Business education prepares students to be college and

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Business education prepares students
to be college and career ready
Introduction
Identification of the issue:
Students are leaving high school without essential business skills and knowledge needed to be prepared for college,
a career, and to function as informed, intelligent, and productive consumers and citizens.
Sound education content and instruction are being compromised in some schools when instruction of business
courses or topics is assigned to teachers who do not possess adequate business knowledge, a business education
degree, OR are assigned to other curriculum areas.
Statement of the issue:
To be competitive in the global economy, our business, industry, and service sectors require employees to have
world-class academic, technical, and workplace skills and knowledge. To meet this expectation, our education
system must provide compelling learning experiences that connect all students to adulthood, and domestic and
global labor markets based upon a strong instructional convergence of academic, technical, and employability skills.
Business education courses make a significant and vital contribution to the academic and career preparation of all
students by providing rigorous and relevant courses of study aligned with the Common Core Standards.
1. An academically prepared student possesses common core skills including: higher order thinking skills,
analytical skills, essential computational skills, writing and reading skills, and technology skills.
2. A career ready person capitalizes on personal strengths, talents, education, and experiences to bring value
to the workplace and the community through his/her performance, skill, diligence, ethics, and responsible
behavior. A career ready person has explored various career options and is cognizant of the skills and
education required.
3. A student that possesses essential life skills has sound personal finance and money management skills;
understands the economic conditions that contribute to a sound economy and what it means to be globally
competitive; understands and appreciates the free enterprise system; can use technology efficiently and
effectively for personal and career use; and can apply skills learned to various personal and professional
situations.
Because business educators have undergone rigorous training and are certified to teach accounting and
finance, they are the most qualified to teach personal financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and
economics*.
*Based on the 2008 Survey of States conducted by the Council for Economic Education, personal finance concepts
were included, to some extent, in the educational standards of 44 states, with 34 of these states requiring
implementation of personal finance standards. Thirteen states--representing nearly 31 percent of the entire
United States population--have mandated a personal finance course (or personal finance concepts in an
economics course) as a high school graduation requirement.*
(Taken from PCBEE Policy Statement #88)
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Business courses contribute to a workforce that is prepared to lead, collaborate, and innovate. Students that study
business and acquire business skills and knowledge help to strengthen the economy.
Integrated academic and technical instructional opportunities in business education must be provided for all
students and recognized as a component of graduation requirements.
The Body
Background information:
From its inception, business education has been an integral part of the school curriculum. Business courses provide
a rigorous course of study. Individual course standards reflect skills and knowledge needed to pursue a career and
to be ready for college.
While business education programs vary by school district, the full range of business education content areas
includes:
ACCOUNTING
Accounting focuses on the importance of being able to understand, interpret, and use accounting
information to make financial decisions. It is the language of business. In particular, Accounting focuses on
the ability to: (1) read, interpret, and analyze financial information; (2) apply generally accepted
accounting principles; (3) understand how the accounting system provides business information;
(4)recognize the various users of accounting information; and (5) understand the dynamic nature of the
business environment in which accounting information is used.
Accounting contributes to common core including: strategic and critical thinking; risk analysis; problem
solving and decision making; communication; calculation, computation, analysis, interpretation of data,
and team work and leadership.
BUSINESS LAW
Business Law addresses statutes and regulations affecting businesses, families, and individuals in their
related roles. A knowledge of business law is useful for all students, because all students eventually
assume roles as citizens, workers, and consumers in their communities and in society at large. Business
students must include in their academic preparation a basic knowledge of the legal system and how
business law impacts commerce in their own country and abroad (i.e., the impact of globalization). They
must also understand that state, territory or province, or federal law must sometimes work in conjunction
with international law.
Business Law contributes to common core including: problem-solving strategies, critical thinking,
analytical development, reading and comprehension, and writing arguments to support claims in an
analysis of substantive topics or texts, using effective techniques, valid reasoning, and relevant and
sufficient evidence.
