunity to equip its students with technological- and process-fluency and problem-solving abilities that will prepare them to seek out high-end careers in industry and government in a global knowledge economy,” said Dr. Sudhir Singh, associate dean of FSU’s College of Business and part of the faculty team that brought SAP and FSU together. The program is a collaboration of the College of Business and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The partnership between SAP and FSU will embed the enterprise resource planning (ERP) curriculum into specific courses in business and computer science academic programs. Specifically, undergraduate courses in management information systems, accounting information systems and operations management within the College of Business, as well as computer-based information systems and knowledge-based systems in the Department of Computer Science will incorporate ERP coverage. The program is scheduled to be piloted as early as fall 2011.

“It is important for our students to have hands-on experience with tools that are an integral part of global business,” said FSU President Jonathan Gibralter. “In addition, we are supporting employers looking for workers skilled in using SAP software. The SAP University Alliances program allows us to prepare the next generation of knowledge workers to be productive with SAP software solutions and intelligently apply information technology in a business context.”

“This new program is part of FSU’s ongoing effort to continuously improve employment opportunities for our graduates,” said Dr. Ahmad Tootoonchi, dean of the College of Business. Among the numerous Fortune 500 companies that are using SAP Business Suite applications is ATK, one of the largest employers in the Potomac Highlands.

“SAP has become an important tool in the fields of engineering and information technology to provide complex project management,” said Dr. Joseph Hoffman, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “Our partnership with SAP University Alliances will enable the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines to prepare our graduates with the tools and skills necessary for success in their fields.”

Campus point people for the program are Singh and Dr. Joanna Burley Shore in the College of Business and Dr. Brad Rinard and Hoffman in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The SAP University Alliances program is a global initiative with more than 1,000 member campuses in more than 60 countries. Through the program, professors and students are given access to the same software used by SAP customers and partners, including SAP® Business Suite applications such as the enterprise resource planning application SAP® ERP. This comprehensive business software suite supports business and information technology programs, helping students put classroom theory into practice through demonstrations, exercises and problem-solving, case studies and academic projects. SAP donates licenses for its software at no cost to member universities and technical institutes for use in disciplines such as management, operations research, accounting, finance, marketing, and information technology and computer science.

SAP University Alliances provides valuable services tailored to FSU’s needs, including:

• The SAP University Alliances community – The program features an advanced, interactive web portal designed for the academic population worldwide that connects faculty, students, SAP customers and partners, and SAP internal experts.

• Hosting services – FSU gains access to SAP Business Suite software via hosting from an SAP-licensed, nonprofit University Competence Center, which means FSU will not need to invest in costly data center infrastructure to participate in the program.

• Curriculum support – SAP sponsors new curriculum efforts in the academic community to build a collection of ready-to-use, faculty-developed course materials that can be shared among member campuses. SAP curriculum will be incorporated into courses within both the computer science majors within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and majors within the College of Business.

• Professional development and networking – FSU professors can take advantage of free SAP-sponsored curriculum workshops offered during semester breaks and annual academic conferences for members.

SAP is the world’s leading provider of business software, offering enterprise resource planning (ERP), business intelligence (BI) and related applications and services that enable companies of all sizes and in more than 25 industries to become best-run businesses. Global demand for certified SAP professionals increases every year, and SAP is dedicated to helping universities enable students to hit the ground running at companies using SAP software.

Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 12 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. All programs offered by FSU’s College of Business are accredited by AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. For more information, visit www.frostburg.edu or facebook.com/frostburgstateuniversity.

Web Address for More Information: http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/uac

For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589
E-mail: news@frostburg.edu