The Graduate School's MBA Goes Online
By Kathy Hogan & DeNisha McCollum
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Online Masters in Business Administration program with emphasis in Leadership
The JBU online Masters in Business Administration program with an emphasis in Leadership and Ethics has been serving students in Arkansas, around the country, and even in some foreign countries since it was first introduced in the Fall of 2009. Not only is our growing online student body somewhat global, we also have faculty joining us from as far away as India, Africa, and Guatemala. Implementation of the online MBA program was our response to requests from students, alumni and those beyond the JBU community to offer JBU academic experiences in more flexible learning environments. Since the online MBA program began, over 130 students have taken advantage of the opportunity to complete required courses online.
The online MBA program is a 36 credit hour program, which includes 33 hours that can be completed fully online. The remaining three hours can be accomplished through exceptional residency options such as a choice of three international destinations, a five star on-site executive leadership development seminar hosted by the Soderquist Center for Leadership and Ethics, and relevant one or two day special topics seminars hosted in various locations throughout the year. In addition to the online MBA program, JBU also offers other online graduate business and graduate counseling courses as well as some undergraduate online courses to students who prefer completing those courses outside of the traditional classroom.
We have learned a lot in this first year with our online courses and programs . . . most importantly perhaps is that students who choose JBU for online studies do so not only because of JBU’s reputation and commitment to quality education, but more specifically because of JBU’s values. For example, the emphasis we place on the relationship between faculty and student as well as that among fellow students is just as important to online students as it is to campus ones. The value of head, heart, and hand preparation is also important to online students. Student feedback clearly supports the choice of JBU for this unique kind of fully integrated learning.
Other student comments regarding JBU’s online courses are also very positive. Many express appreciation for making these courses and programs available online so that they can accomplish their studies in places and during times that fit better with their busy schedules. Many also express appreciation for JBU continuing the tradition of student-focused, Christ-centered education in the online courses. The faculty also report feeling an increased confidence in our ability to deliver quality educational experiences in the online environment and they are pleased to see a very high level of student engagement in these online courses.
The prayer as these online courses and programs continue to develop is that each honors the tradition of the mission at John Brown University, which is to provide Christ-centered education that prepares people to honor God and serve others by developing their intellectual, spiritual, and professional lives. In this, we are also reminded of the words of our founder who said “buildings do not make a school. It is the people and the relationships that are formed here, in our classrooms and now online, that truly make – and keep – our university “JBUnique.”
Kathy Hogan is director of instructional technology and DeNisha McCollum is an instructional designer.