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Capacity Mapping: Re-imagining Undergraduate Business Education
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Capacity Mapping: Re-imagining Undergraduate Business Education

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The public’s scrutiny of higher education may be at an all-time high. Whether it be parents questioning the value of a college degree, researchers scrutinizing learning outcomes, government officials …

The public’s scrutiny of higher education may be at an all-time high. Whether it be parents questioning the value of a college degree, researchers scrutinizing learning outcomes, government officials tracking student debt, or employers evaluating job-readiness, educators face unprecedented pressure to prepare students for life outside of college. For business educators at liberal arts colleges, this external scrutiny is often matched by internal scrutiny from colleagues who question whether pre-professional programs even belong. Other concerns extend beyond the present and focus on preparing students not just for their first job, but on developing capacities for their whole life—personal, professional and civic. How might business faculty respond to this increased demand and multitude of pressures?

In the midst of this new reality, Mary Grace Neville, began a seven-year programmatic study. She led a multi-stakeholder inquiry and organized a national dialogue centered on the question: “What ought we be teaching at the undergraduate business level in order to be cultivating high integrity leaders for tomorrow’s rapidly changing, highly complex, multicultural, and interdependent world?” In this seminar, she introduced the capacity-mapping framework that has emerged from this work (and continues to evolve) and invited participants to consider various ways to integrate capacity development across an undergraduate business curriculum. Review the personal capacity map and consider these questions:

How do you set priorities and achieve balance within the curriculum?
How can business programs orient themselves so that they can be responsive to the constancy of change?
How can colleagues within institutions and across institutions collaborate to strengthen student preparedness?
How might technology support capacity development?

Join NITLE, Dr. Neville, and colleagues across the nation to re-imagine undergraduate business education.

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  • 1. Capacity Mapping: A Framework for Re-Imagining Undergraduate Business Education NITLE Seminar Series This work funded by the Mellon Foundation May 6, 2014 Dr. Mary Grace Neville This document emerges from a 7 year programmatic study that began locally in 2005, extended to a national dialogue in 2006, has was then deepened by extensive reading and study on liberal arts education , business education, and philosophies of learning and development in 2008. In Fall 2011, a new task force convened to update and operationalize the early thinking given the university’s new reality – increasing enrollments and constrained resources. Capacities were tested and refined in 2012 and 2013. The concept evolution continues.
  • 2. Neville, marygrace.neville@gmail.com Southwestern University College curricula vary widely, the half-life of information is staggering, and 18-22 year olds grow up fast. Build Capacities for Life So “what’s an educator to do if today’s students will be tomorrow’s leaders?”
  • 3. Neville, marygrace.neville@gmail.com Southwestern University Which ones?(Neville, et. al. 2007)Why?(Neville & Godwin, 2013) How? (Neville, in progress) (Colby, Ehrlich, Sullivan, Dolle, 2011) …and What about QuickBooks proficiency?!(Colby, Ehrlich, Sullivan, Dolle, 2011)  Inquire  Reflect  Experiment  Theorize
  • 4. Neville, marygrace.neville@gmail.com Southwestern University Emergent theory suggests our industry has crucial changes to make.  Content centric  Functional independence  High efficiency (large classes with PhD student instructors….)  Understood by marketplace  “We’ve done this before”“ Factory” – Traditional Business Programs –
  • 5. “Integrative learning” has a final stage of reflection after a specialty path. Neville, marygrace.neville@gmail.com Southwestern University  Customized efficiency  Accents area of functional interest (i.e. Environmental Management)  Functional connections indicated  Bridges to first job  “We can sell this as special” “Yellow Brick Road” – Programs Culminating in a Facilitated Seminar –
  • 6. Liberal arts approaches claim to build the capacity for life-long learning, civic engagement, and abilities to connect dots. Neville, marygrace.neville@gmail.com Southwestern University – 3 Models for Delivering Liberal Arts Majors – Liberal Arts Whole Person
  • 7. Liberal arts approaches claim to build the capacity for life-long learning, civic engagement, and abilities to connect dots. Neville, marygrace.neville@gmail.com Southwestern University – 3 Models for Delivering Liberal Arts Majors – Liberal Arts Whole Person Distribution Requirements
  • 8. Liberal arts approaches claim to build the capacity for life-long learning, civic engagement, and abilities to connect dots. Neville, marygrace.neville@gmail.com Southwestern University – 3 Models for Delivering Liberal Arts Majors – Liberal Arts Whole Person Distribution Requirements Cohort based inclusion of Liberal Arts
  • 9. Neville, marygrace.neville@gmail.com Southwestern University So the question became: “what do we hope any (business) major has?” 21st Century Requirements  Rapid change  Global complexity  High degrees of ambiguity  Interdependencies exaggerated by technology and migration  Balance of skills and abilities  “What else might also be true?” Answer: Equipment for the future.
  • 10. Individual & Interpersonal Personal Capacity Critical & Integrative Thinking Logic & Reasoning Systems & Society Whole Person, Strategic Career Skills, Tactical Literacy: • Reading • Writing • Quantitative & Computational Personal Capacity Map Neville, marygrace.neville@gmail.com Southwestern University
  • 11. Neville, marygrace.neville@gmail.com Southwestern University The map now serves as a framework for balancing course designs and integrating capacity development across the curriculum. Study Level Example Course Thinking & Analysis Introspective & Intellectual Human & Organizations Literacy Logic & Reasoning Critical & Integrative Systems & Society Personal Capacity Critical & Integrative Thinking Introductory & Supporting Fdns of Business Macro economics Financial accounting Core Leadership perspectives Financial statement analysis Upper Level Business ethics Capstone
  • 12. Some institutions and faculty will actualize this faster than others. Neville, marygrace.neville@gmail.com Southwestern University – “Speed Bumps” we’ll need to cross – • What balance does each slice merit in your curriculum? • Resources? • Strategic objectives? • Context and culture? • How can we scale capacity development? • How do we teach faculty to collaborate in order to even begin moving away from “factory” models? • Students wired for emergent today; faculty wired from past.
  • 13. Our “Mission” should we choose to accept it… Genuinely prepare managers/business students for leading our 21st Century (rapidly changing) world. Neville, marygrace.neville@gmail.com Southwestern University 1. Hold our current practices lightly. 2. Practice self-acceptance that there’s a lot you/we don’t know. 3. Call on your courage to try something anything you don’t know yet. 4. Be prepared to change your practice as often as our manager/students need to be changing in the workplace (every 6 months!).
  • 14. Additional information and shared resources are available. Neville, marygrace.neville@gmail.com Southwestern University • Dr. Mary Grace Neville, marygrace.neville@gmail.com • NITLE Academic Commons, http://www.academiccoms.org • Southwestern University’s institutional repository, SU Scholars (available fall 2014; will include slides, supporting manuscript, and extended annotated bibliography)