By Megan Sayles,
AFRO Business Writer,

Coppin State University (CSU) business students will have a new home on campus for the 2023-2024 academic year. In the fall, the university is set to open its new College of Business Building on North Avenue. 

The building will feature state-of-the-art smart classrooms, a stock ticker tape and data science lab. It will also become home to CSU’s Center for Strategic Entrepreneurship and the Charles Schwab Wealth Center. 

Currently, the business school resides on the eighth floor of the Grace Jacobs Building. Dean Sadie Gregory thinks this new construction will provide the college with the infrastructure to support new degree programs and allow it to forge a stronger relationship with the West Baltimore community.

“We’ve never had this quality of academic space. It’s not just a nice space, it’s highly functional,” said Gregory. “We are now able to build out our finance component because our curriculum did not have an emphasis in finance. Now we have the resources, laboratories and space to really help our students move into this area of finance, which African Americans are underrepresented in.” 

Gregory began her tenure at CSU in 2004 as the provost and vice president of academic affairs. At the time, the university did not have a college of business. Students instead were able to earn a degree under the department of management science. 

Gregory went on to serve in various positions at CSU, including interim president of the university. Three years ago, CSU invited her to return and lead the college of business. 

“As we progressed from just being a department to now being a college, we became much more competitive,” said Gregory. “It’s been quite a journey to see us move from a few basic programs to introducing an entertainment program, a sports management program and, most recently, a degree in data science.”

Gregory said that the CSU College of Business is looking to provide curricula that bridges the gap between business and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). In the new building’s data science lab, students will participate in hands-on learning experiences on how business professionals use data today. 

In addition to new degree programs, CSU offers certificate programs like entrepreneurship and innovation and esports management. They provide students with stackable credentials that open them up to greater career opportunities. 

“The esports program is a good companion certificate to our sports management program. Our entrepreneurship and innovation certificate is just good for any student, not only business majors,” said Gregory. 

The dean said the robust relationships that CSU has fostered with corporate and philanthropic partners, like PNC Bank and Northwestern Mutual, serve as a catalyst for its growing academic offerings and internship opportunities in the College of Business. 

Joshua Humbert, vice president of institutional advancement for CSU, agreed and highlighted the support from the Charles Schwab Foundation and Schwab Advisor Services. 

“Charles Schwab kickstarted our wealth management curriculum and program. We have been steadily working toward creating a finance program, and at the heart of finance is wealth,” said Humbert. “They gave us a $1.1 million seed money grant that allowed us to start a curriculum to produce the next generation of analysts and certified financial planners. In cooperation with that, they are helping us get more involved with the community from a wealth management perspective.” 

The Charles Schwab Wealth Center intends to advance financial literacy in the West Baltimore community with workshops and events. There, accounting students will also have the opportunity to offer free income tax services to local residents. 

In regards to the College of Business’ future, both Humbert and Gregory identified opportunities to commingle business and health in coursework. 

“I would love to see the business school start to mash up with the health profession,” said Humbert. “I think the wave of business and health care is so important, especially coming out of COVID.”

Megan Sayles is a Report for America Corps member.