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CAREER DEVELOPMENT
Career Development differs from other curriculum areas in that it encompasses an individual's total
lifestyle--education, occupation, social responsibility, and leisure activities. An individual who wants to
enjoy a quality standard of living must be prepared to make wise career transitions and to continuously
learn new skills.
The Career Development Standards accordingly focus on the following skills:
Assessing personal skills, abilities, and aptitudes for making a good "career fit."
Using career resources to explore career opportunities in both domestic and international
markets.
Developing expectations for workplace-related values, such as a strong work ethic, positive
working relationships, ability to succeed in culturally diverse environments, strong communication
skills, continual skill improvement, and competence in managing one's career.
Managing the school-to-work transition, including job-search strategies and opportunities for
personal and professional growth.
Career Development contributes to common core including: research and exploration, personal assessment
of skills and aptitudes, reading skills, and personal and professional reflection.
COMMUNICATION
The Communication curriculum encourages mastery of all communication skills essential for interacting
effectively with people in the workplace and in society. Of equal importance is the mastery of the
common core skills--listening, speaking, reading, and writing--and their application in both social and
organizational settings.
While basic principles of communication remain fairly consistent, the world continues to change
politically, economically, technologically, and socially. As these changes occur, new communication
strategies evolve. Technology, including business social networking, profoundly influences business
communication, making technological competence a requirement for career advancement. The body of
knowledge called Communication is unique in that it permeates all areas of the business education
curriculum as well as all other educational disciplines. Communication standards, therefore, should not be
limited to one course; they should be integrated throughout the curriculum.
Communication contributes to the common core including: language arts: reading and writings skills,
grammar and punctuation, speaking, and the knowledge of personal, professional, and technical writing.
COMPUTATION
Computation skills are more than just the skills needed to make quantitative and precise calculations. A
hallmark of the business education curriculum is its relevance to everyday applications. Computational
skills encompass the ability to:
solve mathematical problems,
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analyze and interpret data, and
apply sound decision-making skills.
These abilities are an important component of what it takes to succeed in all areas of business and finance
in our technology- and data-driven society.
The business curriculum offers multiple opportunities to develop, use, and integrate computation skills at
all levels. In addition, specific courses in business, personal finance, and applied mathematics help
students develop the computation skills needed to solve business-, personal finance-, and economic-
related problems.
Computation skills acquired in business courses and content that contribute to common core include: how
to choose and use the technology resources, calculation, computation, analysis, and interpretation of data.
ECONOMICS
The American economy is based on a private enterprise system in which the millions of individual choices
made by consumers, workers, and citizens, in sum, affect the decisions made by business owners and
government officials.
Economics links to basic economic concepts that all students should master, such as the following:
scarcity, choice, and opportunity costs;
productivity;
economic systems, institutions, and incentive;
exchange, money, and interdependence;
markets, prices, and competition;
supply and demand; and
roles of consumers, governments, and citizens.
Economics contributes to the common core including: critical thinking, assessment, analysis, connecting
insights and predictions, computation, and reading comprehension.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Entrepreneurship focuses on recognizing a business opportunity, starting a business based on the
recognized opportunity, and operating and maintaining that business. All students benefit from
developing an appreciation for and understanding of Entrepreneurship in our economy: most of the jobs
(both professional and technical) created in recent years have been in the small business sector. Forecasts
indicate that this trend will continue.
Entrepreneurial skills are necessary not only for students who will become entrepreneurs, but also for
individuals working in the increasingly competitive corporate world. Entrepreneurship is a natural fit for
business education because entrepreneurship integrates the functional areas of business--accounting,
finance, marketing, and management--and the legal and economic environments in which any new
venture operates.
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Entrepreneurship contributes to the common core including: problem solving, research, analytical thinking,
planning, assessment of complex ideas and information, computation, and language arts/communication.
