Dale Carnegie Course

Mark Roberts

Jones College students take the Dale Carnegie Course after being accepted into a business major at the start of their junior year. Total immersion in classroom exercises begins immediately. The course involves high-level  participation, group work, and oral reports on their progress that average two minutes and follow a standard delivery format.


The impact of the course on Jones College has been transformational. Students appreciate the principles’ applicability to their personal and professional lives. What students are saying:

Since taking the course . . . my self-confidence is sky high. I gained leadership, communication, and organizational skills. I would recommend this course to ANYONE who wants to be a better person.

This class is so worth it! If you want a course that will really impact your life and career, this is the one. I loved every minute and would take it again.

The course forced me to re-evaluate my approach to education. How can I create more engagement, accountability, and enthusiasm for what I am teaching?


Why we have partnered with Dale Carnegie

Dean David Urban saw the value of program early in his career when he participated in a Dale Carnegie Course®. The experience taught him that in business, it is not simply a superior knowledge of business concepts that make one successful; it is the results one can effect through their influence with those they lead. The combination of the two assets — a good education and excellent human relations skills — is what is needed in a quality business education and something most colleges miss in their curricula. He made a vow that if he had the opportunity to impact a business college with this type of outcome, he would.

In 2013, Urban became the dean of the Jennings A. Jones College of Business at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Through a survey of the business community, Jones College learned that while businesses needed quality graduates who could function technically in the roles they filled, what was needed more urgently was a quality workforce in possession of soft skills. Business leaders said they needed graduates who could work in teams effectively, who knew how to get along, who were not afraid to voice their ideas, and to step up to the challenges they faced in their new careers.

Through a cooperative effort with Dale Carnegie Training of Tennessee, Jones College conducted a series of trials to see if the program could be integrated within the core curriculum. The difference was just what the business community was seeking. Approximately 4,500 graduates have completed the program over the six years it has been a required course. One recent graduate interviewed to be an intern with a large, multinational financial institution was instead hired for a full-time position, in part because he had graduated from the Dale Carnegie Course® as part of his education. The company indicated that they used Dale Carnegie Training® for their teams due to the outcomes they saw in productivity; the fact that he had completed the course was a bonus — and made him more valuable as a new hire.

Moving forward, AACSB accreditation reviews will consider how business colleges prepare their graduates for team integration — the “soft skills” side of a business education. During the last AACSB accreditation review of Jones College, in 2020–21, it was noted that the inclusion of the Dale Carnegie Course® as a required program was a “best practice.”

The Dale Carnegie initiative puts Jones College at the forefront of AACSB’s expectations for accredited business schools.  Because of the Dale Carnegie initiative, Jones College students create societal impact by putting research-based concepts into daily practice, learn to pursue continuous improvement through goal setting and self-coaching, and practice the principles of diversity and inclusion in their dealings with other class participants.  The Dale Carnegie Course is based on experiential learning – learning by doing – which is a major point of emphasis in the AACSB 2020 Business Accreditation Standards, and every participant in the Dale Carnegie initiative gains a clear understanding of the value of this high impact teaching practice.  Our students carry all of these lessons beyond the Dale Carnegie Course to their other undergraduate courses and, for those who so choose, their graduate programs.

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