Spring 2018 Webinar with the Assistant Dean

View all blog posts under Webinars

Transcript

Jason Techeira:
Hi, good afternoon everybody. Thank you for joining us today. I apologize for the delay in our presentation. We were having a few technical difficulties. But I do wanna thank you for sticking around with us and I would love to thank you for joining us for today’s presentation going over our online MBA and executive MBA programs.Before we get started, I do just wanna go over a few logistic housekeeping items. In order to minimize background noise, the presentation is in broadcast only mode. That does mean that you can hear us but we cannot hear you. Please do feel free to ask questions at any time by using the chat question and answer feature at the bottom right of your screen. We will be going over all of the question and answers at the end of the presentation, and a recording of this session will be made available to you after the webinar, as well as emailed out directly to you.

Today’s presentation will go over the history, rankings and accreditations of the program. We will do an overview of our online MBA program, as well as our online executive MBA program, all of the admissions requirements and networking and career resources that are available, as well as international field study and a life question and answer section at the end of the presentation.

Today joining us we do have, myself, I’m the graduate enrollment advisor here on our online MBA and executive MBA programs. And we do also have Cheryl Oliver, the assistant dean for our online and graduate programs here with the Carson College of Business. And it’s my pleasure to present Cheryl Oliver at this time. I would like to turn it over to her.

Cheryl Oliver:
Thank you very much Jason. Good afternoon. As Jason mentioned, my name is Cheryl Oliver. I do serve at the Carson College of Business as the assistant dean for online and graduate programs. We do have five online undergraduate degree programs with two more coming on deck in the next two years. We also have the MBA and the executive MBA online as well through the Carson College.

I am a proud alumni of Washington State University. It is the land-grand university of the state of Washington founded in 1890 in the southeastern corner of the state in a small farming community known as the Palouse and the town specifically is called Pullman. We are the land-grant institution because of the Moral Act, which was signed by Abraham Lincoln that allows every state a piece of land for the creation of an education endeavor to enable the states to educate the populous, particularly around agriculture and industry. At that time, 98% of people’s livelihood was involved in agricultural pursuits.

Today, that inclusion has completely flipped and only 2% of people’s livelihoods are entirely wrapped up in agriculture and the other 98% are through service or other industry. And so to that end, we’ve developed from being primarily an agricultural school to a university that has a veterinarian hospital, a school of pharmacy, a college of medicine and many of the other colleges that you would expect at a university of this size, the Carson College of Business being one of the larger ones. Also, well known for our global school of animal health, our engineering school and our Morrow College of Communications.

We do have a number of leaders and alumni from this last 125 years who are making a tremendous difference locally and globally. We do have a large international population of graduates from the very beginning and are very, very fortunate to have a number of relationships with those alumni and their companies across the globe.

We have 60 years of excellence in offering graduate business education. Our first MBA degree was awarded in 1957 and since that time we continue to grow our programs, perfecting those offerings and making sure to change with market times. There was a time would people would stop work after three years and return to college campus environment. We had a very large and robust MBA program on this campus for many years where people would follow that path.

And today, many people don’t want to leave their job or other commitments. They prefer to go either nearby or online. And so we were previously offering what we would call correspondence courses at one point in time. Then the VHS/DVD and we’re one of the first universities to allow business education into an online format as the internet became publicly available for use.
We are accredited by the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities. That is a regional accreditation that is a requirement for the university and any university you may be considering to be able to seek federal finally aid dollars. So, the NWCCU is our regional accreditor, they’re our regional accrediting bodies. I think there are five or seven across the country. And that’s a very, very rigorous accreditation process that’s continuous. Every year we turn in a number of reports. We have different site visits focused on different focal points. For example, one may be looking at class sizes and assessments, and another may be looking at safety or budget or investment per student. That’s very, very important.

The second accreditation that we have is the AACSB, which is the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. That is an international accrediting body that does come here every couple of years looking at annual reports to see what our business learning outcomes are, making sure that our curriculum is aligned with current market practice and also that what we are doing is providing the businesses in our region, the state, North America and the world with employees who can adhere to current business practice tools and add value.

The AACSB accreditation allows us to be 1% of all business schools that are accredited by this agency. And it’s very, very prestigious and very rigorous. You will see as you’re shopping for business schools that there are other business type accreditations. So, I would caution you to be very specific in looking at an AACSB accredited institution.

We are recognized for the work that we’ve done by a number of rankings. We do not chase the rankings. There are some schools that invest heavily in looking at some of the metrics and trying to guess or figure out how the rankings are going to play in an upcoming year, what the question strategies might be. As one of the people that works on filling out our survey, I can tell you that the survey is different every single year, what they’re looking at and measuring is different every year. And even a sensitivity analysis does not help figure out some of the mysterious ways that the rankings make choices.

