A new MBA Bridge Program for non-business majors is coming to Albers School of Business and Economics. The program is targeted at students who have little or no work experience, who have a degree but have not studied business. It provides a business background that can be combined with their other disciplines to enhance their career opportunities.
“A big part of this is that students who are coming out of a discipline other than business are starting to think about ‘my career’ and they are thinking ‘I don’t have anything that I can really show in terms of business experience, so if I can devote this year to developing these skills in this program, then it’s going to make me a much more desirable candidate for a career position,’” said program director David Carrithers.
The new MBA, called the Albers Bridge MBA, was just approved by the Board of Trustees. Albers administrators are now calling the traditional MBA program the Professional MBA. The Professional MBA program requires two years of work experience and is a part time program, whereas the Bridge program is a full-time, 12-month program. The Bridge program is designed with the challenges of today’s stagnating economy in mind. Recent graduates of baccalaureate programs are keenly aware of the need for a competitive edge in the job market. To that end, a business degree can be extremely valuable.
“In all, 96 percent of business school alumni were employed (including the self-employed), up from 94 percent from the 2011 survey,” according to Business Week.
In order to give students as much interactive and hands-on experience as possible, Albers’ Bridge program will be a cohort program of 20 to 25 students. The curriculum is “fixed,” with four quarters of full-time classes. Classes will take place Monday through Thursday with one class each day. Each quarter, the classes will be themed and the courses within each quarter will be integrated. Albers has already created a schedule for the Bridge MBA. Each quarter students will take four classes of three credits each in which all of the material is interrelated to the other classes of that quarter and the theme of that quarter.
“What I really mean by that is that the professor from one course is going to know what a professor from another course is doing and they won’t use the same cases or examples, but they will have a very strong knowledge of what each one is doing and they will make sure that what they are doing in their course is consistent and congruent with what’s happening in the other courses,” Carrithers said.
The program will also require students to take part in co-curricular activities such as career planning seminars, business communication seminars and the Albers Executive Speaker series.
“[They’ll get a] jump start on the academic work that they are going to do and reinforcing the fact that they are a cohort,” Carrithers said. “They are going to be experiencing this as a group and we really want to make it a fabulous experience for them.”
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