Academy of Business & Finance The Academy of Business & Finance is designed to give high school students an opportunity to prepare for collegiate studies and careers in the fields of business and finance. Emphasis is placed on a college preparatory curriculum that is directly linked to the financial world. Academy students participate in mentorships, career shadowing and internship programs that link the resources of business, economics, and finance to education and to the students. During their senior year, students are provided college credit opportunities through a dual enrollment agreement with the University of Alabama- Birmingham. The Academy of Business & Finance is a program that is currently being accredited by the National Academy Foundation. Pre-Academy Before enrolling in the Academy of Business & Finance students are strongly encouraged to complete Personal Finance. To get the full benefit of the Academy offerings, students should consider taking th Personal Finance during their 9 grade year. Personal Finance can be paired with any semester elective. After successful completion of Personal Finance, students are given the opportunity to complete an Academy membership application if they plan to enroll in the program. Students who have not taken Personal Finance may take subsequent Academy of Business and Finance courses with faculty approval. Internship A paid internship is required for graduation from the Academy of Business and Finance. The internship th th th must be completed during the summer between the student’s 11 and 12 grade year or during the 12 grade year. Provided with the help of the Academy’s advisory board, internship opportunities (located in the Birmingham Metro area) will include banking, investing, insurance, accou Course Sequence Pre-Academy: Semester I or II: Personal Finance Step One: Semester I: Financial Services Semester II: Advanced Finance (OR) Semester I & II: Sales & Promotion Planning Step Two: Semester I: Principles of Accounting Semester II: Ethics in Business Step Three: Semester I: Entrepreneurship Semester II: Business in the Global Economy Course Descriptions Personal Finance (8190) Semester – ½ credit Grades 9-12 Prerequisite: none Fee required. Personal Finance begins with the basics of financial literacy and the function of finance in society. Students study income and wealth, including budgeting, personal banking, credit and borrowing, and planning for retirement. Next, students examine financial institutions and the role of finance in organizations. They learn about common methods by which businesses raise money. Students study key investment-related terms and concepts, including the time value of money. They explore specific topics of importance in today’s world of finance such as risk management, ethics, and taxes. Finally, students explore the types of careers that exist in finance today. Financial Services / Advanced Finance 2 linked semester courses (1/2 credit each) (These courses are linked) Grades 10-12 Prerequisite: Personal Finance or teacher approval Fee required. Financial Services (8185) introduces students to the complex world of financial services companies. It begins with an introduction of the origins of money and of banking, and explores the early history of banking in the U.S. Students then move into an in-depth study of the financial services industry and explore the types of companies that make up this industry. Students learn about the services offered by such companies, and analyze the ways these companies earn profits. This course also introduces students to the main concepts behind investing and discriminates among different ways to invest money. Students examine contemporary issues including the level of personal saving in the U.S.; ethics in the financial services industry; and the industry’s effect on communities and families. Finally, students get a chance to consider the types of careers that exist in financial services companies. Advanced Finance (8186) Delves into the financial concepts introduced to students in Personal Finance. Students explore such key topics as cash flow, the business life cycle, and capital. They learn to recognize the legal forms of business organization and grasp the pros and cons of business ownership forms. Students continue to develop an understanding of profit and distinguish this measure of business success from cost and revenue. Students learn about various financial analysis strategies and the methods by which businesses raise capital (stocks, bonds, and short-term financing). Students also have the chance to explore, in depth, topics of high interest in the field of finance, including globalization, employees, and taxes. Finally, students get a chance to discover the types of careers that exist in finance today. Sales and Promotion Planning (8270) Year-long – 1 credit Grades 10-12 Prerequisite(s): Personal Finance or teacher approval Fee Required. Have you ever dreamed of working for Google? What about working for a professional sports team managing advertising, promotional efforts, and sponsorships such as a partnership with a sportswear company? Would you like to travel across the country (or world) implementing grand openings campaigns for a major retailer or restaurateur? In addition to learning both basic and advanced marketing concepts, students will gain a great deal of hands-on and real-world experiences related to the marketing profession. Students will have the opportunity to operate a Virtual Business, merchandise and promote our school store, develop an actual promotion or marketing strategy for a local business, visit a Birmingham advertising/marketing agency, and interact with marketing professionals from several different industries in the Birmingham area. Principles of Accounting / Ethics in Business 2 linked semester courses (1/2 credit each) (these courses are linked) Grades 11-12 Prerequisite: Personal Finance or teacher approval Fee required Principles of Accounting (8203) provides students with an understanding of the critical accounting process and how it facilitates decision making by providing data and information to internal and external stakeholders. Students learn that accounting is an integral part of all business activities and that accounting plays an important role in the everyday accountability of a business as well as in high-stakes decision making and analysis. In addition, students learn how to apply technology to accounting by creating formulas and inputting data into spreadsheets. Students also examine career opportunities and the professional certifications and designations earned by individuals in the accounting profession. Ethics in Business (8204) provides students with an overview of the importance of ethics in a business environment. Students focus on the significance and importance of ethics to stakeholders; examine who bears responsibility for ensuring an ethical code is followed; and explore ethical situations common in organizations. The course examines ethics through the lens of various business disciplines, and considers the impact of organizational culture on ethical practices. The course also explores ethics as social responsibility, the evolution of ethics as business becomes more international, and how the free market and organizational ethics can co-exist. Finally, students examine careers in ethics. Entrepreneurship / Business in the Global Economy 2 linked semester courses (1/2 credit each) (these classes are linked) Grade 12 Prerequisite: Personal Finance or teacher approval Fee required Entrepreneurship (8205) provides students with an understanding of the critical role played by entrepreneurs in the national and global economy. Students learn not only the skills necessary to become entrepreneurs, but also the attitudes, characteristics, and techniques found in successful entrepreneurs that students will need to succeed. Building on concepts that were introduced in Personal Finance, the Entrepreneurship curriculum approaches student learning experientially by encouraging students to evaluate, develop, and work with the business ideas they already have or those they conceive during the course. Students explore the steps necessary to starting a business, including financing, forms of organization, and business plans. They learn about the operational issues that new businesses are faced with, such as taxation, licensing, and liabilities, as well as the financial risks of starting a business. Students examine ethical issues and develop a framework for managing them. Finally, students identify the risks, returns, and other aspects of entrepreneurship as a potential career. Business in a Global Economy (8206) provides students with an understanding of how and why businesses choose to expand their operations into other countries. This course exposes students to the unique challenges facing multinational organizations—and to the potential opportunities and markets that are lost to organizations that choose not to do business in the global marketplace. Building on concepts that were introduced in Personal Finance, Business in a Global Economy broadens student understanding of how businesses operate and how they grow and thrive in our ever-changing world. The course begins with an overview of globalization, including world factors pushing organizations to expand into other markets in order to remain viable. Students explore cultural and political differences that affect organizational operations and decision making. They then learn about international trade investment and international finance, including an examination of the role of the International Monetary Fund. Students study the business strategies that enable organizations to compete effectively in the global marketplace. Finally, students explore international business as a potential career.
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