Johnson Program Overview
The Johnson School at Cornell University pushes a philosophy called Real Impact, which it defines as “the broad perspective and the depth of skill required to sustain, transform, and grow organizations, and to make a powerful, positive, and lasting mark on the world.” The three core elements Johnson uses to distinguish itself are its vast connections to research, teaching, and alumni resources; its passionate, collaborative community; and its “performance-learning approach” that creates a supportive learning environment while also expecting outstanding performance.
One unique approach by Cornell is its “Immersion learning”, which exposes students to experiential, real-world learning instead of a lecture- or case-based education. By creating reality-based situations “such as having students solve complex problems under demanding time pressures” Johnson believes it will produce well-prepared graduates.
The environment at Johnson is friendly but competitive. The school recruits a diverse group of students who are talented and driven, and who will push each other to become high performers. Administrators believe that an intentionally small and selective student body will foster community and generate better innovation. They see their Ithaca location as a community-building advantage over urban schools with commuter students who rush in and out.
There is a strong emphasis on “performance learning” that requires students to produce results in a real business setting even as they are learning. Their three-part learning philosophy has students learn from theoretical frameworks, apply concepts in an environment where they have to deliver results, then receive feedback from experts to learn and improve their performance.