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Information Technology is radically changing the landscape of business and the global society. Once
viewed as an area only for computer programmers, engineers, and scientists, the information technology
field is now viewed as an indispensable resource for organizational and personal productivity--that is, for
achieving an organization's business goals, and for facilitating the attainment of an individual's life and
career goals.
Mastery of technology tools is a requirement rather than an option for enhancing academic, business, and
personal performance. To prepare students to be successful in today's global business environment, which
is increasingly dependent on--and defined by--technology tools, educators must focus on the use of
technology as a tool for facilitating ethical business functions.
Information Technology contributes to the common core including: problem solving, reading
comprehension, analytical thinking, and interpretation of data, evaluate and integrate multiple sources of
information presented in various formats and media, determine meaning of symbols and vocabulary,
utilize various technology to accomplish appropriate tasks.
INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS
International Business is an essential area of study to help students understand, to make informed
decisions, and to compete in today's global economy. The International Business standards focus on:
raising awareness of the interrelatedness of one country's political policies and economic practices
on another;
learning to improve international business relations through appropriate communication
strategies;
understanding the global business environment--that is, the interconnectedness of cultural,
political, legal, economic, and ethical systems;
exploring basic concepts underlying international finance, management, marketing, and trade
relations; and;
identifying forms of business ownership and international business opportunities.
International Business contributes to the common core including: analytical, computation, language arts/
communication, research, and reading comprehension.
MANAGEMENT
Management is the process of using organizational resources effectively and efficiently to achieve
organizational goals through planning, organizing, leading/directing, and evaluating/controlling.
Management education helps students understand and analyze various management theories and apply
them to the workplace. Management education also helps students understand basic management
functions, their interrelationships, and the organization's competitive niche.
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The study of Management is an essential component in the design and delivery of the business education
curriculum. Mastery of these standards will help students lay the groundwork for managerial competence
in the global marketplace. According to the 2012 Princeton Review, business administration and
management/commerce is the number one college major followed by economics, computer and information
sciences and communications studies/speech communication and rhetoric.
Management contributes to the common core including: problem-solving, analytical, reading comprehension,
speaking, decision making, and computation.
MARKETING
Marketing education introduces students to the processes and functions involved in providing products or
services that meet consumers' wants and needs. As a major business function, marketing impacts both the
domestic and International economies.
Marketing exists within a dynamic environment of rapidly evolving technology and constant change,
emerging interdependent nations and their economies, and increasing demands for ethical and social
responsibility. General marketing concepts are important to everyone, because they impact individuals,
business, and society. The study of marketing can help students gain a clearer picture of how key business
functions are directly related to marketing activities.
Marketing supports the common core including: analysis, problem solving, discernment, language arts
including reading, writing, and speaking.
PERSONAL FINANCE
Personal Finance equips students with essential financial skills. The growing emphasis on financial literacy
has highlighted the need for students to learn how to navigate the financial decisions they must make and
how to make informed decisions related to managing finances and budgeting, saving and investing, living
independently, earning and reporting income, buying goods and services, using credit, banking, and
protecting against risk. According to a report on college debt by , college debt now outpaces credit
card debt in the United States.
Knowing, understanding, and applying these personal finance concepts offer the necessary analytical tools
for addressing economic issues, both personal and societal. Understanding economic principles and
developing sound financial literacy skills provide the basis for responsible citizenship, financial solvency,
and career success. Financial literacy is being considered and now required as a graduation requirement in
some states including: Indiana, Missouri, and Ohio. The following quote illustrates the increasing interest
in a financial literacy requirement: "Lawmakers in Ohio, propelled by the state's dubious distinction as the
leader in home foreclosures in the nation in 2006, made financial literacy a high school graduation
requirement. Other states and schools are considering similar measures." (ASCD, Feb.2009)
Personal Finance supports common core including: calculation, computation, analysis, and decision
making.

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