New Online Programs Accommodate Far-Flung Students
|6/16/2011||Mary Ann Beahon|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||(573) 592-1127|
Students who wish to obtain a master of business administration (MBA) with a particular emphasis will find it much easier, thanks to new online programs offered by William Woods University.
The university recently began providing online emphases in seven areas: accounting, agribusiness, general management, health management, human resources, marketing/advertising and public relations.
The MBA program is a 36-credit-hour program, consisting of 27 core credits and nine emphasis credits. While WWU previously offered some of the emphases onsite, the online program provides more flexibility.
“This allows us to serve students better,” said David Forster, dean of business. “In the past, if we had a cohort of eight students, it was difficult to provide an emphasis since the members of the cohort were often interested in different areas.”
Using agribusiness as an example, Forster explained that a student could be in an MBA cohort in Kirksville and be working on an agribusiness emphasis with students from Cape Girardeau, St. Joseph and other parts of the state.
“We don’t have to turn them away just because there may not be enough others in Kirksville interested in agribusiness. They can take their core credits with the Kirksville cohort and their online emphasis courses with people 500 miles away.”
Forster did say that if there were five people in a particular area interested in a specific emphasis, it could be offered onsite if the students preferred.
“This is an application-oriented program, designed to further prepare the working professional for a career in business administration,” Forster said. “Classroom activities for the entire curriculum are structured to provide the proper blend of theory and practice.”
The core courses consist of managerial ethics, human resources and organizational behavior, economics for business, entrepreneurship, marketing research decisions and analysis, marketing planning and development, accounting for managers, financial decisions and applied case project.
The applied case project is a capstone learning experience that requires group members to develop a business plan for a company startup, extension or expansion.
The accounting emphasis provides courses in governmental accounting, advanced auditing and advanced taxation. The emphasis will assist students in preparation to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination.
Agribusiness consists of agriculture policy, agriculture law and futures trading. General management comprises fundamentals of executive management, human resources in administration and business environment/international business operations.
Those taking the health management emphasis would study healthcare management, legal aspects of healthcare management and human resources in health services management, while those taking human resources would concentrate on employment law and labor relations, human resources development and training and compensation and benefits.
The marketing and advertising emphasis consists of integrated marketing communication, building and managing strategic brands and creative media management, while the public relations emphasis covers public relations foundations, strategic communication and reputation management and public relations campaigns.
Cristin Mumma, marketing coordinator for the University of Missouri Health System and a current MBA student pursuing a marketing and advertising emphasis, commented, “My experience so far has been challenging and also rewarding. My cohort is composed of people from all different industries and I am learning a great deal from them. Only two classes in to the program, I’m looking forward to the rest of the adventure.”
Ken Lyle, chief financial officer for Fulton State Hospital, has been teaching graduate courses for William Woods for many years. When he was first approached about teaching online, he was hesitant, but now admits it is a good experience.
“The main reason I like teaching so much is that I enjoy the stimulation in the classroom. Once I began teaching online, I discovered that the discussion and comments, while not as spontaneous, can be just as stimulating as person-to-person.”
He added, “It’s not the same as getting to know your students in the classroom, but you do build relationships. You learn which students bring certain perspectives they can share and you look forward to what they say about a topic.”