Business Administration & Economics

Business Administration & Economics

The department of business administration and economics prepares leaders to meet challenges, solve problems, and work with people while they receive practical training that they can apply in a wide variety of careers.

Fast Facts


Of PUC’s departments, the department of business consistently graduates the largest number of students with bachelor’s degrees.


The Business Club is one of the largest and most active clubs on campus.


The Enactus Club engages in social entrepreneurship, utilizing entrepreneurship skills developed in business classes in service learning projects.


The department of business gives out over $10,000 in business student scholarships every year.


The curriculum for all business degrees has recently has been updated and revised and internships are now required for all degrees. An internship coordinator assists students seeking internships.


The department of business actively engages its students with the business community. Local businesses have recently implemented a number of suggestions from student service learning projects.


PUC’s business programs are accredited by the International Assembly of Collegiate Business Education.


B.B.A. degree program is comparable to business degrees offered at large state and private universities and prepares students for the job market.


Classes tie theory with practical applications, often utilizing advanced computer technology.


A seminar program features former students and others in the business world coming to PUC to share their expertise.

Getting Experience while Giving Back

“It helped me understand and helped the community, so it was a real win-win situation!”

Tax Program

In winter quarter, students in Pacific Union College’s Individual Taxation class participated in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program at the Up Valley Family Center in St Helena, Calif. The students prepared tax returns for free for people that earned less than $58,000 per year, applying what they had learned in the classroom as part of a service-learning project that allowed them to grow their skills while providing a valuable service to members of the community.

In early February, the students received IRS certification, and soon after began seeing clients under the supervision of Norma Ferriz, site and operations manager for Up Valley Family Centers.

Ferriz estimates that nearly 90% of the people who take advantage of the program receive a refund. “This is all money that is reinvested in the community so that is great,” she said. In 2013, a group of PUC and community volunteers prepared 165 tax returns, bringing back more than $313,900 in total refunds to families and individuals in the community. “In 2014, thanks to the participation of volunteers from St. Helena and students from PUC the number of tax returns and total refunds will be surpassed,” said Ferriz.

“There are many people who don’t know that by filing they are eligible for certain credits, like the Earned Income tax credit. The program is to educate people about these credits and to facilitate them submitting their taxes,” explained Ferriz. “Doing taxes is part of being a good citizen. We at the Family Center we feel that good citizens do things like these that support the entire community.”

Professor Rodney Hardcastle incorporated the service-learning opportunity into the class so students could apply what they learned in the classroom in the real world. The goal was to “to advance the students’ knowledge of the tax area and at the same time provide something to the community,” Hardcastle shared.

Ferriz agrees that the tax preparation program provides a tangible benefit to the community, while providing students with a chance to learn more than just tax preparation. “It is a great opportunity for students to be exposed to how to do a tax return and also to be exposed to the realities of the different populations who live here,” commented Ferriz. “People have the idea that there are only wealthy people here, but it’s good exposure that there are people with very different incomes that live and work in the Napa Valley.”

Steven Felty, one of the PUC student volunteers, experienced the diversity Ferriz describes. “Many of the people we did returns for had multiple jobs and children and were barely making ends meet,” Felty said. “This program really helps many people get money that they need back.”

Hardcastle is encouraged that the service-learning opportunity has benefitted both his students and the community. “It works out great in this instance because not only are they getting the learning, but they’re giving back to the community at the same time,” he commented.

Elise Williams, a business major enrolled in the course, agreed. “I think that it helped me understand and helped the community, so it was a real win-win situation!” she exclaimed.

From the Business Department to Brigadier General


With a long history of dedication to the members of the United States military and their families, General Sutton has lived a life of selfless service and considers it her privilege to have spent her career serving the needs of others.

After graduating from Pacific Union College in 1981 with a degree in business administration and from Loma Linda University School of Medicine in 1985, Sutton joined the Army where she, through her service, could marry the interests of mind, body and spirit, and health. She was immediately sent to Egypt for a peacekeeping tour, then to Germany with the 1st armored division when the Berlin Wall came down, and was deployed soon after during the first Gulf War. “After this combat experience and peacekeeping experience, I just felt called knowing the sacrifices our troops and their families make,” Sutton says. “There is no greater privilege than to serve and to support and to thank the troops and their families for their service.”

Sutton spent her career working to address the needs of soldiers and their emotional and mental health. Until her retirement from the service this year, Sutton’s leadership extended to a wide variety of areas including public policy, education, transmedia strategic communications, and combat and peacekeeping. 

With this conviction, Sutton designed, organized, and led the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury as the Army’s ranking psychiatrist. Thanks to Sutton’s efforts, the Department of Defense now has six directorates and six component centers working to treat, rehabilitate, and reintegrate soldiers with post-traumatic stress or other mental injuries acquired in combat. 

General Sutton’s extensive list of accomplishments encompass a span of more than 20 years in the Army, and include numerous awards and honors and an impressive resume of positions held. Among these are the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, the Bronze Star, and the order of Military Medical Merit.

Sutton has held numerous leadership and high-level advisory positions in the duration of her career, including commander of the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood, Texas; special assistant to the Army surgeon general; deputy commander for clinical services at General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital; and White House Fellow.

For her outstanding contributions to the service, distinguished professional achievement, and tireless commitment to helping those in need, Sutton was the obvious choice to be named the 2011 Distinguished Alumnus. “When you go out and you’re leading change in the world, it’s not a journey that’s for the faint of heart, so you know that there’s this foundation, this family, and it gets me pumped to go out there and take on the next set of challenges,” Sutton says. “I really couldn’t feel more privileged to be honored.”