Now that said, we continue to benchmark ourselves against other institutions to attend conferences on both business and online education and try to put forth best practices for reaching a diverse population of students who we want to include as Washington State University Cougars to then go out and influence the world through their business.

That work has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report. We are in the top 10% of all business schools today. And we are also ranked by CEO magazine for our work in our online executive MBA programs. We are also highly regarded for our work as a military friendly school. So, some of the for-profit schools have been especially predatory in that space. Our work here has been to invest and ensure that we have services to provide to military personnel and transitioning veterans to make sure that they are finding jobs commensurate with their military resume. So, really proud of these rankings and recognitions. Again, not anything that we chase, but when our good work is recognized by these outlets, we do want to promote that.

I’ll start by talking about the online MBA curriculum. As you recall we have an online MBA and an online executive MBA. And the learning outcomes for both of those are identical. The way that we approach those with the two audiences is to prepare people in the OMBA with more practical tools and those people in the executive MBA who have quite a bit more work experience. They average about 20 years work experience with some practical applications from a managerial point of view given their experience.

So, the programs are both 100% online. The online MBA can be completed in 22-29 months. We do that by offering foundation courses for those people who do not have a business undergraduate degree. And then waive those courses for people that do have a business undergraduate degree with a 3.0 GPA. We also teach the courses in a seven week format so that you’re concentrating on one course at a time and able to specialize in marketing, finance, hospitality business administration or international business. But you don’t have to specialize in any of those by taking that one course at a time. I personally have attended school as a full-time employee and I can tell you taking two or three classes, trying to raise a family and also trying to meet my work objectives was really difficult. I was working triage on my schoolwork trying to just get that one assignment done before it was due and then moving onto the next.

By us offering one class at a time you can really hone in on that seven weeks of material, applying it in your work environment or writing about your experience in a work environment that links to that classroom content, and then moving onto the next course. So you really can get in depth experience there rather than working in emergency mode.

The content is asynchronous. And some people may view that differently, so I’ll define it based on our definition. The syllabus is posted, the course calendar is posted, the due dates are posted. So there are deliverable dates. So, you do have things that are due at a specific day and time. That said, you’re able to work through it on your own time. So, it doesn’t mean that every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday you have to spend the same lunch hour or 7:00 to 8:00 pm in the core space. It means if a morning schedule works better for you, an afternoon, evening, weekend, you’re able to do that.

I will also tell you that we do have live recorded lectures. Those live lectures are voluntary for you, mandatory for the faculty. So, the faculty will always be present and sharing those lectures and office hours. They will also record it so that if you cannot make that time, you’re able to view it on your own time. I do encourage you to attend those. It’s a really nice opportunity to get to know your faculty and spend time with your other classmates. But again, we know that everyone’s life is busy, it’s very hard to make those on a consistent basis, so they are recorded so that you can go back and see them on your own time.

We do have a capstone project and final presentation that runs over the last part of the MBA program. We’re really proud of that product. Several students have taken their final product and turned them into a business. So, it is a business planning exercise. Some of our students have worked on something that their company has had on the shelf. So, maybe the company’s explored a business idea, maybe it’s a product, maybe it’s a service, maybe it’s a new unit in the organization, but they just haven’t had the time or resources to invest. This is a real opportunity for our students to go ahead and take that project on as an academic project and network across their organization to be able to help launch that. Alternatively, some of our students have had a really great idea or one of their colleagues in class has had a great idea and they’ve helped to launch that product to market.

We also have an international field study that is optional. So, we don’t require it of you, but you may take the opportunity to travel abroad with your fellow classmates one time a year in the summer. This year the online MBA students will be going for 10 days to Chile. There is quite a bit of agriculture involved in that one because it will focus on some of the wine industry in Chile and some of the other businesses. And then students will also have an opportunity to see some of the historical and cultural sites there.

So in sum, the program will take you less than three years. It could take you as few as two years, depending on your background. You may concentrate, if you like, in one of these concentrations, or you can take electives across the portfolio and have a general MBA. Again, there are deadlines and due dates because of the seven week courses and the semester structure. However, they are just due dates. You don’t have to attend certain live sessions or log in each day at specific times.

Lastly, the faculty are available too through live sessions. However, you can view those recordings since you’re not able to make them in person and we do have the opportunity for you to create a business plan as your final presentation, which is sort of like a thesis for your master’s degree. But it is not research based thesis. And then we have the optional study abroad, which again will go this summer of 2018 to Chile.

