Two recent events at the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) highlighted the involvement of the College’s Business Department with the local and international communities. First, the Business Department gave a presentation to the parents of students in the class MKT 212 (Marketing & Management Practicum) which had recently returned from a five day visit to the Independent State of Samoa. Days later, the department hosted its Parent Night event in order to familiarize the parents of all ASCC Business Majors with goals, practices and philosophy of the department.
The students of MKT 212 held bake sales on campus for a 10-week period to raise funds to finance their travel to Upolu and Savai’i. Business major Miracle Matamu, who went on the five-day trip, explained that visit enabled the class to make direct observation on how various business in Samoa produce, package, store and distribute their products. Among the five Samoa factories willing to host the ASCC students as observers, Matamu found Mailelani Samoa the most inspiring. “The owner had no background in chemistry,” said Matamu, “but he knew the formula for creating an all-natural handmade soap.” Starting a business from scratch, with help from the owner’s wife and family Mailelani Samoa has expanded along with its growing profits. “The experience of seeing the business in Samoa up close really broadened my view of potential careers within Samoa,” Matamu reflected.
Upon the return home of the MKT 212 class, the Business Department invited the parents of the participating students to a presentation at which ASCC President Dr. Rosevonne Pato gave welcoming remarks, followed by a full account of the trip from Business Department chairperson Dr. Faofua Faatoafe. On behalf of her department, Dr. Faatoafe thanked the parents for their trust and support before presenting them with gifts brought back from the journey. Many of the parents present also took the opportunity to formally thank the Business Department for a job well done.
ASCC President Dr. Pato again joined Dr. Faatoafe and her staff a few nights later for their yearly Parent Night, an event to which the Business Department invites the parents of all Business majors for an evening of fellowship and entertainment. During her special remarks, Dr. Pato shared how over the years the enrollment figures for Business classes have remained among the most consistent at the College. Because of this consistent student interest, the Business program has come under consideration as an area where the College may work towards developing an advanced degree. Dr. Pato stressed the long-range nature of this possibility, but clarified that the longstanding success of the Business Department has not gone unnoticed.
In between cultural entertainment performed by combinations of Business majors, Dr. Faatoafe and instructors Ioapo Taua’i and Lam Yuen Lam Yuen Jr. took turns sharing the goals and vision of their department with their guests. Dr. Faatoafe explained that the Business Department expects its majors to learn professional standards, which include dressing properly, respecting the College and its authority, focusing on their studies and practicing good citizenship. She also discussed the department’s student organization, the Business Ambassadors of ASCC (BAOA), who actively participate in community service at sites such as the LBJ Hospital children’s ward and Hope House, as well as performing tutoring services for their fellow Business students. BAOA members further assist the department during Department of Education outreach activities such as career days by giving testimony on Business courses and college life to high school students.
Following the talks by the Business faculty and the entertainment, parents had the opportunity to ask questions or share their own views on how having a son or daughter studying Business at ASCC has made a difference for them. With the 2017 Parent Night concluding on an upbeat note for all concerned, instructor Taua’i observed how direct involvement with the parents of Business majors reflects the department’s personal concern for the young men and women who pass through its program. “We keep a record of where our students go after graduation, and follow up on their status and whereabouts every semester,” said Taua’i.
While success in any area may depend on personal motivation and other factors, Taua’i noted how a fair number of ASCC Business graduates now work in the local public and private sectors. “We have some students who find work locally after graduation, some who join the military, and some who continue their education off-island,” he observed. “We even have some that have found work here, and continue to further their education by pursuing a bachelor degree in the ASCC Teacher Education program. We encourage our students to strive for success not only as businessmen and businesswomen, but also as members of their community.”
More information on the ASCC Business program can be found in the ASCC Catalog, available online at www.amsamoa.edu.