Academic journal article Academy of Educational Leadership Journal

A Strategic Framework for Auditing and Planning for Reform of an Undergraduate Marketing Curriculum: A Practical Application of the Boyer Commission Report

Academic journal article Academy of Educational Leadership Journal

A Strategic Framework for Auditing and Planning for Reform of an Undergraduate Marketing Curriculum: A Practical Application of the Boyer Commission Report

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

In the late 1980s a reformation movement had taken a strong foothold in the minds of undergraduate curriculum planners. In 1987, Chickering and Gamson codified the Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education which identified the principles by which the reformation movement should proceed; promoting a movement of "good practices"--defined as those that enhanced student-faculty interaction, experiences, student collaboration, and active learning techniques. The concerns expressed by curriculum planners that followed were not related to a commitment to the ideology itself or the principles put forth by Chickering and Gamson (1987), but rather were centered on what forms the changes should take. Not surprisingly, the 1990's were typified by curriculum planners who wanted more research before forging ahead with change, and/or felt it necessary to assess the effectiveness of the existing curriculum, so the importance and role of outcome-based or skill-based curriculum assessment was catapulted to the forefront of discussions (Miller et al., 1991). Research by Miller et al., (1991) identified the most commonly used and highly valued information sources accessed by curriculum planners; (1) graduate placements and rates thereof, (2) alumni, (3) recent graduates; and used less commonly (but still highly valued) were (1) employers, and (2) seniors. The National Education Goals Panel (1992) recommended outcome-based measurements on critical thinking, problem solving, effective communication, and responsible citizenship. The Association of American Colleges established the Network for Academic Renewal, which held a series of workshops, gathered information, and acted as a clearinghouse for ways to improve undergraduate education (Mooney, 1993). The Wingspread Report (1994) recommended skill-based measurements on complex thinking, the ability to analyze information and to solve problems, and interpersonal communications. The Business-Higher Education Forum (1995) released a statement to the effect that corporate leaders want college graduates to possess "leadership and communication skills; quantification skills, interpersonal relations, and the ability to work in teams; the understanding needed to work with a diverse workforce at home and abroad; and the capacity to adapt to rapid change" (p. 3). Thus, the industry of higher education appeared to agree that program level assessment, when properly done, would serve as the basis for curricula re-design. It is important to note that research is critical because faculty, employers, alumni, and students have different criterion, experience, and expectations for what they consider "effective" (Floyd & Gordon, 1998).

As the 1990s came to and end, the evidence was clear that powerful forces were transforming marketing education (Lamont & Friedman, 1997). Despite accreditation (AACSB) pressures, only forty-two percent of U.S. business schools had responded and put comprehensive outcome-based assessment programs into place (Kimmell, et al., 1998). Justifications given for non-compliance to AACSB's wishes were rooted in pressures felt by curriculum planner workloads, weak budgets (resources had not been allocated), and/or lack of ownership for the initiative (e.g., no 'assessments champion' at the departmental level. By the mid 2000s, research on curriculum assessment was picking up steam, and departments were making moves to empirically assess the effectiveness of their current curricula in meeting formalized objectives (Nicholson et al., 2005).

BOYER COMMISSION REPORT DIRECTIVES, GUIDELINES AND MARKETPLACE REACTIONS

The results of a large scale empirical study (sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning) came out in the late 1990s that served to transform thinking about undergraduate program reform. Educators across the nation turned their attention to what came to be known as the "gold standard" for curriculum re-design. …

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