Faulkner University

Directed Study

The Directed Study is an essential part of the Executive BBA Program. It is designed to challenge the student's abilities of independent thought, creativity, abstract reasoning, and problem-solving. For off-campus students, the Directed Study also satisfies the residency requirement imposed by our accrediting agency. Students should purchase books and pick up syllabi for upcoming modules at the Directed Study. This is covered in greater detail under the section heading "Textbooks". For these reasons, regular attendance at Directed Study is imperative.

In order to assist you in successfully participating in Directed Study, we are making the following recommendations:

  1. Complete 2-3 chapters of the assignment each week (or as assigned in the syllabus) of the module. The amount of work required will become overwhelming if allowed to accumulate for several weeks.
  2. Plan to attend. You will be given Directed Study dates several months in advance. Upon exceptional circumstances for the university, adjustments in the calendar may be required by the BBA department. Keep these dates in mind when scheduling work or personal activities.
  3. Please remember the BBA Directed Studies are on Saturdays. No "make-ups", "repeats", or other alternatives are offered on weekdays. If you are unable to accommodate this schedule, you should examine whether this program best fits your specific needs.
  4. Contact the BBA Academic Program Director or Associate Director if you have an academic question or problem regarding your assignment.
  5. Have your paper neatly typed on a typewriter, word processor, or computer. If you do not have access to a typewriter or computer, your paper may be typed by another individual of your choosing. Papers that are illegible and unorganized are more difficult to grade and may place the student in a competitive disadvantage.
  6. Type the question in its entirety before typing your answer. This allows for quicker and easier grading by the instructors. Points could be deducted if this is not done.
  7. Place the paper in a notebook with the approved type of binder (see attached August 1, 2007 memo). Folders without brackets are unacceptable. Plastic protector pages are also unacceptable. Do not use hard-back notebooks (for reasons of storage and transportation) or sliding bar report covers.
  8. Keep a copy of your paper. The University will keep the original paper submitted by the student for such a time as the BBA Department deems necessary. It will not be returned to the student after it has been graded.
  9. Copying or taking credit for work done by other students is plagiarism and is unacceptable at Faulkner University. Be cautious in sharing your work with other students; work submitted must be yours and yours alone.
  10. If an emergency arises and it is impossible for you to attend, contact the BBA Academic Program Director immediately.

Absences for personal illness or the illness/death of an immediate family member will allow the BBA Academic Program Director to assign the student an "I" (appropriate documentation for such will be necessary).

The University reserves the right to assign an "F" to students who are absent for other reasons. In these cases, the final decision will be made by the BBA Academic Program Director and the Dean of the College of Business.

In the event that you receive an "I" you will have to wait until the seminar is offered again, and inform the BBA Academic Program Director before attending.

However, if you receive an "F", in addition to the above you will be obligated to register for the course(s) once again through the Registrar's Office and will also be billed for retaking the course by the Business Office.

  1. Please be reminded that, among others, the intent of Directed Study is to provide an opportunity for adults to enhance their conceptual, analytical, and diagnostic skills. The syllabus provided is mostly self-explanatory and has a "weekly guideline" to help set the pace for assignments and study. Directed Study courses are comprised of essay/ analytical questions, exercises, case studies, or a combination of the above. Typically, 2-3 paragraph answers are expected for the questions and 1-2 pages for the cases.
  2. Once again, the very basis of Directed Study is to cultivate independent thinking and have students prepared for participation in the seminar on Directed Study Saturday. The seminar begins at 9:00 a.m. (lecture begins promptly at 9:30) and ends at 2:50 p.m. There are breaks in between, including a break for lunch. Immediately following the seminar at 3:00 p.m. is an hour exam.
  3. The exam is constructed taking into account your assignments and certain highlights of the seminar.
  4. You are assigned two separate grades. As an illustration, for Module 1, you will receive a grade for the 3 semester hour course, BBA 3320, Directed Study in Management, based on your assignment (Directed Study). You will receive another grade for the 1 semester hour course, BBA 3120, Management and Organization, based on the exam at the end of the seminar.


This is a general outline pertaining to evaluation criteria for Directed Studies (assignments/papers). It focuses on overall performance and content submitted for a specific Directed Study.

  1. Factual representation: Answers should address the question at hand in a reasonable and adequate manner and should vividly describe such.
  2. Depth: The answers to questions, case analyses, or exercises should be explanative and reflect a multitude of aspects expected of upper division undergraduate students.
  3. Applications: Answers should incorporate concepts and principles in the textbook or reference books and should be integrated with "real world" examples.
  4. Research orientation: Answers should reflect various sources of relevant research and study undertaken by the student. While minimal research is expected, adequate research often is a decisive factor in distinguishing between a good or superior "B" and excellent or outstanding "A" directed study assignment grade. (Rigorous research in Modules 5 and 6 is expected.) Periodicals like Business Week, Forbes, Fortune, Harvard Business Review, Journal of Advertising, AMA Journal, etc. are good sources in addition to general text and reference books.
  5. Format, neatness, and clarity: Answers should be numbered and attempted in sequence. The overall assignment should be neatly presented. The "paper" may be typed on a typewriter or word processor. (Neat handwriting will be accepted. The department strongly suggests that assignments be typed.) Appropriate use of paragraph numbering for clarity within each answer is recommended.
  6. Style and professionalism: While all answers do not have to be eloquent, they should respect the executive orientation of the program and provide relevant examples. Answers are expected to reflect a certain amount of finesse in composition, grammar, punctuation, flow, and appropriate use of business vocabulary. Brief, bullet-point-styled answers are discouraged.
  7. Synergy: Answers should provide a comprehensive view of the subject matter, and whenever appropriate, be synergistic. Example: A specific question on airline ticket pricing regarding Northwest Airlines is better answered by presenting an overall scenario about the fare structure in the airline industry.
  8. Defense: Answers can sometimes be very good or excellent by having a strong defense. Although there is no substitute for a right answer substantiated by a general body of knowledge, a strong defense is recommended. The defense may, among others, reflect conceptual, diagnostic, and technical skills as well as abilities of abstract thought.
  9. Progressive absorption: The BBA program, its modules, and the Directed Study are designed to build on each other. Example: Cases in Module 2, Marketing, could reflect a managerial perspective and also draw upon all courses in Module 1, and to quite some extent in Module 2. As a result, depending upon the question, a legal, economic, or accounting perspective may be better addressed.
  10. Consistency: The directed study assignment should reflect consistency, based on 1-9 mentioned above, from chapter to chapter. Peaks and valleys or strong beginnings with gradual diminishing effort are discouraged.

Penalties (if applicable, and as determined by Program Chair/Director):

  1. Not answering 10% or less of assignments (-10)
    Not answering between 11-20% of assignments (-20)
    Not answering between 21-30% of assignments (-30)
    Not answering 31% and above of assignments ("F")
  2. A paper submitted between:
    • 9:30 - 10:00 a.m. (-10 points)
    • 10:01 - 10:30 a.m. (-20 points)
    • A paper submitted after 10:30 a.m. (receives grade of "F")

** It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that the Directed Study paper is turned in on time. **

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