M.B.A. Program Fully Available Online Starting This Fall
"Can everybody hear me? Oh, I see Quantico has joined us. Hello there!"
Standing in front of a bank of television screens in a classroom at Old Dominion University's Gornto Teletechnet Center, Kiran Karande, associate dean for executive programs and external affairs for the College of Business and Public Administration, makes "virtual" small talk with site directors from ODU's distance learning sites around the state.
Once the meeting gets under way after a few more site directors join, the subject matter is an exciting one. Starting this fall, ODU will offer its entire M.B.A. program online, as well as on campus. Also, students who may have a life interruption, such as a military deployment, can pursue the program via a combination of the two delivery methods.
"Something we didn't take into account initially was ODU's long history of distance learning," Karande said. "The online program will absolutely tap into our expertise at offering world-class, AACSB-accredited instruction, whether students are face to face, online or both."
The transformation of the program includes more than online offerings of the entire curriculum, said Karande. The 40-hour curriculum can now be taken on an accelerated scale, in as few as 21 months, or stretched out if a student's life or work responsibilities need to be factored in.
"This adaptability to life situations, such as job transfers, starting new families and students unable to attend classes on certain days of the week because of job commitments, is really important for the type of students we attract to our program," Karande said.
A significant number of M.B.A. students at ODU are either active-duty military or veterans, who come to school with their own unique skill sets and life challenges. ODU was recently recognized as one of the top 40 military-friendly business schools in the United States because of the close connection to area military bases and personnel, and because of the strength of its business curriculum.
Karande said that's another plus of the M.B.A. program at ODU - the ability of students to specialize and graduate with a dual credential, by adding graduate certificates in maritime, port and logistics, public sector procurement, global health, modeling and simulation or cyber security.
Gil Yochum, dean of the College of Business and Public Administration, agreed heartily with that assessment.
"It's been an exhaustive process redefining our M.B.A. program, but the end result is a program that's relevant, with a real-world focus, and supported by top-notch research and teaching faculty," he said.
Yochum added that the college went through reaccreditation in 2013 and is one of fewer than 200 business schools worldwide to have both its business and accounting programs certified by AACSB International, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.