First Cohort of Harvard Business School’s HBX CORe Now Complete

Harvard Business School‘s new digital learning initiative, HBX, held a closing ceremony earlier this month to formally mark the completion of its first offering, HBX CORe (Credential of Readiness).

CORe is an interactive online program specially designed by HBS faculty members and was first offered this summer to undergraduates and recent graduates interested in learning the fundamentals of business through a suite of three courses in Business Analytics, Economics for Managers, and Financial Accounting.

More than 100 of the nearly 500 participants who finished the nine-week CORe program and exam came to the Harvard Business School campus to take part in various activities and a ceremony, as well as the distribution of a credential recognizing successful completion of the program.

“We are delighted to honor these and all the other students who completed these courses in the basics of business,” said Dean Nitin Nohria.

“From beginning to end, they were engaged in the kind of rigorous, interactive learning that has long been the hallmark of Harvard Business School’s pedagogy. We believe this program also marks an important milestone in the development of online education.”

The CORe program was offered for a fee to a targeted group of students, in contrast to free massive open online courses, or MOOCs, and was based on an innovative technological platform specifically designed to offer an interactive experience that mirrors many of the elements in the HBS case teaching approach.

“The fact that 85 percent of those who began the HBX CORe program finished it is testament to the success of this new model of online education,” Dean Nohria observed.

In offering the CORe program for the first time, HBX facilitated the process by limiting eligibility to students enrolled in Massachusetts colleges and universities and to the children of Harvard University faculty, staff, and alumni.

“Our intent behind CORe was to create a program that would allow students from very different backgrounds – humanities, social sciences, and STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] majors – to gain basic fluency in essential business concepts and decision making,” said Professor Bharat Anand, faculty chair of HBX.

“Through the efforts of our faculty and the HBX staff members, we have been able to create an immersive online experience that prompted a high level of participant engagement, including rich peer-to-peer interactions that greatly enhanced the learning experience,” Anand continued. “We’ve been delighted to see that the participant response to CORe has been overwhelmingly positive.As one student put it, ‘This has been the best proxy for any classroom experience I have seen so far’.”

The next offering of the CORe program will begin on Feb. 25, 2015. Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis. Future cohort start dates will be announced shortly.

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