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The Business Curriculum of Drexel: The Pink Collar Track

April 4, 2008

by Robin Elliot

During the 1950's Drexel continued to offer female students the opportunity to receive a degree in the College of Business Administration. The curriculum for the College of Business Administration was varied and included different types of administrative work for women. Kenneth Matheson, Jr., was the Dean of the College and was responsible for the program and facilities.

Typewriting was an important part of the curriculum for several specialties for the College of Business Administration. These included Business Teacher Training, Administrative Secretarial, Junior Secretarial, Cooperative Business Administrations, Four-Year Business, and Retail Management tracks. The length of training depended on the specific program the student was enrolled in.

Although not directly related to the Business Administration program, the Library School and Home Economics students also received some typewriting training. The Administrative Secretarial track and the Retail Management track students took office machine classes. Accounting was another important facet of the curriculum for Business Administration students regardless of the specific track they were on. During the 1950's a student of the College of Business Administration would be in a classroom between eighty and eighty-five percent of their school day. This compares to only fifty percent for Home Economics students and sixty percent for an Engineering student.

The Cooperative Business Administration student would be required to take a certain number of generalized classes such as English, History, Sociology and other similar courses, in addition to the specific business themed courses of their major. The business courses included marketing, finance, accounting, typing, office machines, and general business classes.

These courses were part of a new curriculum implemented during the 1950's in the Cooperative Business Administration, Commerce and Engineering, and Four-Year Business Administration majors. The new requirements resulted in college juniors choosing one of four possible concentrations- finance, accounting, marketing, or management and tailoring their remaining coursework on this choice. In the College of Business Administration was the Retailing Curriculum which included merchandising where students took retailing, marketing, and advertising.

During the 1950's Drexel began offering an advanced course to female college graduates resulting in a certificate, not a degree. This track would provide female students with secretarial training and with more specific business knowledge. The courses included Human Relations, Business Law, Accounting, Office Management, Introduction to Management and Typing. These courses were similar to those required for full-time graduate students and if a student was interested in enhancing their career they would be eligible for the M.B. A. program at Drexel. For more information on the College of Business Administration and male and female student curriculum, please see collection UR 1.7 James Creese Administrative Papers.

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