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Benton Center’s E-Commerce program first of kind in state

Submitted by Hillary Perkins on September 5, 2012 – 4:18 pmNo Comment

UALR’s Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology has recently launched the e-commerce degree program in Benton, which began in the fall 2012 academic semester.

The e-commerce degree is a four-year program that is designed to prepare students for their future careers in internet technology. It is the UALR Benton Center’s first four-year degree program as well as the first of its kind in Arkansas, according to the unviersity website. The program also trains students to promote successful businesses.

E-commerce is an abbreviation of electronic commerce, which is essentially buying and selling products over the internet. It is also used to buy and sell electronic systems, computer networks and other related products.

Required courses for the program include classes in accounting, economics, marketing, business finance, organizational behavior, social networking and web application development. Some elective courses are graphic design, digital imaging, mass communications, cybercrime, social psychology and advanced web/mobile application development.

The e-commerce program also teaches students different disciplines including quantitative reasoning, information science, business and other options added to the core curriculum.

Bruce Bauer is the director of the program and has had 30 years of private sector work experience as an information technology consultant and software developer in various industries. He has also owned a software development company and served as a UALR adjunct professor for 15 years.

There are some notable individuals involved with this program, including Elizabeth Pierce, Eric Sandgren; Jerry Stevenson and Kim Jackson. Pierce serves as chair of the Department of Information Science and is responsible for the program’s academic content; Sandgren, dean of the Donaghey College of Engineering and Information, shares her vision. Stevenson is the associate vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, as well as the Extended Programs and International Affairs, which is a department of the Benton Center. Jackson is assistant director of the Office of Extended Program at the Benton Center and is responsible for the promotion and management of the Benton center.

“This program benefits both me and the staff by requiring us to be current in technologies,” Bauer said.  “IT technology trends change every day. Instructors have to spend a lot of time to get to know these trends so that they can be taught and to teach students.”

The e-commerce program benefits the state as well as the students by preparing students for the job market. Studies have shown that companies are increasing their presence in many areas, including social media, traditional websites, and new mobile technologies. Throughout their educations, students will create personal portfolios that demonstrate their technical skills and experience.

The program is one of only five in the nation, according to the university  website.

For more information about the e-commerce program, contact the UALR Benton Center at 501-860-6003 or email Bauer at


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