New, online MBA launched at Champlain College

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New, online MBA launched at Champlain College

Wed, 12/21/2005 - 8:00pm -- tim

BURLINGTON, Vt.--This winter, Champlain College is launching an online MBA that turns the traditional MBA curriculum on its ear.
While many institutions are scrambling to incorporate real-world applications into their MBA curricula, the Champlain MBA was designed from the ground up on the following premise: the challenges faced at work are truly intertwined with what is learned in class. This intentional integration is at the heart of Champlains innovative program, according to program director Dr. Don Haggerty.
The Champlain MBA is designed specifically for career-minded people looking to benefit from integrating their coursework with their work-based challenges, he said. This integrated process will form the core of a students learning and will serve as a springboard toward better job performance. Integration can be applied across many career fields and industries, such as marketing, accounting and health care.
Challenges in the workplace cover a range of topics, but most MBA programs treat these as isolated problems rather than related issues. Champlains Master of Business Administration program breaks the mold by linking these learning experiences through something Haggerty calls Integrated Reflective Practice.
Haggerty explained, This MBA integrates the many business disciplines that shape you as a manager, it highlights reflection on your work experience as the key to learning from experience, and it focuses on practice for managers who are solving their own problems that involve processes as well as people.
Champlain MBA courses begin on February 27, 2006, and the College is now accepting applications. An informational open house is scheduled for January 5 at 5 p.m.
With the flexibility of an entirely online program with 24-7 accessibility, busy professionals can decide for themselves when they will access coursework and participate in discussion threads with classmates from across the country. Champlain College was a pioneer in online education and its courses feature a high degree of interaction between faculty and fellow students via the Internet.
Haggerty believes that employers will see a difference in Champlain MBA graduates. They will be quick to see that this isnt the same old MBA and that the emphasis is on skills that match the needs of the workplace, he says. Weve learned that the direct application of projects to the workplace is a key feature to employers.
Dr. Debra Heintz, a business manager at Ben & Jerrys Homemade and faculty member in the Champlain MBA, agreed. In business we find that many MBA students come out of their programs with lots of academic background, but a limited ability to apply what they have learned. The Champlain MBA really works to ensure students can apply what they are learning and add value to an organization by doing this, she said.
Each Champlain MBA course has been built around a work-integrated project that represents no less than 25 percent of the courses workload. Whats different is that the courses are designed to serve the needs of the project rather than stapling the project on the back end of the course," Haggerty said.
Along the way, students in Champlains program will achieve a set of competencies that are comparable to other MBA programs, but thats just the beginning. Because of integrated Areas of Practice in the courses and the applied nature of all the projects, a students level of understanding and ability to apply learning is expected to exceed that found in a typical MBA program.
Champlains curriculum is based on six core Areas of Practice that are threaded into each course: Global, Organizational and Personal Values-Driven Leadership; Human Resources and Organizational Relationships; Measurement and Process Improvement; Innovation Through Information; Financial and Economic Resources; and Customers, Markets, Sales and Marketing.
To get Champlain MBA students in tune with the programs learning philosophy, students will take a one-credit course called Integrated and Reflective Practice. Theyll learn about the importance of work-practice and experience as a basis for management development, as well as learning styles, action learning, dialogue, communication, personality types and team communication.
Applicants to the Champlain MBA are required to be currently employed or have a link to an organization that can be the focus of their in-class projects, assignments and activities. Because of the direct integration, employees and employers both benefit because there is no transfer time between what is learned and what is done at work.
An applicants undergraduate degree does not have to be in business or management; Champlain has designed two MBA start-up courses for those without a degree in those fields.
Both Erin Lynn and John Boomhover have taken their first courses toward a Champlain MBA. Lynn recognized how the program could open doors in her career as an assistant controller at S.T. Griswold in Williston. Accounting is relatively specialized and I believe that being exposed to a much broader range of business thinking and experiences will make me a more valuable employee, she said. The way we do business is changing rapidly and staying abreast of these trends is crucial.
Boomhover found his employer an enthusiastic partner in his education. A.N. Deringer has been very supportive of my bringing school to the workplace, he said. I will sit with different co-workers and officers and discuss topics we are going over in class and how they relate to our company.
Known for its long history of practical business education and for being a pioneer in online education, Champlain has built its MBA program to aggregate both of these strengths. This is the Colleges second online masters degree. The first--the Master of Science in Managing Innovation and Information Technology--began in Fall 2002.
Champlain MBA tuition is $505 per credit and most courses are three credits each. Classes begin February 27, 2006. Call (888) 545-3459 for more information or visit http://www.champlain.edu/master.
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