Students entering Ursuline College’s new Master of Business Administration (MBA) program can expect business with a twist.
Unlike traditional graduate business programs, which focus on teaching separate functional business processes from a historical perspective, Ursuline’s MBA program features a targeted, integrated approach to learning that will better prepare its graduates to succeed in today’s vastly changed business world, says Dr. Debra L. Fleming, executive director of business programs and lead professor in accounting and management for the MBA program.
Students will learn core business fundamentals while studying within a specific concentration, either ethical and entrepreneurial leadership; accounting and financial planning; health services management; or marketing and communications management. A Master of Management Program is available for students interested less in the nuts and bolts and more in the human side of business.
Ursuline built its program around these concentrations based on national, state and regional projections for future employment opportunities.
“Ninety percent of our graduates stay within Northeast Ohio,” Fleming says. “Identifying these core concentrations will give our students the ability to develop the skill sets they need to be employable and find success.”
Those skill sets were developed based on input from the college’s graduate advisory board, composed of high-level executives from many Northeast Ohio companies. “We worked with the board to find out what skills and knowledge base they require when hiring employees or promoting to upper-level leadership positions,” says Fleming. “As a result, our courses have been designed to include a strong emphasis on entrepreneurial leadership, teamwork, technology, globalization and ethics, which is key in today’s business world. Ethical decision-making is intertwined through every course.”
Bringing together that real-world knowledge with academic theory is a key difference for the program. Many on the advisory board serve as guest speakers or adjunct professors, and the college is developing social networking opportunities between the companies and students, which Fleming hopes will help open more doors for Ursuline graduates. “There is often a disconnect between the academic and corporate world. We needed to bridge that gap to better serve our students,” she says.
For graduate student Florence Janosik, access to those corporate learning and networking opportunities is exciting.
“That experience is very important. It opens doors to new insights and allows you to view the world from the other side, no matter how small or large an organization is,” she says. Currently a stay-at-home mother of two, Janosik plans to couple an MBA in Health Services Management with her previous experience in medical sales to launch a new career.
The MBA program, which was approved in December, is off to a quick start, with nearly 30 students registered for the spring semester. The program was designed to provide the convenience and flexibility needed by today’s students. Web-based courses help reduce the amount of on-campus time - paramount for those who work full-time or have children at home. A fast-track program is available that allows students like Janosik to finish the program in 12 months.
Jewell Stewart, who is studying in the ethical and entrepreneurial leadership concentration, graduated with a bachelor's degree in management from Ursuline’s Accelerated Program in 2007. She decided to pursue an MBA to help get her foot in the door of companies who sought candidates with master’s degrees. After looking at other programs, she decided to return to Ursuline.
“Ursuline has smaller classes, a more accessible campus, kind staff and facilitators who go the extra mile to help the students.”
For more information on the Ursuline College MBA programs, visit www.ursuline.edu.