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This report describes the efforts of Babson College (Massachusetts) to change its traditional undergraduate business curriculum by designing a coherent program of greater rigor and flexibility that stresses interdisciplinary collaboration, supports individual learning needs, and links theory with field-based learning. In less than 3 years, Babson conceived, ratified, and implemented a radically different undergraduate program; the speed of implementation was in part a result of Babson's prior move to use separate, decentralized decision-making bodies for the undergraduate program, the graduate program, and for faculty appointment and tenure decisions. The comprehensive, competency-based program stresses learning-by-doing, gives students greater control over and responsibility for their educations, and contains three development levels: the first-year Foundation Program, which includes self-reflective work, integrated humanities and quantitative courses, and hands-on experience developing and running a business; the third through fifth semester Intermediate Program, which includes integrated liberal arts courses and a core management program; and in the remaining three semesters, the Advanced Program, in which students follow a curriculum and co-curricular program developed with the assistance of mentors during the intermediate program. Institutional statistics and a list of milestones on Babson's path to reform are included. (MAB)

Descriptors: Business Administration Education, Change Strategies, Competency Based Education, Core Curriculum, Curriculum Development, Experiential Learning, Higher Education, Institutional Mission, Integrated Activities, Interdisciplinary Approach, Liberal Arts, Management Development, Organizational Change, Private Colleges, Professional Training, Relevance (Education), Undergraduate Study

Institute for Research on Higher Education, 4200 Pine St., 5A, Philadelphia, PA 19104-4090. Tel: 800-437-9799 (Toll Free); e-mail: pp-requests[at]

Autor: Iannozzi, Maria


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