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Curriculum Advancement

Maintaining a market relevant academic structure at the undergraduate and graduate levels is essential for students to acquire the knowledge and skills that differentiate them in a competitive job market and set them up for early professional success.  The accelerated pace of change in today’s business environment coupled with lasting change resulting from the pandemic is driving a whole new set of desired skills and the need to modernize curriculum. 

In June 2022, an integrated team of business school department chairs, administration governance, and a committee from the Business Council assembled to assess market needs, draft recommendations and lay out a phased implementation plan.  The first phase of the program focused on the “core business curriculum” required of all business students regardless of concentration.  Future phases will address the opportunity to update concentration specific course offerings and propose potential new concentrations.

The Case For Change

  • Key business trends are driving radical changes in the roles, skills and competencies companies need to compete effectively. 
  • The accelerated pace of business change is expected to continue demanding organizational agility which is driving increased use of interdisciplinary teams and higher importance of soft skills.
  • An initiative to review and refresh the LHBS programs and curriculum was initiated in June with an integrated team of academic leaders and practicing business professionals from the Business Council. 

The Curriculum Advancement Team

Faculty Leadership

Department Chairs

  • Joe McManus – Management & Leadership
  • Nancy Uddin – Accounting
  • Benedicte Reyes – Finance, Economics, & Real Estate
  • Min Hua Lu – Marketing & International Business
  • Jonathan Daigle – MBA

University Governance

Dean’s Office

  • Gilda Agacer, Associate Dean
  • Janeth Merkle, Assistant Dean
  • Richard Ricciardi, Head of Corporate Affairs

Learning Assurances

Michael Chattalas, Chair LHBS Assurance of Learning Committee

Business Council (External)

  • Deb Clay, Committee Chair
  • Natasha Chandler, Committee Vice-Chair
  • Bill MacDonald
  • Glenn Bellomy
  • Nicole Puccio
  • John Brogan
  • Sheldon Horowitz

The Analysis

  1. Interviews with Business Council members about emerging business trends for their companies / industries
  2. Gathered input from hiring managers (and HR leaders) about top skills/capabilities required of candidates
  3. Performed focus groups with recent MU Graduates  facilitated by LHBS Department Chairs
  4. Identified current and future top ranked NJ industries that will be hiring our graduates
  5. Benchmarked and compared current Leon Hess Business School undergraduate and graduate program offerings to 8 business schools
  6. Reviewed accreditation standards and guiding principles from AACSB

Top Changes For Undergraduate Program

  1. Reduce ‘core’ curriculum credit requirements from 39 credits to 33
  2. Enhance Business & Data Analytics skills by providing more opportunities for exposure to key concepts throughout the program
  3. Enhance Communications skills overall by providing more opportunities for students (in all courses) to speak up, synthesize and summarize information, and create and deliver presentations
  4. Increase Real World Experience/Experiential Learning by supporting more internships for credit, recruiting Strategic Management professor for capstone case studies, and business council partnership in classroom
  5. Certification Programs: Investigate adding certification programs in areas like Accounting with new CPA requirements, Project Management, Operations Management, and Human Resources

Top Changes For Graduate Program

1.Reduce barriers to entry

  1. Address barriers to Entry – Reduce credit requirements for non- business undergraduates (from 57 to 36-42 credits)  to align with market and attract more students from other majors. Aligned with Mid-Atlantic Conference Feedback and benchmark
  2. Increase flexibility and remote support to expand student demographics and attract more  business  professionals in the program (majority are 4+1 students)
  3. Enhance Career Opportunities for MBAs through targeted job placement, internships, case   studies, and project work. Partnering with Business Council and Career Services.