The Journal of Management
Development, Vol. 18 No. 2, 1999,
pp. 125-136. # MCB University
Assessing the MBA
What do our students learn?
Mark A. Kretovics
College of Business, Colorado State University, Colorado, USA
Keywords Assessment, Learning, Masters of Business Administration, Outcomes
Abstract This article summarizes the results of an outcome assessment pilot study which
measured the learning outcomes of an MBA program utilizing the learning skills profile (LSP).
The LSP measures 12 learning skills important in business and management education. The
results indicate that the MBA program studied does increase the learning skills of its participants
compared to entering student scores and a control group. Seven of the 12 skills showed
statistically significant increases. The implication being that an MBA program does add value to
students that is not necessarily obtained through work experience alone.
Over the past few years, there has been more serious discussion about the need to
fundamentally reform higher education than at any time in this century (Angelo, 1996, p. 3).
There is growing concern that the escalating cost of higher education is not
linked to an increase in educational quality (Bragg, 1995). This sentiment is
reflected by the considerable increase in pressure placed on universities,
colleges, and academic departments to demonstrate the effectiveness of their
efforts through some sort of performance measurement or
assessment'' (Angelo and Cross, 1993; Banta, 1993). Graham pointed out that
``assessing the outcomes of a college education has become an area of
increasing interest to students, parents, and college administrators'' (Graham,
1989, p. 73). This increased interest has translated into governing boards,
accrediting agencies, and state legislatures requiring colleges and universities
to document their effectiveness (Kaase and Harshbarger, 1993).
Today, the academy is being asked, and in some instances mandated, to
adjust its th