MBA Online — Information Session
January 24th, 2013 | 11:00 AM PST
Cheryl Oliver, Director of Graduate Programs In Business
Brian Lerash, Enrollment Advisor
Topics include information on:
- The College of Business at Washington State University
- The MBA Online Program
- Interactive Sessions
- 6 Foundation Courses for Non-Business Degree Holders
- MBA Concentrations in Marketing, Finance and International Business
- Requirements for the GMAT Waiver
- International Trip Opportunities
- Paying for your education
- Interactive Q & A
Brian: Really sorry about the delay there. Having some technical
difficulties. I’m actually gonna start here while Cheryl is getting in here. We’re gonna resolve this. Really appreciate your patience today and hanging on for us. Just wanted to start out about the college of business at WSU. We actually awarded our first MBA degree in 1957 here in Pullman, main campus. Today, we are proud to offer the MBA from Pullman, Tri-Cities, Vancouver, Washington, as well as online.
We have a proud tradition. Over 50 years of excellence in graduate management and education. Over 20 years of perfecting online degree programs. We have a very strong university commitment to conducting the highest quality research, offering world class educational programs and providing a form for the delivery of innovation. Over 120 years of alumni legacy, leaders who are making a difference worldwide. And also our folks are able to enjoy an international network of corporate alliances.
About the college of business, we’re very proud of our accreditation here. Washington State University’s college of business is among two percent of business schools worldwide to achieve accreditation at the bachelor, masters and doctoral levels from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International. This is the most respected business program accrediting entity. Of course, we’re also very proud to be regionally credited. WSU college of business is also credited by the Commission on Colleges of the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges.
Last week, we were very proud to say ranked no. 1 in best online graduate business programs for the year 2013. The college of business itself is ranked 72nd overall and in the top 60 among public institutions in the U.S. News & World Reports, best undergraduate business programs. The college of business was also named one of The Princeton Reviews best 290 business schools. And the online MBA program was named a best buy in 53 out of 139 on geteducated.com’s list of best online MBA programs.
And of course you may be asking yourself why WSU’s online MBA program? Well, it’s actually the same tier 1 accredited MBA degree that we offer to all of our folks on campus. This means that you would enjoy the same faculty, same curriculum as our on campus programs. The same small class size for individual student attention. The same assignments, group projects, current event discussions and networking opportunities. We try to make our classes very intimate as if you’re actually on campus, even though it’s being delivered very conveniently online.
Of course with this you’ll have the convenience for working and traveling professionals. 99% of the folks in our program are working 40+ hours a week, have families, full-time responsibilities. So, we offer our program 100% fully online, learn anytime, anywhere. You’ll complete the degree program in as little as 22 months. It’s an asynchronous learning environment platform for working professionals. This means you log in when it’s convenient for you. We definitely set up deadlines for you to complete by weeks end and need you to follow along with the course schedule. However, we make it around your schedule. So, if it’s evenings, if it’s the mornings, if it’s the weekends, we make that all available for you.
A wide array of services and resources for students. Of course, we offer our academic advising for our students. Live 24/7 technical support. This is for our men and women that are all over the world taking class with us online. We do offer financial aid counseling, registration assistance, ability to rewatch lectures and reread discussions which is very important because all of you have very busy schedules and you might not be able to log into them in real time live. And of course easy access to assignments, test scores, online researches, library and reference materials.
Next will be networking with faculty and students. Now, with our program, we highly encourage participation and online discussions with your professors and fellow students throughout the week. It gives your voice ideas and learning from the perspective of others. With this, we expect our students to offer substantial posts and reply to themselves and throughout the week really have a running discussion on different topics and really have a very rich dialogue that will participate amongst you all.
WSU also has a very active online student government, which arranges seminars, social gatherings, graduation parties, campus tours and sporting event outings. Even though you would be an online student with us, you’d still be a Washington State University student and a cougar. And so we’d want you to be very much a part of our system, very much a part of our life.
And of course with you being an online MBA student, you would also have access to the alumni association. You’d be able to interact with alumni, keep in touch with your classmates and future grades. The alumni association has chapters around the globe that also arrange social gatherings, meetings, networking opportunities, trips abroad and more. So, if you do happen to be working overseas or even visiting a different country, chances are you’ll have a friendly alumni who you might be able to have some face time with.
