Higher Education for Business

By Robert Aaron Gordon; James Edwin Howell | Go to book overview

chapter 13
IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF STUDENTS

PREVIOUS chapters have considered at length the problems of objectives and curriculum but have only touched on the other necessary ingredients of a successful educational operation: competent faculty and students. Important as curricula are, the best curriculum in the world can not compensate for an inadequate faculty, a poor student body, and the resulting lack of a stimulating atmosphere. In this chapter we shall look at the kinds of students who now seek a business education in college. Chapter 14 will deal with the business school faculty.


The Quality of Undergraduate Students

Two questions in particular need to be considered. First, do business students have the mental aptitude to handle and benefit from the more rigorous kind of program recommended in earlier chapters? It has frequently been argued that significant reform in undergraduate business education would be difficult because of the inferior mental quality of many business students. It has also been argued that only a small minority of college students are qualified for the kind of graduate business program proposed in Chapter 11.

The second question has to do with the nonmental traits of business students. As we saw in Chapters 5 and 6, business success and the social usefulness of a business career depend on more than the kind of mental aptitude which is measured by intelligence tests.

Unfortunately, there is very little evidence bearing on this second question. We can say a few positive things about the motivation of business students and a little about some of their attitudes toward themselves and their environment. We can also draw a few inferences that bear on their ability to handle social relationships. Beyond this, the available evidence has to do with mental ability. We shall, therefore, concern ourselves primarily with the first of the two questions we have posed: How

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