Higher Education for Business

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

chapter 9
THE UNDERGRADUATE CURRICULUM: PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION

IN CONSIDERING the professional component of the undergraduate curriculum, we shall, as in Chapter 8, begin with the conclusions of Part II and proceed to translate them into specific recommendations. The reader should remember that our recommendations are to be interpreted merely as providing guidelines, within which considerable variation and opportunity for experimentation are possible. The important thing is that the business schools move in the general direction that has been indicated. The detailed curriculum suggested here offers one way of doing this, but the same objective can be achieved through a number of variants of the particular program that we suggest. Whatever the particular curriculum adopted, it should, in our opinion, satisfy two criteria. It should seek to meet the educational needs described in Part II, and it should be subject to frequent revision in the light of increased knowledge.

The bulk of this chapter is concerned with the business core, that is, those courses required of all business students regardless of the particular area within business administration in which they may choose to specialize. This concept of a core as an indispensable body of courses is a common one in education and has been a part of some business curricula for many years. It was not until 1949, however, that the AACSB specified a core to which all member schools were to be held. Although the content of that core continues to change, and although we shall have to criticize the Association's present requirements on a number of counts, this step in 1949 was an important one. It has had a significant and continuing impact on both member and nonmember schools. It has led to greater uniformity in requirements and to some raising of standards, particularly among the poorer schools.

After the core concept, the growing emphasis on "management" has probably been the most important curriculum development in business education since the Second World War. This interest in management has taken two forms. First, it has now become fairly common to stress a

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