Now in terms about the online MBA program, gonna break down what you’d be looking at here. Year one, first semester with us, you’d be taking six credit hours. Second term with us, also be taking six credit hours. Third term with us, you’d be taking seven credit hours. Seven credit hours where you’d be taking your two MBA classes as well as one credit class to begin working on your capstone project.
Year two, again six credit hours for your fourth term and nine credit hours for the fifth term. This is where you’ll actually be developing and shaping your capstone project. And finally the third term, this is where you’re wrapping up the program and finally your final presentation of your capstone project.
Now, if you were a student who happened to be not a business undergraduate, we would expect somebody in your shoes to do a series of foundation courses with us. There are six altogether consisting of 14 credit hours. Now, with these courses, you do these one at a time. They’re five weeks in duration and we have you get those these foundation courses in two semesters.
Now with our core courses, you’d be looking at nine course MBA courses. These are also done one at a time. This is exclusive of the capstone as I had talked about earlier. These are actually seven week duration per course. Of course it’s also exclusive of the capstone. Three strategic management, two in management innovation, four in functional business tools. Beyond this, you’ll have three elective courses. These will be announced at least one term prior to the delivery. Our elective courses are made up of classes in finance, international business as well as marketing.
Now finally your final presentation, this is a 702 master’s special problems, this will be delivery of final graduation requirement, the complete business plan. So, this will be something that you’ll be shaping and molding and ultimately defending at the very end of the program with us.
Now in terms of our interactive sessions throughout the week, we have two optional interactive sessions for you folks to participate in. Our professors have to hold two live lectures, but your presence at them is totally optional. They are typically given Monday through Friday at 6pm Pacific Standard Time or later. And all these sessions are saved in archives. So, if you happen to be at work or have a family obligations or personal obligations, you can go back in later on and see exactly what you missed out on.
Now, just to circle back to the six foundation courses that we offer to our students that don’t necessarily have a business undergrad, we offer classes in foundations in operations management, foundations in business law, introduction to financial and managerial accounting, managerial economics, which is micro and macro-economics in one course, foundations in finance, as well as foundations in marketing.
Now, if one were to have taken these classes as a minor in their undergrad, that would certainly be sufficient as long as the average of 3.0 amongst those foundation classes. And of course if you’ve already taken those foundation courses, be it two or three of those, then those would suffice as well as long as they are over the 3.0 average amongst those. And you would just be responsible for completing the ones that hadn’t been satisfied already.
Next, going over our marketing, finance and international business concentrations, this allows our students to deepen their knowledge in one of the concentration areas of either these three disciplines. The concentration of the online MBA program consists of three elective courses as I had mentioned earlier, and will, of course, be announced at least one term prior to their delivery.
Examples of these electives that you may see in marketing, we might look at international marketing, consumer behavior and another class in advertising. International business, we may look at international marketing, international finance, and of course, also international business management. And finally with finance, we would be exploring areas such as investment analysis, interest rates and financial marketing, as well as international finance.
Now, this is something that is really a great opportunity for our students to take advantage of. Again, a completely optional activity for you folks to engage in, but it’s really the chance of a lifetime. This is our international business trip. You’ll actually participate in a faculty lead global learning experience. The location for the 2013 trip is Brazil. We will have immersion in business settings, sightseeing tours, local cuisine and of course independent exploring. With this option, you would not take a third elective class for the MBA.
Now this trip generally lasts about 10 days, so you would do the 10 day trip in the summer as opposed to doing the seven week class. Of course, there would be assignments involved with doing the international business trip, but it would really be a very great experience.
Now, we wanna cover the MBA enrollment requirements with Washington State University. What we’re looking for with our candidates is a GPA on a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. A GMAT score and this may be waived for qualified candidates and I will speak to this in just a minute. The GMAT code if we have you taking this would be 09D-TL-25. Completed and signed application, which would be online. Three letters of recommendation. Now these would be preferably from a supervisor, current or former, or even a professor if you have established relationships and ties throughout the years.
