Friday, April 27, 2012

Ending remedial education, the value of an MBA degree, and becoming a strategic leader: The latest topics we're talking about

Several news articles have caught our attention lately, and we wanted to weigh on some of the top issues we're seeing being discussed in education and business. Here's a roundup of our take on some of these stories in the media:

How to end remedial education by narrowing achievement gaps

The Connecticut General Assembly’s higher education committee passed a bill in March that would require the state’s public colleges and universities to eliminate non-credit stand-alone remedial classes by fall 2014. The bill has been drawing national attention, as many see it as an effort to address a long-standing obstacle to improving graduation rates.

It has also "raised questions about why so many incoming students are not prepared for college-level work and what can be done about it," according to Nancy L. Zimpher, Chancellor of the State University of New York. She writes in an Inside Higher Ed article that everyone who has a stake in a child’s education (parents, educators, civic groups, employers, and government leaders) must collaborate better to immediately address weaknesses they see in a child's learning progress, before they become larger challenges that require remediation.

Jane Bailey, Dean of Post University's School of Education, has been following the legislation. She commented on Nancy's article, writing that reducing and eliminating the need for remediation goes beyond "connecting the dots between cradle and career." Jane described several strategies she believes are required to reduce or end remediation. Flip over to her comment to see what they are. 

4 ways to create a more valuable MBA degree program

Here's one line that we couldn't have agreed with more when we saw it in Businessweek: "The world is forever changing, and MBA programs must keep pace, educating students for the future." It's part of an article written by Thomas S. Robertson, Dean of the Wharton School and Reliance Professor of Management and Private Enterprise at the University of Pennsylvania.

Thomas went on to talk about the value of an MBA, and how you often see two schools of thought on what an MBA degree program should focus on. He says most business executives want MBA programs to emphasize practicality and real-world use, while many university professors believe they should center around academic theory.

After Don Mroz, Post University's Provost and Dean of the School of Business, read the article, he left a comment about why MBA degree programs today must strike a balance between teaching rigorous academic theory, while also providing opportunities for students to apply what they're learning to solve real-world business challenges. Don went on to explain four ways to achieve this balance and create a more valuable MBA degree program, which you can read about by clicking over to the article.

To become a strategic leader, don't forget to slow down

Author and entrepreneur Paul J. H. Schoemaker recently wrote an article for Inc. tackling one of the most common challenges business leaders and professionals face every day: How to be a more strategic thinker. Many of us tend to get caught up in our day-to-day that we can lose sight of our business objectives, and act more tactically rather than strategically.

The article caught the eye of Doug Brown, Academic Program Manager for Post University's Online MBA Program. He recently wrote a post on our blog in this same vein about four ways to slow down and become a better business owner.

From where Doug sits, most business owners and leaders are not only dealing with the matters directly in front of them, they're also doing it faster than ever before. He expounded on this in a comment on the Inc article, including some advice worth reading to help business owners and professionals keep their eye on the ball and become more strategic leaders.

What are your thoughts on these issues? Any feedback or advice to add?