Coles College of Business beefs up management curriculum

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Contact: Aixa Pascual 678-797-2549 or   Coles College of Business beefs…

Georgia (Apr 17, 2012)Contact: Aixa Pascual

678-797-2549 or


Coles College of Business beefs up management curriculum

Undergraduate major revised to offer business students more marketable skills such as project management and communication

KENNESAW, Ga. (April 17, 2012) — Kennesaw State University’s Michael J. Coles College of Business is revamping its undergraduate management major so that graduates are better prepared to compete and succeed in the business world.

The new curriculum for the bachelor’s in management, effective in fall 2012, will focus on having students learn hard skills, such as project management, business analysis and report writing, as well as honing soft skills including negotiating, critical thinking and communication.

“Businesses were telling us that management graduates were lacking certain skills, such as professional communication and analytical skills,” said Richard Franza, chair of the Department of Management & Entrepreneurship in the Coles College of Business. “We wanted to make the management major more attractive and make sure students see the big picture while learning how to manage projects.”

Franza said that there is a gap between what employers are looking for and the skills that students learn in business school, making it harder for management majors to get placed in jobs after graduation. The revised curriculum addresses this gap.

“With the new curriculum, our students will learn how to be critical thinkers, team players, good communicators and understand how managers think and behave,” Franza explained. “They will understand the systems and contexts in which an organization operates, learn about group processes associated with leading high-performance teams, and grasp the factors affecting managers’ decision making and problem solving.”

The new coursework will affect more than 1,300 students enrolled in the management major, Kennesaw State’s second most popular major. This is the first significant curriculum change for the management major in more than a decade.

Before undertaking the curriculum overhaul, the management department appointed a task force that asked businesses which skills they value. The committee also looked at other business schools’ curricula to find out what skills business school graduates need nowadays.

“Faculty members, individuals from the business community and students all had input into the redesign of the management major curriculum,” said Kathy Schwaig, interim dean of the Coles College of Business. “This has been a major effort spanning over two years. Most importantly, we’re excited about the positive impact this is going to have on our students and their learning.”

Management majors will be required to take four courses in sequential order, instead of five core courses that they must now take in no particular order, said Stacy Campbell, an assistant professor of management who chaired the task force.

The new core coursework comprises “Managing Organizations,” “Managing People,” “Managing Projects” and “Managing Your Company.” For their global requirement, students will be able to choose among courses in international entrepreneurship, international human resources management, international management, contemporary global business practices and international supply chain management, depending on their interests.

Instead of courses existing in silos, such as venture management and organizational behavior, the new core courses will be more integrated with each other.

“The result is that students will get a better picture of how things fit together in an organization,” Campbell said. “The courses will be more interrelated and students will see the connections between them. Students will have a better understanding of organizational systems, of the role of managers, and, ultimately, of how they can leverage the skills learned when they graduate.”

For more information on the revised curriculum, please go to


Contact: Aixa Pascual

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit