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National Science Foundation Awards Grant to Bentley University to Further Integrate Science and Business Curriculum
Effective July 1, 2010, the National Science Foundation awarded a $130,347 grant to Bentley University for the project titled "Integrating Earth and Environmental Science Education into a Business Curriculum Using Technology Enhanced Learning." Eric (Rick) Oches, associate professor of Natural and Applied Sciences, and P. Thompson (Thom) Davis, professor of Natural and Applied Sciences, are focused on improving the scientific literacy of future business and civic leaders by further integrating Earth, Environment and Global Sustainability courses into the business curriculum.
"Business students who participate in technology-enhanced science courses will gain greater appreciation for the integrated nature of the environment, society and the economy, which has important implications for advancing sustainability initiatives nationally and internationally," notes Oches, who is the principal investigator. "This will have significant implications on their ability to make informed and educated business and personal decisions relating to environmental matters."
The project includes developing new multi-disciplinary active-learning course modules through a series of summer workshops for science and business faculty. According to Davis, who is co-principal investigator, science education for business students is especially critical to advance a technology-driven economy and support its expansion.
"Innovation and technology-based companies require scientifically informed business leadership for management, finance, marketing, personnel recruiting and strategic planning," Davis notes. "The decisions made in science and technology-driven industries will influence the direction of science and innovation nationally."
In addition to curriculum development, the project includes an assessment plan to measure the effectiveness of the new course modules that will be created. Data gathered about science education for business students and specific course activities will be shared with the science education community through publications and conference presentations.
The Yawkey Foundations have recognized Bentley University’s longstanding commitment to service-learning and awarded the university $500,000 to educate students to effectively lead nonprofit organizations and expand student efforts to help community groups.