If you do choose to concentrate, you can earn a certificate. The certificate is comprised of the three electives in the area that you choose to take your elective. What we do is combine those with the MBA so you get two documents, an MBA and a certificate saying that you have earned the certificate. If you wanted to, you could earn the certificate first and then apply it to your MBA or finish your MBA and add an additional certificate. Both of those offers are available to you.

We’re really proud of the support that we offer our students. We have a very, very high graduation rate between our two programs. We have an on-time graduation rate of 94%. That means that students who start, finish exactly, according to the core schedule at a 94% rate. That’s outstanding in the university market where 40-60% of students graduate in a six year window because life happens and life especially happens to adult learners.

So in order to ensure that you’re prepared, there’s quite a bit of support from our enrollment advisors who you may have already been working with if you’ve been pursuing an opportunity to apply to the program. Then, after acceptance and admission and you would accept your offer, you would have a student support advisor who would be working with you through the program. Lots of ways to connect with them via text, via email, via self-scheduling. They’re communicating out to you, sharing information with you regularly, helping you with registration, doing onboarding. We’ve also got a student support course space where you can go in and check resources on a Blackboard space. We have 24/7 tech support, small course sizes. None of the courses are over 35 people. And two layers of section instructions.

So, when you’re in your seven-week course, you have a lead instructor who’s designed and created the course contact and is leading those live sessions one-time a week and they’re available to you for in depth questions and really looking at that course content as it maps to your work. Then you have an additional layer, a section instructor that’s working with you and the 35 students in your course to do all of your grading, to answer specific assignment questions, help administer course policy, help you if you fall ill or if you have questions. And then to connect with you on a more personal level.

And then for the executive MBA, we do have a program director specifically assigned to that program who works for all of our students there and then myself, I lead some of the OMBA activities and we are currently in search for an online MBA program director that we anticipate placing this January, which is a new role for us. That’s an additional layer of support for MBA students.

With regards to the executive MBA, I mentioned earlier that group of students typically has about 20 years of post-baccalaureate work experience on average. So, that group tends to have more managerial experience, 10 or more years managing other people, significant resources, programs and products. That program is expedited so the courses are five weeks each, there are three courses in a semester and it occurs over an 18-month period of time.

The course content is, again, identical in terms of learning outcomes because we offer one MBA from Washington State University. Everybody gets a master’s of business administration from the Carson College of Business. So, learning goals, like said, are identical. But in this case, the way that they are applied and the course content is applied is to make sure to get a treatment that allows an executive MBA to apply at that day from a managerial point of view in their work environment.

This program also has the weekly live sessions with the faculty that are also recorded. So, it is asynchronous. You do not have to attend those sessions, but I do encourage you to do so. This program also offers the Capstone project and final presentation. Again, if you have your own really great idea, you’ve always dreamed of starting a business, this is your opportunity. Or if there’s something you always wanted to do or your company always wanted to do. This is an opportunity to take that to the next level.

The executive MBA students also have an international field study that’s optional to China this year. The trip will go to China. And an optional leadership conference that’s been held in Seattle the last few years and I’ll talk a little bit more about that later in the slides. So, the leadership conference is really an opportunity to network with faculty and students and to hear from some executive coaches who work with students on their own professional development.

One of the things I am personally proud of is our work with active duty military and veterans. For me, this is very mission centric on a personal and a professional level as the land-grant institution for Washington State University, it’s imperative that we make all lives better through education. For me personally, based on some family members’ service and understanding the sacrifices that they make to be able to participate in the military, both in service and defense of our country. I know there’s a lot of work out there being done to try and support our active duty military members and personnel in transition.

Here, we have dedicated military support staff and services to ensure navigation of the VA benefits. We also have some opportunities to help students as they transition perhaps from a very regimented work schedule or well defined work schedule to a little bit more ubiquitous academic schedule and then onto transferring those skills combined to perhaps a civilian environment. Or, using those skills and tools to check some boxes and move up in rank in the military.

We are participants in the Yellow Ribbon Program. We also are certified to receive the GI and Post 9/11 GI Bill, and associated benefits there. Some of our military personnel do also qualify for the Tuition Assistance Program through their branch of the military and those are also individual specific. So, those opportunities exist.

We also are a servicemembers opportunity college and we also are listed in the DANTES catalog for nationally accredited distance learning programs. So earlier, I talked about how important accreditation is both regionally and at the AACSB level. It’s also important to military personnel that you are receiving any tuition assistance that you’re looking at schools that are accredited through the doc age program. We don’t want you end up paying a lot of money out of your own pocket to go to an institution that cannot help you pursue those next steps, especially next steps that are commensurate with your military leadership and experience.

