KU School of Business curriculum updates aim to address demands of industry
The School of Business started a comprehensive curriculum review over the 2018–19 academic year as a result of initiatives identified in its latest strategic plan. The current academic year is dedicated to completing the review process and ensuring that all logistical issues are resolved in anticipation of the updated curriculum being launched in fall 2020.
The full review process involves an evaluation of all aspects of the undergraduate student experience in the School of Business including those related to the foundation courses, business core courses, major-specific courses, and professionalism development courses and experiences.
The process began with extensive research into the foundations and business core curriculum choices of aspirant business schools. Using data from this research coupled with information on important trends in business education identified during the strategic planning process, faculty committees proposed several courses and content changes in the School’s foundations and business core curriculum emphasizing the importance of cutting-edge content and of infusing analytics and financial literacy (i.e., Figure Sense) throughout courses that are common to all business students.
One exciting result of the review process is the addition to the KU School of Business foundation of a required course that aims to provide students with an understanding of the history of economic, social, and ethical thought surrounding business decisions. The course, BUS 150: Foundations of Business, will introduce students to the intellectual foundations, historical context, and current environment for modern business and will be required for all business students starting in the fall of 2020. Work continues this fall to shape the content and structure of the new Foundations of Business course.
Another result was the School’s decision to phase out its concentrations and instead introduce 15-credit-hour minors. Now, business students can earn minors in business analytics, entrepreneurship, human resource management, information systems, international business, marketing, and supply chain management. A management and leadership minor will be offered starting in fall 2020.
Underway during the fall 2019 semester is completion of the review of each of the School’s majors. Each academic area has been evaluating potential course and structure changes with goals of improving efficiency and accountability for course content; standardizing content across same-course sections; and ensuring proper prerequisite structure.
Also under consideration this fall is the most dramatic change proposed to the undergraduate curriculum. The proposed change would introduce an extensive, innovative professionalism platform required for all business majors. Existing basic professionalism programming is required for directly admitted students, with the same programming made available on an elective basis for competitively admitted students.
Input was gathered from extensive research of aspirant business schools professionalism offerings, alumni, faculty, staff and advisory board surveys, and Dean’s Advisory Board task force reports and recommendations. These inputs were used by the professionalism committee and related subcommittees, the executive director for project development, the undergraduate curriculum committee, and the School’s leadership team to develop the proposed professionalism platform. The new platform consists of six one-hour courses that include traditional career services offerings, an internship requirement, general and major-specific skills certifications and experiences, exposure to cutting-edge topics, and extensive interaction with the School’s industry partners.