Beyond this, a statement of purpose which is an essay we ask our applications to write us letting us know why Washington State University, why now, why the MBA program? Current and completed resume. And all official transcripts from any universities you had ever attended. Any international students, there are some more stringent requirements for you, so please reach out to me and I can go over those with you and let you know exactly what your requirements would be to join us.
Now the GMAT waiver. And now this would be the exception to the rule in terms of someone having to sit for the GMAT. Now, what we have folks do if they are looking to possibly take advantage of this is submitting a written request with their application materials to add for the GMAT substitution. Requirements for this are all MBA enrollment documents, as well as the student having either completed a graduate or professional degree, or it can demonstrate at least seven years of post-baccalaureate managerial experience in positions requiring supervisory decision making and leadership. Applicants must submit a written request asking that the above items evidence in their application file to be considered for the GMAT substitution.
Now the total cost for the MBA program is $29,250. This is over the 22 months for those with undergraduate degrees in business. For those folks that do not have an undergraduate degree in business, and who choose to take the foundation courses with us, the cost can be upwards to $39,750 over 29 months time.
We absolutely encourage folks to apply for scholarships. Really wonderful website fastweb.com. Really lots of opportunities and highly recommend folks that are coming into the program to explore those options. And of course you can also apply for financial aid by vising www.fafsa.ed.gov.
Now in terms of upcoming start dates, it’s very convenient for our students and not traditional in that there’s only one or two start dates a year with us. We actually offer our students six different start dates to begin with us. The very next start date for us is going to be summer I, which actually starts on May 5. And after this is June 24. This would be our summer II start. Application deadlines for these respective dates are March 25 for the May 5 start and May 13 for the June 24 start. Absolutely encourage you to apply for the summer term. Looking forward to working with you all and helping you with this great journey.
Moderator: Thank you everyone for your patience through our technical difficulties. We did have some questions for Brian to answer. One is in regards to the foundation courses. They wanted to clarify if the foundation courses are available online as well.
Brian: Yes, they are, absolutely great question, thank you very much for asking that. The foundation courses are absolutely available online as well as part of our online MBA program. So, absolutely. If you had to have those foundation classes satisfied, you would absolutely take those in sequence with our program before you begin the MBA core and elective classes with us.
Moderator: Great. And in regard to our technical difficulties, again I apologize. I believe Cheryl Oliver was able to join. Cheryl?
Moderator: I am on the call, thank you so much. Are you able to hear me now?
Moderator: Yes, we are.
Cheryl Oliver: Wonderful. Thank you so much for having me. I’m glad to be able to join. Brian, thank you so much for pinch-hitting. I really appreciate that. I’ll be happy to help tag-team on the questions at this time.
Moderator: Okay. We do have a couple more questions regarding foundation courses. There is a prospective students that has four majors: economics, education, Spanish and Latin American studies. Are any of those classes – are they viewed as able to be excluded if they’re not a business student?
Cheryl Oliver: I’ll be happy to take that question Monica. If a student has a business administration degree and they earned at 3.0 at that degree and it was an AACSB or Equies accredited institution, we automatically consider that they finished the foundation courses. For a student who has an array of degrees, especially ones that are business related, like the economics degree, what we’ll do once they apply is we’ll do a course by course evaluation and determine what of coursework that they have done is equivalent to the coursework that we require. And then their enrollment advisor will assign them the remaining courses that they need to complete before enrolling in the core.
Moderator: Great, thank you. Our next question is regarding the international trip. Approximately how much does the trip cost?
Cheryl Oliver: We try to keep that trip to between $3-$5,000 for the 10 days. That’s separate from the tuition and that $3-$5,000 does take into consideration the plane ticket. So, some people have the opportunity to use miles or other plans in order to purchase a ticket so the budget varies. At this time, we don’t have one set for the trip to Brazil. But like I said we try and keep it very affordable.
Moderator: Thank you. And I have a few questions in regarding to enrollment requirements. Our first one is a GRE sufficient? Must it be the GMAT?
