6 Florida Tech Courses You Should Know

With 50 degree and certificate programs in 12 specializations, Florida Tech has many courses for students to choose from. Based on accounts from nine students, there seems to be something exceptional and beneficial for everyone.

Read more about Florida Tech grads’ favorite classes and what made them enjoyable.

1. Organizational Behavior

Negotiation. Attitudes. Human behavior. For students completing an MBA degree, Organizational Behavior is a core course that covers the primary factors that influence decision making in professional settings. Imagine you’re going through a complicated business issue at work. All it could take to solve that issue are some negotiation applications.

According to Jarin Eisenberg, an online instructor who has taught the course, the journey takes students through the process of explaining how they would go about an issue at work and take on the role of consultants who can also offer recommendations for improvement, based on behavior. The “real-life” application, as well as being able to learn to interact with others, are significant reasons why many students enjoy the course.

“The aim of the course was to understand human behaviors in an organizational environment. This was very enlightening for me to understand my coworkers’ actions and attitudes,” said Kareme Thomas, MBA.

Catrina Hopkins, an MSIT grad, also pointed out how the skills learned are now permanent in her professional life.

“No matter what your career choice is or where you work, this class explains the structure of a corporation and just how important corporate culture is.”

Hopkins adds that no matter where she finds herself working in the future, she’s going to apply concepts from the course.

Organizational Behavior also allows students to engage in active listening exercises and discussions about their workplace frustrations, according to Eisenberg.

“Through those discussions, they find commonalities with their peers – they are not alone in their experiences, and that is comforting to know. Then, throughout the term, they learn best practices for combating some of those obstacles or preventing them in the first place. They see that these best practices are achievable and that they can make a difference in their companies and organizations.”

Course concepts: behavior strategies, organizational culture, group interaction

2. Strategic Management

This MBA in Project Management course provides an overview of strategies professionals use to drive business success. Students complete case analyses and simulations that convey the reality of making complex decisions in the business environment. For example, one simulation asks the students to make decisions with real-time data that affect the performance of a company.

Christian Borrero, an MBA in Project Management Florida Tech grad, said it was his favorite class.

“At the end, we ended with a very profitable company, and it was great to know that it was because of the decisions we made as a group.”

For MBA in Project Management grad Mark Mussell, Strategic Management was the “capstone to top the pyramid of knowledge acquired” in the program. “I liked how the course instructor pushed everyone to search and think above and beyond the minimum required.”

For those interested in learning how strategies can impact a business system or project, this Florida Tech MBA course can allow students to challenge the status quo and think on their feet.

“No matter how much you think you know or understand, there is always another way to view and think about a topic or situation,” said Emily Sobestanovich, another grad.

Course concepts: business ethics, internal and external environment analysis, competitor analysis

3. Airport Design

Have you ever wondered why an airplane slides so smoothly along the airport runway? It’s all because of the design, or as Nicole Curiel would call it, the “mathematical art.”

Curiel, a BA in Aviation Management grad who plans to join the U.S. Air Force, chose Airport Design as her favorite course because of its material and usefulness. “The portfolio that we made during the term also served as a keepsake that can be referenced over time, considering the regulation and principles don’t change.”

The core course is part of Florida Tech’s aviation management online program and covers analysis and application of FAA and ICAO standards for airport design. Students learn about an airport’s airside features, including runways, protection areas and terminals. “It went into specifics of why a runway centerline is a certain width or how much exposure you need on the approach end of the runway for safety,” says Curiel.

“It was a very detailed approach to how airports are put together.”

Course concepts: runway standard matrix, portfolio assignments, takeoff flightpath protection

4. Continuous Quality Management

Improvement in any process is possible through continuous quality management. The course, of the same name, provides students a modern approach to organizational management, as well as its philosophies, theories and applications.

According to Dev Raheja, a Florida Tech instructor and consultant who has taught the class, students learn risk prevention skills in business and ways to innovate current processes.

For Janessa Aarsvold, a BA in Business Admin/Management grad, the course helped her better perform her job. “I love learning about ways to improve processes, Lean management, and how to ensure quality in an organization.”

She also pointed out how Raheja, who was her instructor at the time, made a difference in her experience. “I still remember him well. He engaged the students throughout the class and wanted to make sure we were not only learning but enjoying the class.”

Raheja, who has consulted for NASA, Boeing and Ford, adds that the course “emphasizes that there is no such thing as the best way for the process – there is always a better way. That means that you have to use good risk prevention tools and develop innovation skills all the time, even in ordinary improvements.”

Course concepts: quality management systems, Six Sigma, DMAIC

5. Integrated Arts

While some classes might be compelling because of the material, others stand out because those who teach them make a lasting impact on the students. That was the case for two FT grads who earned information technology degrees but flexed their creative muscles after taking Integrated Arts, which is a part of Florida Tech’s liberal arts core curriculum.

When Dr. Mary Carter, a Florida Tech instructor, shared a story of how it took her 50-plus attempts to complete her first art project before her professor accepted it, Michael Cox, an MSIT grad, was impressed. “I found her tenacity inspiring. Professor Carter set the pace for the rest of my Florida Tech experience.”

Could there be a connection between the rigors of an IT degree and those of art appreciation? John Vlasis’ experience in the same course connects the unexpected bridge.

The MSIT in Cybersecurity grad’s course instructor, Dr. Lars Jones, enabled him to prioritize order when it came to his study time. “Dr. Jones basically formed my study habits for the future. I don’t think I’ve studied so hard for a course in my entire life, but it was very enriching!”

The course introduces students to various forms of art (e.g., sculpture, music, literature, paintings) and teaches them appreciation techniques.

Course concepts: critical art analysis, music genres, creative literature, cinematic shots, rhythm in architecture

6. Essentials of Business Development (I and II)

Two of the core courses in the MBA program, Essentials of Business Development I and II, introduce students to fundamental concepts of business. They cover management concepts as well as financial and marketing techniques. Both courses allow students to experience a mock journey of what it’s like managing a business.

MBA grads highlight this course’s practicality more than any other aspect. In this course, Kyle Graham started putting together a mock business plan that would ultimately lead to a real, successful business.

“After finishing the plan and turning it in, the professor emailed me and told me I should look into opening a medical spa of my own.” Today, Graham runs and manages the business with his wife and is a member of the Melbourne Chamber of Commerce.

Tim Muth, a Florida Tech business instructor who motivated Graham to turn his plan into a business, explains that the course, in conjunction with the online business program, exists to provide students with immediately applicable skills.

“One of the things we try to do with our online program is not just teach the theory, but also teach practical stuff so…they can take what they’re learning in class and apply it very quickly.”

Both courses can also offer students tools to improve their performance at an established business.
In the case of Brian Tocci, director of operations of Larsen Motorsports and a Florida Tech MBA grad, the course benefitted him twice. “The business development courses contained so much information that I have used in both my full-time job and on my startup.”

Course concepts: marketing research, production costs market structures, financial statement analysis

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