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Online University Review
Post On: Jan 04, 2011
I was very happy with the Marylhurst MBA program and would highly recommend it. In deciding on an MBA program, I first had to decide what type of program I wanted to attend. For me, I quickly realized that attending traditional courses at a brick and mortar institution was not practical because of my work and travel commitments. So, I decided that an on-line program might offer more flexibility. I found that there are many forms of “on-line” MBA programs, some are synchronous (meaning you have to be on-line at certain days and times) and asynchronous (meaning you can logon at anytime to view lectures, post homework, engage in course discussions, and so forth). Next, some require students to physically travel to the school periodically to attend in-person courses and some required an extended trip overseas. Next, some programs are conducted like correspondence school, where each student logs on to the site and basically completes the program as a self-study style program, with no interaction with professors or other students. Then there are various accreditations like national, regional, or unaccredited. And, of course, the costs vary dramatically. I chose MU because it was an established university (established in 1893) and has offered on-line programs since 1996. The on-line and on-campus programs are identical, with professors often teaching in both environments. It is an asynchronous style program but is conducted in a cohort fashion where students attend most of the courses in the program with 20 or so of the same people for the entire program. The courses are highly interactive with the professor and other students and is modern, based on current events and case studies. The program is not self-paced or independent study. There is no travel requirements or mandatory on-campus visits. The MBA program is regionally accredited, the most demanding standard for institutions of higher learning today. MU carries regional accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and specialized business program accreditation from the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education. The program consists of 12 to 14 courses, depending on the area of emphasis, and the total tuition was about $25,000. I completed the program in 18 months with no breaks, which meant I took 2 courses in the summer of ’09 and summer of ’10. Students can take up to 5 years to complete the program. I liked that the students were typically 30 to 50 years old, with most having 5 to 15 years of management experience. I also liked that I could often use my real-life company for the assignments and case studies, so my employer got immediate benefits from my educational pursuits. Even though I have been an executive and business leader for over 10 years and out of college for about 18 years, I learned a tremendous amount of practical, hands-on business management and leadership skills. It has made me a better manager and leader. It also was an excellent “sharpening of the saw”, as Covey would say, at 42 years old. It was by no means easy and does require a great deal of self-discipline and sacrifice to get good grades, but the staff offers excellent support and assistance throughout the program at all times of the day/night and weekends. I would estimate spending about 10 hours on-line during the week, in addition to reading about 200 pages of textbook and journal papers. I spent about an hour during lunch 3 days a week and 8pm to 11pm at home every evening. Weekends were mainly for writing. I typically spent about 12 to 16 hours every weekend on homework, tests, and writing research papers.
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I’m looking for an online MBA. I’ve found several that fit my budget but none are accredited by the AACSB. What is the AACSB? Do I really need a distance MBA degree that is accredited by them? —Roberta, Gary, IN
The AACSB is the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International. It is considered the gold standard of business school accreditation. But not every student needs an AACSB-accredited MBA...
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