A Close Look at MIT Sloan and Stanford
Today is a continuation of our ongoing examination of the recent changes at top business schools around the United States.
On the radar today:
MIT Sloan Gains Fresh Perspective
MIT Sloan is actively attempting to raise its profile and become a more recognizable institution. During his recent interview with Business Week Online, Sloan’s Dean David Schmittlein discussed various unique opportunities to make the program more recognizable and to develop a tighter connection with world business leaders.
Some of the changes the school plans to make include the following:
- Customize the curriculum to the needs of learners
- Make the program more relevant to medium term career goals
- Add a number of new degree programs
Similar to many top Business Schools, Sloan is working hard to develop new engagements around the world. Sloan anticipates many announcements to surface about their updated relationships with global business leader within the next six months.
Maintaining a Competitive Edge
MIT wants to become a more competitive program in the face of rising challenges and rising interest from students worldwide in getting an MBA. MIT is striving to increase its value on the “B-School Market”, with a number of key points that they believe separate them from the rest of elite B-Schools:
- Management education is not only about the MBA
- Advances in strategy and consulting
- Building on the strength of entrepreneurship and innovation
- Family based institutions
Stanford Seeks to Go Green and Turn Socially Conscious
Stanford has also launched a new curriculum. An interesting aspect of this curriculum is a new class called Critical Analytical Thinking:
- Designed to develop the student’s ability to construct a strong argument
- Learn how to take a tough topic and make an argument about it in a very short period of time.
- Done in a small group; students are instructed to mutually critique each other’s work
- The student’s teacher becomes the student’s personal advisor
New Campus, Same Values
The new campus for Stanford’s Graduate School of Business will be exclusively green and provide the comfort of California style architecture, integrating indoor and outdoor environments. The new campus will reflect the new changes within curriculum. The campus and building will also provide the students with flexibility in learning as more seminar rooms are built which facilitate working in small teams. According to the school’s website, $100,000,000 USD of Nike CEO Phil Knight’s donation will be put towards the new $275,000,000 USD campus. The project, called the Knight Management Center, breaks ground this year and the new campus will replace the old business school’s outdated infrastructure. The campus will be shared with other schools in the university via the innovative multi-disciplinary courses that Stanford Graduate School of Business are introducing into their curriculum.
These requirements for flexibility and collaborative learning come together in a course called “Innovations in Bio-Design.” The student make-up for that course, according to the dean, is 1/3 Business, 1/3 Medical School, and 1/3 engineering. The course is based on developing a Bio-Design idea and creating a business model for it. Thus, the students must work together due to the disparate nature of the disciplines involved.
Such a course reflects Stanford’s focus on business “not existing in a vacuum,” according to Dean Rovert Joss: Stanford’s new business curriculum takes social, environmental and other non-market situations seriously and considers its institution to be a center for social innovation. Stanford’s curriculum embodies the idea that business and social awareness are not mutually exclusive.
Changing Faces and Strong Values
MIT Sloan and Stanford’s updated MBA programs both reflect similar ideas about how business education fit with culture and the environment. Both programs embody the idea that business must coexist within the environment and the global landscape while business education must reflect that coexistence. Additionally, the way that an MBA fits with a student’s future must be accounted for within the education itself.
Lastly, the schools discussed both today and yesterday are making their curricula more student-focused. These programs are striving to strengthen the value of an MBA degree by exposing students to how business operates in the real world and most of all, helping students to be prepared (and employed) when graduation finally comes around.
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