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Fogelman College of Business and Economics Leads the Way in Critical Thinking

For release:  September 20, 2010

As Stanford and other top universities begin to investigate the need for a course in critical thinking, the Fogelman College of Business & Economics (FCBE) has launched MIS 3210, ‘Critical Thinking in Project Management for Business.’ The course is unique in that it combines critical thinking with an introduction to project management. Thus, while the focus is on critical thinking, a project management environment is used to test the skills taught in the course. By combining critical thinking and project management the students gain exposure to two essential skill sets required in businesses today.

Critical thinking has been taught for years, typically, as a “logic” course in the philosophy department. Working from this logic base, MIS 3210 includes an analysis of problem sets to provide the student with practice not only in logic but in its application in business settings. The primary application of analytical thinking is the business project. Students are instructed in project management and Microsoft Office Project, and then use their learned skills to analyze a business case and develop required project management documents. Among the documents included are a project charter, a scope statement, work breakdown structure, project schedule and project budget. Thus, the course provides multiple activities to reinforce the concepts covered in the class.

MIS 3210 is part of a much larger effort, the 4 Cs Program, that itself is part a larger initiative, the Fogelman Promise, a multi-dimensional program intended to alter the culture of the College and its students.  The 4Cs Program is designed to help enhance students’ self-confidence by raising their awareness, understanding and development of four critical skills that will be intrinsic to their future career success:  Communication, Creativity, Critical Thinking and Emotional Control. On going changes in the College, such as those described, highlight the intent within the College to continually review how students are educated, and how this education matches the needs of our corporate partners.

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