Cheryl Oliver: We absolutely require the GMAT at Washington State University. If a person has taken the GRE prior to their contact with us, we will look at that score, but I will tell you the comparison tool that we use does not present the GRE in a very favorable light. So, it is likely that the person would be asked, unless they got a perfect score on it, to retake an exam and to take the GMAT.
Moderator: Thank you Cheryl. We have several questions regarding the letters of recommendation. If the person has only had two supervisors, who would you recommend obtaining other letters from and are there any specific topics or areas for them to address?
Cheryl Oliver: That’s a great question. So, the first response is if a person’s only had two supervisors, I’m going to assume that they’ve had two different jobs and that this is a supervisor at each job for the purpose of this conversation and we can expand on that momentarily. In that case, they probably haven’t been out of school an exceptionally long time. They can certainly ask a professor from one of their previous classes, maybe their senior level classes at their institution.
It’s also possible in that scenario that those supervisors have an immediate supervisor as well and so we do like to go up a degree if that’s at all possible. So, certainly please do not have letters of character reference from good friends or co-workers across the office. What we are looking for is a statement about your ability to compete and complete the MBA. And your aptitude for hard work, your aptitude intellectually. And it’s not often easy for our peers to judge that as well as somebody who’s already been down that path and has a little bit more experience. So, we do want to make sure that someone who is seasoned is able to give that perspective.
In the application process, you’ll be asked to submit the names and email addresses of three people who will be writing your letters of recommendation. And so what we recommend is that you first approach them and make the request, because as soon as you do submit your application, an email from the dean of the graduate school is sent automatically to those people you listed. And there are two parts to it. There’s a section where they’re given a survey asking how they know you, how long they have known you, and how they would rank you in terms of other people they have known. Are you in the top five percent? Top 10%? Top 25% in terms of aptitude for higher education, especially a master’s level degree. Your work ethic, your willingness to learn, your willingness to try to do new things, your maturity level for study and so on. And then the second portion of that is an opportunity for them to either upload a written letter or to paste the letter into the text box. So, we’ll look at that information too to ensure that these letters are coming from qualified sources.
Moderator: Thank you Cheryl, that was a very detailed explanation, thank you so much. Another question regarding requirements and it’s regarding GPA. Is a 3.0 GPA specific to the major degree program or the entire college course load?
Cheryl Oliver: The 3.0 is specific to the major course load. So, we’re looking at that cumulative GPA at the end of the transcript and that is a graduate school minimum requirement. So, that is a university as well as a college requirement there.
Moderator: Great, thank you. And a few more questions regarding requirements. Do non-business undergrads have to take the quantitative statistics class before the foundation courses?
Cheryl Oliver: There are some foundation courses for which the statistics course is a pre-req. It is not a pre-req to all of them, so it could be simultaneous to some of the other courses, but I do know that the operations course and the finance course will require statistics prior to entry.
Moderator: And along the same lines we have another question. Do you have to take foundation courses prior to applying?
Cheryl Oliver: No. Actually if you have them taken or you’re working on them at a community college or another institution, absolutely go ahead and finish those up. Complete your application to WSU and any foundation courses that you have not completed will be the very first classes you’ll take as an MBA student and will require that you complete those with a 3.0 GPA. We won’t allow you to get any Cs in there before you go onto the core courses of the MBA and into those concentration courses.
Moderator: Thank you and a follow up question to the statistics answer, is the statistics course available online?
Cheryl Oliver: That’s a great question. It is available as management option 215 at WSU through undergraduate studies and we could certainly have an enrollment advisor talk with you specifically about how to go about completing that course. But we are working on getting that online for fall as a five week course for the MBA students. So, that’s one of the last ones that we’re putting online. So, it will be available soon.
Moderator: Great, thank you. And now moving onto a question regarding MBA grads, how does WSU handle career fairs and recruiting for MBA grads?
Cheryl Oliver: That’s a really great question. So, because right now our students are primarily employed, we don’t offer a lot of career services directly through career fairs and so on. Of course students are always welcome to come to campus when those events occur. They’re always welcome to be connected through the different career databases and so on that we have here on campus. There’s a lot that’s available to students through the WSU alumni association. What we do not design something specific for online students because it would require that everyone come to the Pullman campus. We don’t have an international airport here and we’re remote. So, because our students are across the globe, we don’t orchestrate something here on the campus for them. There are some opportunities to attend virtual fairs and so on and we are sure to push those out just ___________ as those opportunities become available.