We also have a discounted rate for the MBA. It does take it back to the state rate to ensure that the military rates will cover tuition fully. For the executive MBA, that audience is quite different. We do have military personnel there, but there is not a differential in the tuition.

And this image here is one of our graduates who has now retired from the military and at the time he was retiring was going through the executive MBA in preparation for civilian placement. And he’s now at the Walt Disney Company. And it says manager of creative costuming, but believe it or not, that is a supply chain job that supplies all of the costume content and materials for all characters across the country. So, some really interesting opportunities to use business in a large company like Disney.

The other thing that I’d like to mention here is that many of our military personnel have been placed in locations where there are firewalls or other things. We are able to work through those and work together to ensure access and continuity of programming. We do want people to be able to graduate on time and not have to take long breaks.

So, as you’re thinking through your choices and where you would like to focus as you think about pursuing your MBA, I’ll talk a little bit more about the comparison between the two schools and your enrollment advisor will really speak with you more about your personal circumstances, your professional goals and aspirations, your background, your previous education, your work experience to date to help you make the right choice about which program is right for you. Again, everyone will get a diploma that says masters of business administration at Washington State University.

Some people do ask why doesn’t one say executive and like it to say executive. I will be completely frank that the executive MBA program has a great reputation in the U.S. academically as a type of degree. But there was a time in the 80s and 90s where some universities were partnering with companies and doing a short MBA and calling it executive or they were doing sort of a wine, champagne, golf, weekends and some education by just dumping tons of material on people over the weekend and a working certificate that said executive MBA.

So, we really try to differentiate between those types of activities and the full MBA that you’d be earning from Washington State University by not listing executive MBA on that diploma. We’re continuing to watch the market as that reputational shift occurs, there may be room for us to eventually put executive on the diploma if that’s important to our student population. But we do wanna make sure that whatever you’re hanging on your wall gives you every bit of credibility that you deserve for the work that you’ve done in the program.

So, again, the online MBA has courses that are seven weeks at a time. So, it’s stretched out a little bit longer, 22-29 months, depending on if you have a business undergraduate or not. The executive MBA is 18 months with biweek courses. It does not have foundation courses. Some of those are shorter courses added into that schedule.

In terms of enrollment, there are waivers available for the GMAT depending on your work qualifications. We also do request that you have a completed bachelor’s or professional degree. So, people are able to go into a pharmacy or MD program having not fully completed a bachelor’s. We will review those transcripts for you.

In terms of highlight to the program, both of them are 100% online. We do not require that you find your way to Pullman, Washington. And believe me as someone who travels a lot, it’s a lot of work to get here from most places. Our only flights comes in from Seattle. So, we are not asking you to make a campus appearance. So, we do invite you to come here for graduation and I think it’s well worth it. We do a good job of celebrating with you, celebrating your accomplishments and promoting what you’ve done to your friends and family. So, please do at least try to get here for graduation if you can at the completion of the program.

We do not require that you go on the study abroad trip, but we do encourage you to go on that. I know a number of you might think oh gosh, I already travel for work. This really is gonna be an in and out on an airplane and I don’t wanna do it. I’ve lead several of these trips and I have to tell you it’s one of the most rewarding experiences for me to see students connect with each other and to see themselves transform through the experiences that we can provide on these trips. When I travel for work, I land in a place, I go to the conference. I might make it out of the hotel long enough to get to a local shop to get something for my kids, get back, get on a plane and get back home before the next trip. So, I completely sympathize with anyone who may be on this call thinking gosh, one more opportunity to get on an airplane, not for me.

In the case of these programs, there are company tours. You’ll be able to get exposure to companies you wouldn’t usually get to through your own network. We do expose you to alumni in that area if they are available. It is a chance for you to visit with your colleagues and faculty. And it’s also a chance for you to see some of the cultural sites in that geographic location.
Every single student that I’ve spoken to, from the executive MBA and the MBA program who have gone on these trips have told me it was a life transforming experience. They really saw beyond their current situation to the possibilities for their lives going forward. So, if you can spare the time at work, we do try to keep these at a decent cost price point so that you can make the trip abroad. So, I would encourage that, even though it is not required.

We don’t require professional experience for the online MBA. So, if you’re on this call today and you’re someone who just completed your undergraduate in the last year or you’re just about to and you wanna keep going, especially because you’re working and you wanna keep applying what you’re learning in the classroom to your work and vice versa, absolutely, the online MBA is the program for you.

