LINDSBORG, Kan., July 18, 2011— Bethany College announces a mentoring program that will be part of the new network marketing curriculum beginning this fall. Students will gain both classroom education and experience-based practicum through the mentorships with network marketers, who will teach them how to be successful. Bethany will partner with several network marketing companies to ensure that the students who choose to will have the opportunity to work with ethical companies and mentors.
Network marketing is a a business model in which salespeople directly sell products to consumers, who are typically personal contacts of the seller or who are reached by word-of-mouth. Word-of-mouth referrals can then earn a commission. David Frost, assistant professor of business, researched the industry and developed the program over the last year and half. He is in the process of interviewing mentors, who will be selected later this summer for the fall semester.
The success rate of entrepreneurs in network marketing is traditionally low at less than five percent. Frost says this is because they have not been taught how to correctly and ethically use network marketing. “Successful network marketers don’t harass or trick their top 100 friends and family into going to a meeting about a ‘great opportunity’ or pressure them into joining the company,” says Frost. “Bethany’s program is unique because we are not just teaching students the concept of network marketing; we are giving them actual experience with network marketing and a mentor who will guide them on a day-to-day basis.”
To partner with Bethany, a company must have a legitimate product that is competitively priced and that consumers want. The compensation plan must also reward leadership, not recruitment. Frost explains, “If a plan increases a seller’s commission based on how many people he or she has recruited, it’s a pyramid. ” Mentors are then selected based on whether they have had business success, have a duplicable process, and are willing to teach that process to students.
Bethany offers network marketing curriculum either as a certificate in network marketing or as a marketing degree with emphasis in network marketing. The certificate is earned with a 3-hour introductory course to network marketing and a 3-hour practicum with a network marketing mentor. The marketing degree with emphasis in network marketing is earned with 56 to 57 credit hours, which include the 3-hour introductory couse and a12-hour practicum with a mentor.
Bethany’s mission for the network marketing program is to promote integrity, trust, and transparency in network marketing. The curriculum includes business practices, planning requirements, compensation plan variables, product distribution processes, marketing and advertising methods, and industry trends. The program was created through Bethany’s new Center for Servant Leadership that promotes the awareness, understanding, and practice of servant leadership by individuals and organizations. The center was founded on Robert Greenleaf’s characteristics of a servant leader.
Bethany College, established by Swedish Lutheran immigrants in 1881, is a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The mission of Bethany College is to educate, develop and challenge individuals to reach for truth and excellence as they lead lives of faith, learning and service. Bethany College is on the Web at www.bethanylb.edu/.
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335 East Swensson Street
Lindsborg, KS 67456