Saint Joseph's College to offer human resource management degree

Saint Joseph's College has introduced a new major in human resource management as part of its business administration offerings. The major will prepare students for careers in recruiting and employment, compensation, benefits, training and labor relations, while focusing on how organizations can better manage their human resources to perform more effectively.

Beth Richardson of Cape Elizabeth, assistant professor of business administration at Saint Joseph's, developed and will oversee this major. She has more than 20 years of experience as a human resource executive and attorney in Maine, including positions as vice president of human resources at Fairchild Semiconductor and Enterasys Networks.

"The best HR professionals have a broad base of business skills allowing them to function as business partners within an organization," says Richardson. "The HR major here at Saint Joseph's reflects that business partner model."

The major will combine accounting, management, marketing, economics, business law and ethics courses with a strong internship program and the required human resource courses. Students will study recruitment and staffing, training, management and employee development, employment and union-management relations, wage and salary management, evaluation of employee performance, national and international human resource policies and programs, as well as organizational behavior, development and leadership.

According to Richardson, the field of human resources increasingly contributes to organizational success, but money for general training of entry-level human resource employees has dwindled. Both the public and private sectors are now looking for applicants with human resource management degrees, she says.

Business administration is now the second-largest department at Saint Joseph's, with majors in accounting, finance, international business, management and marketing, in addition to the new major.

January 10, 2007 Contact: Charmaine Daniels at (207) 893-7723 or e-mail