If you have seven or more years of progressive management experience and a minimum of 10 years total work experience post-baccalaureate, we’d love to hear from you with regards to the executive MBA. That program’s really going to work on fine tuning all the management skills that you already have in play, and helping you look at your organization from a larger picture perspective as you develop in that leadership position. So, both programs will give you the tools to be an effective manager and leader of your organization when it’s just going to take the experience that you have and help you elevate that to the next level.

Typical class size, the MBA program has about 25-30 students, no more than 35. Executive MBA 20-25, no more than 30. We try and keep those small environments, so as you’re reading through those message boards and interacting online it’s not hundreds and hundreds of posts and trying to keep up the nice conversational classroom environment. Our faculty will often put you into small groups for discussions so that, again, your time can be spent getting in depth on contact, rather than just surface level scanning as you try and capture all of the opinions of a lot of people in once space.

And our course structure is one class at a time through all of the courses until you hit your capstone, at which point we stretch that out a little bit longer so it’ll be 16 weeks at a time while you’re in your shorter courses so that you can concentrate on both easily.

For admissions to both of these programs, we are not trying to weed out people from these programs. We are trying to find people that we think will be successful in these programs and beyond and to welcome them into our learning community. So, as you’re reviewing these, if you think oh I don’t perfectly match these, please don’t let that discourage you. What I’d like you to do is to continue to work with your enrollment advisor, talk through your specific case and see if you might be a person that we’re willing to take a bet on.

We do not have capability to open the doors and accept anyone regardless of background and work experience primarily because of our accreditation and our high academic standards. We do wanna make sure that we’ve got every measure of your potential for success so that you will be successful in the classroom. It’s really important to us to keep that high graduation rate up. Anybody that we’re not able to accept just because we just don’t think they’re prepared at this time.

That said, I know the rankings really focus on how many people a program will weed out and discourage from being a part of the organization. And as a land grant institution, our job is to make sure we can provide that access to education for those people willing and able to do the work. So, what we’re really looking at is your willingness and your ability as we look at these credentials. So, we will want the completed and signed application. We will want your previous transcripts and letters of recommendation for both programs. We will also want a statement of purpose from you.

The executive MBA program does ask you to do your courses in a short period of time. It also asks you to apply and report back how it’s going when you apply what you’re learning in the classroom. So, we do ask that your organization provide a summary and to ensure that you’re in the right place in your organization to be successful in this program we do ask for an organizational chart so that we can correctly assess that.

I mention the experienced piece before so we’ll skip over that. And we do ask that you have a GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. We do look at that a few different ways. We know that a lot of people have GPAs that are – maybe more mature and that that GPA may not be a great predictor of your success today. So, we do have some means of looking at those and making some assessments about how old the degree is, whether you did better in your last two years of school. If you got a graduate degree, we’ll look at that and see maybe you already did better in a professional or graduate degree or the certificate program. So, please turn in all transcripts that you absolutely can do a holistic assessment of your abilities there.

We do ask for a GMAT of those people who are recently out of school or don’t have the 3.0 GPA. The GMAT is a good predictor of first year success. And it’s also a great predictor for people who’ve been out of school in a five year window. For people beyond that, it’s not as great of a predictor. So, we do have some measures in place to evaluate whether or not we need a GMAT from you. So, please do work with your enrollment advisor to see if you fit in a category that we would need a GMAT or if there’s an opportunity for us to waive the GMAT for you based on your circumstances. That is a case by case and it’s really important that you talk to that enrollment advisor about your situation so we can both make the proper assessment.

I would like to talk now a little bit about what’s going on in the program and beyond to support you with your network and for resources. And as we talk about networking, I’ve been to a lot of events where it’s networking and it’s just sort of who can do what for who environment. And I have to tell you a part of my affiliation with Washington State University is because of the strength of this network. Cougs really care for Cougs. They look out for Cougs. I’ve heard stories of Cougs helping people on the side of the road, Cougs helping people when they were stuck and couldn’t find a place to stay. Cougs helping Cougs split jobs. Just you name it. The Cougar network is so strong and so supportive and welcoming.

And there are a few ways for you to access that. The first one I would encourage you to do upon acceptance into the program and matriculation is to join the alumni association. It’s $20 for students. For that, you get access to all of the resources on the alumni association site, which include all kinds of travel discounts, a business discount. But also provide you with access to career services and job postings from other Cougars. And then also tie you into one of the chapters. We have chapters located all over the world and in your region. And they do things like networking receptions, viewing parties, holiday parties, etc. And so there are real opportunities there for you to meet with other Cougars in your community. You’ve had a shared experience in some way and to remain tied to the institution.