Moderator: Okay, thank you. I had another question regarding to grads and graduation. Will my diploma say WSU online?
Brian: No, it will not say WSU online. In fact, none of our campuses are specific when it comes to the MBA. So, if the student gets their MBA in Pullman, Vancouver, Tri-Cities or online, everyone’s diploma says masters of business administration Washington State University.
Moderator: Wonderful. And question regarding the capstone. There’s a few people here who would like a little more details on what the capstone project is and just a little bit of details of what it entails.
Brian: Certainly. So typically, when you’re enrolled in a master’s program, you have to undergo either a thesis or a comprehensive exam process. And typically if you’re in a master’s program that requires a thesis, you take a number of research methods courses because you are doing a research project. In the comprehensive exam process, you’re taking all of the material that you’ve learned over the length of time of your program, whether that’s 18-months, 24-months or even three years in some of the campus base-type programs. And trying to cram all of that information into one big examination. And we believe that as a college of business that having students put together a practical portfolio of their work is much more useful for us to assess the student’s ability and for the students when they go on the market either to try and promote within their own company or to be a job changer.
And so what we do is we require that the students currently write a business plan. And so what they will do is they will receive some coaching toward the end of their program, they’ll be in their regular standard academic classes and then toward the end, they’ll be in one longer 16-week course where they’ll be working on that business plan. They’ll be doing some brainstorming, they’ll be doing the feasibility study. They’ll be going through and entering all of those different pieces of the plan in an informed manner that’s consistent with what they’ve learned in the MBA core courses.
So, while all of us could go out today, pick up a business plan book, or write out, sketch out a business plan, what we’re having the students do in this instance is use that MBA level thinking skills, those MBA level principles that they’ve learned in the classes to be able to apply it to this business plan. And then at the end when the student has completed the course, that 702 piece is actually a full committee of three faculty reviewing that to ensure that the core material from the MBA program is present and that the student shows proficiency.
So, that’s very similar to a thesis committee or an exam committee reviewing that final document objectively to ensure that the student has earned what we’ve told them that they would learn. And then, of course the student could take that piece and present that in their company or go and start their own business with this.
Moderator: Thank you very much Cheryl. And another question regarding classes. We have some interest in how tests are taken for each class.
Cheryl Oliver: Sure that’s a very good question and it does – it’s very ______ based on the type of course that you’re taking. We do not use proctors in the traditional sense. And when I say traditional sense, that would mean that you would have to identify someone, submit their materials at WSU, we review it. You don’t do the background check. Mail them the exam, have you meet them somewhere, have them proctor the exam and then have them collect it and send it back to WSU. The seven week courses are much too short for that and we know you’re working so hard it’s very complicated to try to drive to maybe your nearest community college or university to meet with that person.
We have employed a program called Proctor U before and Proctor U does require that a student log into the site and a proctor does watch their web camera during the assigned time of the exam. Most of our faculty are actually opting for other ways to measure to competency, whether that’s through projects, whether that’s through papers, whether that’s through exams which would be a little bit more like your traditional take home exam where you’re really writing and we’re looking at your ability to communicate the information in a concise and consistent way rather than just having you do multiple choice or a lot of problem sets.
But like I said, that depends. Some of our classes have quantitative and there are problem sets involved. And some of our classes are a little bit more qualitative and you’ll be doing some writing and you’ll be citing some sources. So, we do employ a number of ways to measure competency.
Moderator: Great, thank you. And regarding to coursework, a student is interested in how many hours a week they would approximately need to devote to the program?
Cheryl Oliver: You know, we say on average 20 hours per week. And that’s an average. We’ve had some students say gosh I need to spend 25-30 in this one particular subject matter, I just have no experience in this area. It’s a little bit more challenging for me right now because it’s outside of the scope of what I’m usually able to do or what I usually do in my typical day job. We have other people say gosh, you know you told me 20 and I just took this class, but I’m really proficient in accounting, for example, or finance because that’s what I do on a regular basis. So, really for me this is more of a matching the theory and principle to the practice that I’m doing and getting some more strategic tips and understanding on the overall process. So, I actually only spent 10 or 15 hours in this class.
