Acton students leave with MBAs, of course, but they don’t leave as “MBA Hares.”*
And with the changes to the program we’re enacting this year, that distinction will become even starker. The gist of the changes—the most substantial in ten years—is this: we’re moving even further toward simulating what it’s like to be a real entrepreneur, in the trenches, launching a business.
In other words, it’ll be more impossible than ever for an MBA Hare—who’s more business style than substance—to bounce through Acton. And, naturally, wantrepeneurs need not apply.
The article in the spring issue of Philanthropy covered some of changes to the traditional MBA format we made when we first branched out ten years ago: cutting the MBA from two years to one, nixing tenure, hiring only teachers who’ve been successful entrepreneurs. This year we take it further:
- First, we’ve cut program length again, this time from a year to nine months. But the workload will be just as intense—if not more so.
- Second, the first four months of the program will be delivered online, via Acton’s My Entrepreneurial Journey platform. Apart from a few on-site events to bring everyone together during these first few months, everything will be delivered online in interactive simulations, games, and exercises. Each of which challenges the student to (1) dig deep inside themselves to get a clearer picture of the kind of entrepreneur they want to be and (2) test and hone their business instincts in real-world experiments.
Why are we doing all this? For one, the “ivory tower of academia,” as the Wall Street Journal put it recently—“is toppling.” (This clearly isn’t news to anyone who reads Transforming Education.) And one of the reasons it’s toppling is because of the perfect storm it’s found itself and its constituents in: meteoric tuition hikes with no end in sight; a trillion dollars worth of student loan debt; iron, obsolete academic bureaucracies; and a one of the most competitive job markets for college graduates in decades.
Acton’s never been under that storm, but our new approach—which incorporates a more pronounced blending-learning component than we’ve ever used before—aligns the program even more closely with the kinds of interactive, student-centered, real-world-results-oriented programs that are on the rise.
*Do you fit an entrepreneur archetype? Take this quiz to find out.