A couple of ways that you’ll network with your colleagues and peers is through your group work, the international trip, career opportunities through the site here, there are resume reviews. I will say the4e’s a little note here that says CougSync. We recently updated and Jason I apologize because I haven’t given you this information from CougSync to handshake, which is a career match software that allows you to upload a resume. Any of the Washington State University employers to access that and vice versa. We also have some LinkedIn sites through the alumni association and the MBA and all MBA groups. I do encourage you to join those. There are frequently job and opportunity postings there as well.

We also have specific groups for the EMBA and OMBA where students will post information for one another. Sometimes it’s just the date. Hey, I’m getting ready to take this exam, is everybody else a little bit stressed? I enjoy seeing the students support one another in that. Sometimes in the Facebook group, people are looking for participants for feasibility study for their business plan. We put out a lot of fun information about activities going on through the Facebook group. Anything that’s really professional in nature or about registration of your program of course goes through email and other channels.

And then for the OMBA, we also have a Bloomberg Businessweek relationship where you get the magazine weekly, access to all of the data sets that the magazine has online. And then there’s a robust self-assessment career planning tool there. For the executive MBA, we focus more on that executive goal setting through the leadership conference and then have the private LinkedIn group.

Your enrollment advisors can talk to you about any of these things in depth. But I absolutely encourage you to join the alumni association. As I mentioned, I am a lifetime member and really loved the benefit of being able to go into any city and connect with Cougars there, whether that’s just for a glass or a wine or a coffee or to pick their brain or to attend an event, from a football watching party to a basketball watching party to a celebration of maybe some other university milestone. So really encourage your participation there. It doesn’t take a lot, but the dividends are great.

The international field study. This is another really great opportunity to meet your fellow students and to bond with them. We do go to businesses and as I mentioned we get back of house tours. The executives will usually tell us the company’s success story, where they see their industry going in the future. Allow you to network with some of their employees. We also go to cultural activities, depending on the country that we’re in. We want to make sure that if you’re there, you’re able to see some of those things that help describe the history and culture of the country.

I can give you some perspective. And usually the faculty leading the course will do a lot of front end work to get you ready to combine the cultural and historical interest with the business activities that you’ll be going to see, so that you have that perspective as you go in.

Again, it’s an opportunity to network with your peers. Also to network with some people at some of these companies. I know several of our students have reported that it turned out to be a really great opportunity for their company to connect with another company. They’d not had ‘em in before and they were able to do some things together that were meaningful.

I do recall on one trip one of our MBAs from a face to face program traveled abroad with us at the end of his program and landed a job while we were in another country and decided not to come back. So, some really interesting things always come as a result of those trips and I encourage you to participate. We do have local guides, they are English speaking. They give concierge level service to our group. There are no situations where you would have to sort of find your own way unless you wanted to go on an adventure on your own. We really do take care of our students start to finish with really great accommodations, really great meals and opportunities in the community and in site scoops. So, they are local and on ground guides that we have really great long-term relationships with. So, we aren’t just gonna shop and bring something out there. These are people we have a long history of doing business with. They come here, we go there. A really nice safety net to prepare you for that travel.

Here, we have one of our former graduates, Terry. He works at John Deere and just gives a little bit of a statement about his experience studying abroad in China.

Talk now just a little bit about the EMBA leadership conference. This is a three-day event, but is exclusive to current students and alumni. We did have three speakers this last time. We had Stephen Krempl who is an expert on international business and culture and comes and talks about how to engage with the multiple levels of leadership at your organization on a daily basis. And then when you need to be in that top five percent, that time when you might be in front of the CEO and wanna make the best impression possible.

We also have Ms. Jenni Flinders. She’s founder of People for Innovation. She really talked about her own personal identity, our philosophy, goal setting and how to move forward in our organizations, or create our own organization if that’s your taste.

And then Bryce Hoffman is a bestselling author. He wrote the story of Alan Mulally at Ford when Ford chose not to take the TARP money and the bailout and how Alan transferred what he learned as the CEO of Boeing to being the president of Ford. And then Bryce recently wrote a book called Red Teaming, talking about – working as our own devil’s advocate to see what worse-case scenario is to plan for best case. So, Bryce did a really nice job doing some exercises with the students. I highly recommend this for anyone considering the executive MBA as an opportunity for you to network with your colleagues, to meet your faculty and to learn from these industry experts.

With that, what I would like to do is turn it over to Jason. I understand you’ve had an opportunity to be typing questions to him. Jason, if you need me to take a question, go ahead and toss it my way. I’ll do my best. And at this time, I’ll turn it over to you.