Often, that’s the person that’s saying in marketing, or vice versa, the person in marketing who says I only spend a few hours this week but in finance I spent a lot. So, it definitely depends on your core competencies, the areas in which you learn more easily or are more interested. And it depends on your other commitments. So, in order to be successful, we suggest setting aside 20 hours per week and if you get a little extra of that to use on your own time great if we have to. If you need to use a little bit more of your time, by all means you’ll want to do so to make sure that you maintain the required minimum 3.0 GPA average.
Moderator: Thank you. And stepping back a little bit to the recommendation letters. A student here wanted to know if they’re submitted electronically are they not visible to the applicant?
Cheryl Oliver: When the student applies, they can opt to have those letters blind sent to us or to be available to the student when they’re submitted. And so the student has that option at the time of application.
Moderator: Okay, thank you. And another question here is regarding to the student experience. In your opinion what do you hear as some of the biggest surprises or challenges online students encounter with their first courses, especially students who have experienced traditional learning during their undergraduate?
Cheryl Oliver: Sure. I think one of the things that occurs for many people, especially those that have been in a traditional brick and mortar environment is that they imagine that the brick and mortar environment is contained and then placed into the online space. And that’s actually not the case at all. While the core content of the courses is the same content, everything that’s designed in that online space is designed specifically for the class that is online.
So, some people ask us, well do you just record your lectures in Pullman and then put them online? The answer is absolutely not. Everything that’s done for the online learners starts months in advance of the course launch with the faculty preparing lectures specifically for them, recording PowerPoint presentations, putting together lessons and some interactive experiences, readings and so on, carefully selected so that students go through this process and engage with the faculty and a dialogue online.
So what I would liken it to is – most users use Facebook. And so when you’re in that Facebook space there may be some people with whom you speak and collaborate on a regular basis. You may share documents, you may share images, you may share videos, but you may not see each other in person on a consistent basis, and yet you still feel engaged with that person. Very similar to the online environment.
So, you’re going to have this platform called Angel, it’s your electronic course space. You enter that course space, you log in and you can see the communication section, you can see the assignment section. You go in and you review your material, whether that’s watching that week’s lecture or the narrated PowerPoint. You can see your reading there or it directs you to your textbook for the reading. So, you’ll be doing the same sort of studying you would be doing around a live lecture and a classroom. And then as you post your comments in that space, your faculty members engage with you there and talk with you about your thoughts and they respond to you within 24 hours. And as you turn in your assignments, they grade them within 72 hours of the assignment due date.
And so some of the challenges for people is that they may find at first that they aren’t sure how to reach out to other people in that space. Just like when you go into a classroom on the first day and you sit there and you’re not sure who do I want to be my study partner? Who should I ask? That can be something that’s a challenge for people who are used to seeing people face to face rather than reaching out within that space.
One of the things that we’ve done to try and help combat that and to try and prevent students with more support and resources for the online MBA is a very organic Facebook group that’s closed and exclusive just to the MBA students. And so I would encourage anyone that joins this program to join that group. We have some outstanding student leaders in that space who welcome each new student. The tradition’s been passed on now through several intakes. It’s a very warm welcoming environment where you can learn hey where do I find this in the course space if I’m having a hard time? What should I expect in terms of turning in an assignment for this type of class or ________ of class? And it’s a great opportunity to meet and network with colleagues. I know several of them in different geographies have made a point of coming together for some fun events as well. So, that’s probably one of the bigger challenges.
The second big challenge is staying motivated when they don’t have someone in front of them to be accountable to. And that’s a learning style difference. Some people really thrive in an environment where the can be on their own and they check in on that grade book, they look at the feedback from their faculty members and say okay, I need to get ready to get that next assignment done and manage my time. For other people they think if I don’t have someone who I have to go see every Tuesday and Thursday at 9:00 a.m. I just feel like I’m not in school. So, those are some things that we work really hard with students too to make sure that they’re feeling engaged, they’re feeling connected and their successful. So, I hope that addresses the question, Monica.
