A report published last month in the Chicago Tribune highlights how business schools are increasingly adopting experiential learning for MBA programs. Experiential learning uses experiences – rather than relying on lectures and textbooks – to teach students. According to the report, schools are embracing experiential learning programs because of the idea that businesses today are facing challenges that cannot be solved with a one-size-fits-all educational approach. MBA experiential learning goes beyond theoretical knowledge to teach students the “art” of practicing management through hands-on experiences instead of a traditional instructional approach.
There’s another reason MBA programs are attaching to experiential learning: keeping enrollment numbers up. Business school enrollment is declining: The number of U.S. citizens taking the main business school entrance exam, the GMAT, dropped by a third from the 2010 to 2015 testing years. Our most recent Trends Report found that almost half of our research requests from business schools centered on new program development. As competition increases, business schools are employing tactics to set them apart, through unique academic programs such as experiential learning.