Jason Techeira:
All right, thank you so much Cheryl for telling us about the programs and giving us your perspective on all of the different components. Yes, I would like to open the question and answer period of this webinar. And we have been getting quite a few questions and we’ll try to get through all of them. If we are not able to get to your question, again, we will reach out to you individually.

One of the first questions that we do have was asking if the program was completely online and if it could be done from anywhere in the world? And I would like to answer that as yes, the program is 100% online and can be done from anywhere, as long as you do have internet access and a computer, of course. The cost for the program is all set. There is no in state, out of state or international tuition. It is all one standard tuition for the entire program.

Another question that I did have is if the diploma is the same as the on campus graduates or if the diploma has online on the diploma? Both the MBA and executive MBA program is our ground campus program. There is no differentiation between online program and our ground campus programs. It’s the same curriculum. It’s taught by the same faculty and it’s going to – you’ll have access to all the same resources as a ground campus student. So, there would be no differentiation between an online program and a ground campus program. On your diploma, it should state that it is an MBA degree from the Washington State University Carson College of Business.

Another program here relates to the flexibility for servicemembers. And wondering if the faculty and program at WSU do service active duty members on completing their master’s in terms of application, GRE, GMAT scores and scheduling of those examinations? And again I can answer that question. The program – we do pride ourselves in being one of the more flexible top tiered MBA programs. And as you saw through the presentation, we have had active duty military that have pursued our MBA and executive MBA programs. So, the flexibility and convenience is there that would allow you as an active duty to participate in the program, as well as complete the program, again 100% online.

We do actually offer other opportunities if the time commitment was too strenuous. We do actually give you leeway, up to five years in completing your degree. However, I always recommend going straight through or speaking with your dedicated student support advisor if you needed to take a break from the program. They would be able to assist you in that so that you don’t draw out the program to an unnecessary length of time.

Cheryl Oliver:
James and I see a couple things coming through here that I’d like to address. I’m sorry if I wasn’t clear. The program is 100% online and if you don’t attend a lecture, it is recorded for you so that then you can come back and review it. If you miss an entire course in the schedule, as Jason mentioned, then you would have to come back and take that at a future time. But, we do encourage you to stick with the plan as long as you can, but we do have a six year window for you to complete the degree from the time that you take your absolute first class.

And I completely overlooked cost. We have an 1175 per credit price point on the EMBA, 775 on the OMBA. I do encourage you to look at the breakdowns of costs of attendance at WSU, which is the federal financial aid page which your home advisor would help you with. So, instead of maybe answering all these questions specifically on that, Jason that might be a nice follow up. And now I’ll turn it back over to you, thanks for letting me interrupt.

Jason Techeira:
Thank you so much. And I do have a question that I would like to steer in your direction Cheryl as well regarding the international focus. The question was whether the program focuses on a particular geographic and if we could just speak a little bit more on what the scope of the emphasis is for that concentration.

Cheryl Oliver:
Sure. There are three courses in that concentration and it is not country specific. It does work globally. International management, international marketing and international finance. And the choice on management, finance and marketing rather than say maybe international accounting or international supply chain is that those are the three areas of the greatest demand, management, finance and marketing. Those are the three courses in the international concentration.

Jason Techeira:
All right thank you so much Cheryl. Another question here is regarding the homework and testing. Wondering how homework is handled and if they are tested and graded throughout the program. I would like you, again Cheryl, if you’d be so kind to answer those questions.

Cheryl Oliver:
Yeah, the homework and the exams vary by course. So, depending on whether the course is more quantitative or qualitative in nature, the faculty member will have different assessments. Some of them may be a little bit more trial and retry. So, for example, the affiliated content with the textbook may allow you a lot of practices that are self-graded, but then help you prepare for the next deliverable. In other cases, you may have to write a paper, or you may have an exam that would typically be due by a Sunday night at a specific time, but would have a window where it’s open from maybe Friday to Sunday. And then as soon as you open it, you have a two hour window to complete it. A lot of our faculty expect that you would be familiar enough with the content that you’d be able to do that open book, though some will have some shorter assessments that are closed book.

Assignments come in through a dropbox that does have an academic integrity check system to it. So, it is going to read and comb that material to make sure you’ve sited your work properly and that you use your own words. And that may be for papers, it may be also for multiple answer. So, there are a variety of ways that the faculty do assess your acquisition of the learning goals and tools. We do not ask you to go live to a proctored examination site, though in some cases, you may be asked to do additional proctor where you would be on camera while you take the exam for a short period of time.

Jason Techeira:
Thank you so much Cheryl. And at this time, I would just like to take everyone again for answering these questions. We are about five minutes left to the end of the hour, so we will continue answering questions up until the top of the hour, and again we will reach out to everyone individually if we are not able to get to your question. Please do continue to ask questions and we will reach out to you.

