Bowdoin, Tuck to collaborate on course

by Noah Goldstein | 11/17/14 7:00pm

Tuck Business School and Bowdoin College will offer a collaborative financial accounting course for Bowdoin students in the spring. The course, which will be conducted primarily online, represents an opportunity to experiment with technology, senior associate dean Robert Hansen said.

This coincides with a similar collaboration between Yale University and Harvard University, which would make a Harvard computer science course available to Yale students, pending Harvard faculty approval.

Bowdoin and Dartmouth began discussing the possibility of the course in early summer, Hansen said. The course passed a Bowdoin faculty vote and received endorsements from two curriculum and policy committees and the economics department at Bowdoin, Bowdoin economics chair Guillermo Herrera wrote in an email. Tuck discussed and approved the course internally, Hansen said.

The course, consisting of two sections of 25 Bowdoin students, will be offered in the spring and will fulfill a Bowdoin general elective credit.

Tuck accounting professor Phillip Stocken created the course with Bowdoin economics faculty members.

Tuck chose Bowdoin due to its proximity, Bowdoin students’ past enrollment in both the Business Bridge program and the Tuck MBA program and relationships between the two colleges, Hansen said.

Hansen said he hopes the program will help bring more undergraduates to Tuck.

If the program goes well, Hansen said he expects Tuck will create more collaborative programs with other schools.

The course will be conducted online and in person, with Tuck faculty visiting Bowdoin for the first and last weeks of the semester, Herrera wrote. Bowdoin economics professor Greg DeCoster will work through any problems the students may have with the material in weekly discussion sessions, Herrera wrote.

Stocken said he modeled the class on a Dartmouth accounting course, adding a few case studies to account for Bowdoin’s longer term, and said he will adjust the class throughout the spring semester.

Dartmouth runs another collaborative program, the Business Bridge program, which will expand to Smith College starting in May 2015. The condensed course focuses on business fundamentals.

The Tuck program, created in 1997, offers four-week summer sessions open to College students and students not affiliated with Dartmouth. The sessions expose those without academic business background to skills from the field. The program recently added a three-week session in December.

This collaboration marks the first of its kind for Bowdoin, Herrera wrote.

The course should give students a solid background in accounting and give Bowdoin faculty more time to focus on their own material, Herrera wrote.

Bowdoin will measure the program’s success through data collection and post-course interviews, he said.

The course, Stocken said, should help Dartmouth and Bowdoin further educational online capabilities.

Other schools are also experimenting with technological collaboration.

The Harvard course could be offered at Yale in fall 2015.

Yale computer science department chair Joan Feigenbaum said she wants to introduce the course to Yale to make computer science more accessible to those who do not want to major in the subject.

She said many Yale students have expressed interest in a course with real-world applications rather than one focused solely on coding.

Like the Tuck-Bowdoin course, the computer science class would combine online and-in person teaching. Students at Yale and Harvard will interact, she said.

Though Yale has collaborated with other Ivies on courses in the past, like a language course collaboration with Columbia University and Cornell University, Feigenbaum said, it has been on a much smaller scale.