Rutgers Business School is offering a twist on traditional learning: stackable programs and microcourses designed to upskill working professionals who are intent on keeping pace with the rapidly changing work world.
The Newark and New Brunswick institution said it is planning innovative new programs to draw on the transformative idea of stackable credentials, with an eye to the forces shaping the future of higher education. The programs are designed to instruct students in nontraditional course formats, even if they don’t attain a full master’s degree to do it.
Rutgers Business School Dean Lei Lei and Miklos Vasarhelyi, distinguished professor of accounting information systems, have advocated the introduction of novel microcourses and stackable certificate programs as key to future business education teaching — and learning.
“We are leading the way into the future with new curriculum options that answer the demands of students who want to learn with greater flexibility,” Lei said. “Our new programs are designed to allow students to study the topics they choose, linking together classes to build job skills needed for future work in a digital era.”
Rutgers Business School’s most ambitious effort to create a stackable curriculum that shakes up the traditional program structure is the Rutgers Stackable Business Innovation Program, or rSBI.
Graduate students may take courses from a broad range of subject areas, including business topics such as auditing and forensic accounting, data analytics and machine learning, supply chain management, marketing analytics and managing in the global business environment.
Students also have the flexibility of choosing courses they want and earning credits as they go, advancing through the courses at their own pace. The program offers students the ability to “stack” credits together and apply them toward non-degree certificates providing them with in-depth subject matter expertise.
The new programs at Rutgers Business School reflect trends that have been emerging for years in higher education. The efforts to innovate began before COVID-19 emerged and crystalized as the delivery of education shifted dramatically during the pandemic.
Each of the new programs are powered by a digital library that has offered students around the world nearly 4,000 hours of educational material for more than a decade.