Moderator: That definitely did. It touched on networking and how you can get to know your classmates so that was very good. Outside of tuition, are there books or any other materials that will be required to be purchased?
Cheryl Oliver: Yes. Students are required to buy some of their textbooks. Students do this in various ways. Some of them buy them from the school’s online bookstore. Some of them choose other outlets. Some choose to buy the electronic versions. Some choose to check them out from a library. It’s completely up to the student as long as they’re prepared for class and have the material that they need.
We don’t charge additional fees. You’ll see if you look on the university cost website that it’s not as specific on the MBA because there are so many campus based and even for other online programs so many different fees, student activity fees and so on. But we’ve bundled everything into the tuition to keep it simple, with the exception of the textbooks and if Proctor U is used there is a small fee for that. I think that’s maybe $25 for a couple hours. And there may be cases where as part of a textbook purchase, students are buying, say, for example, Harvard Business Review cases or Darden Business cases from a publishing group. But our faculty try and bundle those as best as they can.
Moderator: Great. And then I have two questions here regarding taking time off. The first question is if time off is needed – first of all, if you’re able to take time off or do the courses need to be completed consecutively? And –
Cheryl Oliver: Okay.
Moderator: – the other question that relates to that is how would it affect the cost if they can’t finish it in time in the 20 –
Cheryl Oliver: Sure, I understand that. To address the first question, we offer each of the courses consecutively. So, if you start with finance 526, the next course we offer after you finish will be 526. And then if you missed a course, you would have to sort of wait until your course cycled back. So, it could delay you quite a while. It depends. If you took a break early on in the program then you wouldn’t have to wait as long to graduate because obviously that would be offered close to your finish.
If toward the middle or end of your program you needed to take a break, then it may be as many as 12 or even 22 months before that class is offered again. So, while we don’t encourage people to take a break, we want you to stay engaged and stay on board and get right through, we understand that life happens sometimes and you do need to make those adjustments. And we will work with students in those regards. In terms of cost, right now the tuition is set at $750. That tuition may change in the next year or two and when that happens, yes if you had taken a break and needed to come back, you would be paying the tuition that’s in place at the time that you re-enroll.
Moderator: I believe there is another question going back to your classmates. Will we be in class with the same students throughout the program or will each class be different?
Cheryl Oliver: Well, we start the program six times per year, twice in fall, twice in what we call spring, so January and March, and twice in summer, May and July, or late June, early July, depending on the calendar here. When you start, you may be starting with a group that we anticipate you will finish with. So, in that regard you do have a core of students that you will see in all of your classes going through. You may not always be in the same section as them, but you’ll be in the same course, so you’ll be taking the same material and can collaborate with them through that social media space, Facebook group, or through your interactions with them.
Because we enroll students every seven weeks, you will see new students entering your class every single term. And so, the body of students with whom you are taking classes will grow and you’ll meet more colleagues and students right up until the time you graduate.
Moderator: Great. Another question is we did discuss summer start dates and deadlines, but a student here is interested in the fall start date and deadlines.
Cheryl Oliver: Okay. School will start the third week of August. We certainly like to have all of your materials around mid-July and that way we can get your application reviewed, make an admissions decision, welcome you to the program and give you an opportunity to buy your textbooks and be prepared for that class. We are very careful about allowing students to enroll right up until the very last minute because we don’t want students to end up feeling unprepared before they enter the course space.
Moderator: Great. Thank you very much both Cheryl and Brian for a really great presentation. We are at time. There were several great questions that we were not able to get to, however an enrollment advisor will follow up with you early next week. I did want you to know that there is a recording of this webinar that will be available early next week as well and emailed out to you. I do, once again, wanna thank Cheryl and Brian for a really great presentation. And I want to thank everyone for joining us and your patience with our technical difficulties, we really appreciate it. We hope you found this webinar useful and look forward to working with you in the future. I hope everyone has a really great day.
Cheryl Oliver: Thank you Monica and we look forward to seeing everyone’s application soon. Have a good day.
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