Ninety per cent of the sample scored curriculum as good or better. When students were asked to rate their level of improvement in 18 KSAs (“Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities”) on a 10-point scale, they rated the following KSAs most heavily:
• Knowledge of general business functions (7.8)
• Decision-making (7.5)
• Motivation and leadership (7.5)
• Strategy and innovation (7.4)
• Interpersonal skills (7.1)
• Generative thinking (7.0)
• Interpersonal orientation (6.9)
In other words, students said they didn’t just learn content from the curriculum, but also how to think and work successfully with others. What’s more, students gave high marks to their alma maters for developing their integrated reasoning skills. These skills, which include the ability to evaluate, synthesize, organize, and manipulate data, are among the most coveted skills by employers, according to GMAC. And 80-85% of respondents answered that their curriculum either integrated these skills all the time or often.
Program structure notched a similar satisfaction rate as curriculum, with class size, facilities, and technological resources receiving the most accolades among the Class of 2015.
As expected, the ever-maligned career services, despite being ranked as the second most-effective means for students to land a job, was the most polarizing aspect of the B-school experience. Fewer than 50% of respondents deemed their career services as outstanding or excellent, with more than a quarter regarding it as fair or poor. While 76% lauded staff responsiveness, just 61% were satisfied with their centers’ ability to provide job opportunities. The irony? Just half of the respondents had even bothered to use their career center. In other words, students may be punishing career centers for their reputation as much as their performance.
BUSINESS STUDENTS SEEKING MORE EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING
It’s no secret: some educational formats are more conducive to specific instructional methods. For example, lectures tend to be the preferred delivery format in accounting and finance master’s programs, which rely heavily on rules and precision. As a whole, however, graduate business programs use an even mix of instructional methods, according to GMAC. How even? Team projects, lecture and discussion, case studies, and pure lecture each account for either 22% or 23% of delivery respectively (with experiential learning comprising 10%).
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