High School of Business FAQ

Why aren’t there computer courses in the High School of Business™ program?

As students become computer savvy at earlier ages, we believe that many of them will arrive in high school with basic Microsoft Office skills.  In addition, most students are capable of learning these skills as they need them in courses.  The following quote sums up this philosophy:

“If you try to separate “computer class” from the rest of the curriculum, students might learn “computer”, but the real goal should be to teach them to use it as a tool, just like pencil and paper, crayons, calculators, and so forth.”
— Lynn Ewing, Chenowith Schools, Oregon

My school operates using a block schedule, and the High School of Business™ courses are designed as 50-minute semester courses. Is there a remedy?

Yes.  We recommend that courses be grouped in pairs to fit block schedules.  The High School of Business™ Handbook offers sample schedules for consideration.

My school is small. Will HSB work here?

Yes, but consider the following in your planning process:

  • Students work in teams frequently. Teams need at least 3 members, so the curriculum can work in a class as small as 3.
  • If your school requires a minimum enrollment for a course to be offered, know that schools participating in HSB must “offer the courses in a manner in which a student can complete the program prior to graduating”.  If classes are not offered due to low enrollment, that could be a problem.
  • The role of the counselor(s) is crucial in all schools, but in particular small schools where HSB will be limited to one section per semester. Courses must be scheduled so students can take them or your HSB cohort will shrink.  For example, if band/choir is scheduled at same time as the only section of HSB, that could be a conflict for students.
  • HSB projects include frequent interaction with local business professionals. What is your business community like? If your town is small, fruitful connections become even more important because you’ll have a limited number of people to call on.
  • Cultivating relationships with parents is crucial. Strong parents in a small community can assist the teacher(s) and the program with finding guest speakers, internship hosts, promoting the value of the program, etc.
  • Career-tech student organizations (DECA, FBLA, BPA) are a good complement to the HSB curriculum. They also add competition excitement that encourages students to stay in your programs.


As with any school, setting up valuable benefits for students who complete HSB will encourage more students to complete the program. Most schools have aligned High School of Business™ courses with a local college for credit. HSB provides documentation of that precedent that is a powerful conversation starter between schools who join the program and a local college. Other benefits could be designating HSB courses as weighted or honors-level, setting up scholarships with local colleges, offering educational field trips to businesses or even somewhere like the NYSE.

Where are the accounting courses?

In keeping with the spirit of project and problem-based pedagogy, decision-making from a managerial accounting viewpoint is a key part of the Principles of Finance course.  Through learning the “whys” of accounting before the “hows” of debits and credits, students will learn to think critically regarding accounting and financial decisions.  In addition, the project-based nature of High School of Business™ courses lends naturally to solving cross-functional problems.  Therefore, students will analyze business problems using accounting and financial information in several of the courses.  Those students who wish to become accountants will go on to post-secondary training, where the mechanics of debits and credits are covered extensively.

Can my Perkins funding dollars be applied to High School of Business™?

The guidelines for the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act are in keeping with the policies, procedures, and philosophies of High School of Business™.  That being said, the federal government has charged each state with interpreting Perkins.  Therefore, schools should check with their state departments of education to verify that Perkins funding will apply to the High School of Business™ program.

Do the core course faculty really need to attend professional development? What if a teacher has years of experience teaching a similar course?

It is important, and indeed required, that each teacher attend both Pedagogy Training and Course Content Training prior to teaching High School of Business™ courses.  There are several reasons for this: a) the project and problem-based pedagogy is new or modified for most teachers, b) the ever-changing business environment leads to frequent updates in course content.  For example, even teachers who have taught marketing for years will benefit from the timely content of Principles of Marketing training, and c) the tertiary goal of the training sessions is to build a network of teaching professionals that can work together to share problems, ideas, and successes throughout the school year.  They will form a cohort group that communicates online and in-person at future training sessions.

How can I get my students interested in the program? They have so many commitments already.

This question can be answered in two ways: a) why should a student be interested in the program?, and b) how can I generate awareness of the program?

a) There are many reasons why a student should be interested in the program.  These include:

  • Near or at college-level curriculum prepares them for college.  This may not be the case with your school’s existing business and marketing programs.
  • A complete series of business administration courses ensures a solid preparation for college business programs.  In addition, having a program established (as opposed to stand-alone courses) gives purpose and focus to students’ elective choices.
  • Project and problem-based learning gets students actively involved in their education and can whet their appetites to learn more than in traditional classroom lecture settings
  • Team projects prepare students for the group projects they will face in college.
  • High School of Business™ is the ultimate answer to the age-old question, “how will I ever use this stuff?”
  • Though High School of Business™ is new, the program’s name will grow to mean “high-quality business education” to parents, colleges, etc.  Being part of this branded program is another avenue for adding weight/status to a student’s education.


b) How can educators generate awareness of the program?

  • Schools that participate in High School of Business™ will be provided with ideas and materials for generating awareness.  These include brochures, posters, sample letters to send students and parents, etc.
  • Hold informational sessions for students and parents during school and after school
  • Emphasize the college-prep aspects of the program to assist students and parents in understanding the purpose of enrolling in High School of Business™.
How do CTSOs fit in to the program?

CTSOs are a valuable part of many high school business and marketing programs.  MBA Research believes that the experiences students encounter in CTSOs can result in substantial growth in many areas.  Although High School of Business™ does not contain a CTSO component, schools are encouraged to explore these partnerships at a local level.

Tell me more about student assessments.

Every project in the High School of Business program (and there are over 30) includes a broad array of individual and team-based assessments. The most commonly used are weekly quizzes, project assessment rubrics, individual written reports, team oral presentations, and standards-focused work within the program’s online learning management center. In addition, every course ends with a national third-party online examination.

How do students complete the program? Is there a certification?

The High School of Business curriculum and its six end-of-course national exams, developed by MBA Research and Curriculum Center, are based on industry-validated standards and performance indicators. Backed by extensive business-based primary and secondary research, these challenging curriculum standards address current, relevant skills and knowledge needed by employees in the workplace.

Students who successfully complete all six courses in the High School of Business program receive a certificate of achievement from MBA Research and Curriculum Center.

Founded in 2007, the High School of Business program is recognized by post-secondary institutions across the U.S. as a rigorous, viable curriculum for college-bound students. As such, in accordance with Perkins IV, the High School of Business program can be viewed as the grades 10-12 component of a comprehensive secondary/post-secondary program of study culminating in an Associate or Baccalaureate degree.

For district/states interested in an end-of-program exam, we suggest the ASK Business Institute’s Fundamental Business Concepts exam.  More information can be found at www.askinstitute.org.

My school has some courses that are very similar to those in High School of Business™. Can we keep these and add them into the program?

In order for students across the country to receive a consistent education, it is important for schools to implement the specialized High School of Business™ curriculum.  That will ensure that as the program grows, college admissions officers can be assured that a student completing High School of Business™ in Florida has received the same high-quality education as a student who completes the program in Idaho.  While High School of Business™ does not go as far as to say that schools may not add courses to the program, we do ask schools to proceed with caution.  All High School of Business™ students must complete the six required courses.  Adding courses beyond those may prevent students with full schedules from enrolling in the program at all.

May schools modify High School of Business™ courses?

Courses may only be modified by MBA Research. Teachers are encouraged to contact us directly with concerns about the curriculum or suggested changes.  As a national program, participating schools agree to maintain the quality standards and content of all the courses. Teachers may choose to add on to the materials provided for a High School of Business™ course, but must ensure that courses still meet the standards indicated.