Wharton offers life long learning
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania changes curriculum design to promote individualized learning and commits to tuition-free, on-going Executive Education for new MBA graduates.
The innovative design, a product of a multiyear study of the evolving role of business education, allows greater customization and offers MBA students flexibility based on their backgrounds and experience. The design builds on the premier strength of the Wharton School’s academic reputation for rigor and relevance and offers new opportunities for student self-analysis and self-understanding, which underlie effective leadership. The School also commits to a radically new vision of business education as a life-long “knowledge partnership” between Wharton and its graduates, offering tuition-free executive education training for new MBA graduates.
“The architecture of the curriculum addresses the needs of a new global generation through flexibility, rigor and innovation,” said Thomas S. Robertson, Dean of the Wharton School. “Our research shows that this generation of business leaders wants greater control over educational choices, continued exposure to peers with deep, global experience and more opportunity in their academic experience to self-analyze and self-reflect. As part of the design, we are introducing a series of global modular courses that will be offered in eight countries this year.”
Innovative design elements include courses in six distinct Content Areas as Finance and the Global Economy, Ethical and Legal Responsibility, Managing the Global Enterprise, Understanding and Serving Customers, Corporate Reporting and Control, Management of Operations, Innovation, Information, and Decisions under Uncertainty. Students will be able to customize learning by selecting a course pathway through these content areas based on their educational and career experience.
Course content in microeconomics and statistics will also be increased significantly. This will assure that students have the tools needed to understand risk, markets, and the role of government when markets fail. There will be an integrated focus on ethical and legal responsibility in business which allows Wharton to provide deeper and more challenging frameworks that will guide students’ managerial decisions upon returning to the work force. The new curriculum also puts an increased focus on oral and written communication as a response to stakeholder feedback that these skills are essential components to successful business leadership. And the school will provide multiple new leadership development opportunities through learning simulation courses, a two-year coaching experience, and tools to offer self-analysis and self-reflection. This focus will encourage development of the personal skills that are crucial to exemplary leadership.
The new flexibility in Wharton’s curriculum goes hand-in-hand with its unprecedented promise to new MBA graduates to provide them with tuition-free executive education every seven years throughout their careers. “Changing careers and a changing world bring new problems and the need for new knowledge,” said Professor G. Richard Shell, Chair of the MBA Review Committee that created the new design. “With this unique commitment to lifelong learning, Wharton seeks to create a vibrant community of graduates who will return regularly to engage with faculty and fellow alumni.”
Significant financial resources are being committed to assure the success of the enhanced curriculum, with a partial rollout in 2011 and full implementation in 2012.
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania – founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school – has campuses in Philadelphia and San Francisco, enrolls 1600 students in its full-time MBA Program and 400 students in its MBA Program for Executives. Students are taught by 220 expert faculty members and 200 affiliated faculty across 11 academic departments. The School’s 25 research centers engage students in specific domains of knowledge.