The next question that I do have here again is regarding the concentration for the online MBA wondering if they can actually pursue a general MBA program or if they have to choose one of the concentrations? And there are, again, four available concentrations for the program. There is also a general MBA track that you can choose. All of our concentrations are standalone options for graduate certificates as well. I do encourage you to choose one of the concentrations. And your specific advisor can actually walk you through into choosing the appropriate one and making sure that that one will best benefit you without your career objectives. But you do not have to choose one, you are not required to. Did you have anything to add on that Cheryl?

Cheryl Oliver:
I see a few questions coming up about that and I’d like to address those. I know we only have a couple of minutes left. You do not have to concentrate in the MBA. If you choose not to concentrate, then you would just have a general MBA degree. So, what will happen is regardless of which electives you choose, you’re going to earn a diploma that says Masters of Business Administration. If you choose one of the four concentrations, you will also get a certificate that says that you took courses in a specific area. So, that will be a smaller version of a diploma with a concentration or a certificate in marketing, international business, finance, or hospitality.

If you don’t choose to get a certificate, that’s perfectly fine. You’ll still get the MBA diploma. But there won’t be an additional certificate that just says general MBA. That would be a redundancy on top of your MBA.

One other question that I see come up again, so I may not have answered this very well is that our content is asynchronous. Meaning that if you miss a live lecture from a faculty member, it is recorded and you would just go back and watch that on your own time. There is no penalty there for students who are in a course and cannot go over the lectures.

Earning the concentration, just ‘cause I’m seeing more questions continue to pop up as we talk about it is that when you take the MBA, you’ll be required to have three electives. So, we’ve got a fixed set of curriculum and then three places where you’re going to be able to have choice. When you have choice, that’s where you’re going to choose the courses that would apply to a certificate or not. So, you won’t be adding any time. You won’t be taking any time off by doing a certificate during your program. What you’ll do is you’ll go through the entire program one course at a time at the place that you have choice, if you choose all of your courses in the same vein, then that will apply at the end of your MBA to a certificate in addition to the diploma.

Jason Techeira:
Thank you Cheryl. Another question, it looks like we’ll have time for maybe one more question here and one question here is that wondering if the MBA program is less than official through a student with 20 years of professional experience compared to the executive MBA program. And then also if the MBA and the EMBA course curriculums are linear and fixed in their chronology or if the course can be completed according to the student schedule and choice?

So for the first part of that question, as far as the program being less than official to a student with 20 years of professional experience, I would like to turn that over to you Cheryl. I think that your perspective on both programs would be very beneficial for this individual.

Cheryl Oliver:
Right. So, every student who wants an MBA would be considered for the online MBA program. And that is going to be a beneficial program for anyone who qualifies and is willing to do the work and chooses that program. We’ve opted to also include an executive program because we do have some audience members who have said, you know I appreciate all of the tools that I’m getting through the online MBA, but what I’d like to do is have that experience in a smaller environment with people who have similar experience to me. I’ve limited time. I’m at a very high level in my company. I would prefer to learn from others in my position across their organizations or across their industry types rather than being in an environment where even some of my employees might also be present.

And so that’s really the nature of the executive MBA. It is a program that’s specifically for those people who want that type of an experience. It’s faster, it’s five week courses versus seven. It’s much more intensely asking them to apply what they’ve learned in a work environment and report back how that’s going. Where the online MBA is broader, it’s more for people at all levels of experience and you have more liberty to take those experiences into the workplace or bring back work experiences to your classroom papers in a flexible way based on your level of experience.

So, if you’ve got one year of experience or 20 years, in the online MBA, your faculty’s going to work with you and be able to see how you might be applying that in a work environment. In the executive MBA, it’s really an expectation that those things are symbiotic, which is why we ask for that employer support letter and that organizational chart. That organizational chart does not have to have names, it just needs to have positions that show where you fit in the organization. And that’s where we’re looking to see if you fit that population of people that are looking for that short, five week courses, very high level, applicable experience over 18 months. And you’ll see that the price point for that program is significantly different to be able to create that type of an environment for that group.

Jason Techeira:
All right thank you so much Cheryl. At this time, I would like to remind everybody that our spring class start date is January 8. And right here you can see our number to reach out to one of our enrollment advisors, as well as a link where you can schedule a phone appointment directly with us. The deadline for the spring semester is December 4. Please do feel free to reach out to myself and thank you so much for asking your questions. Again, we will be replying to you each individually to make sure that we answer all of your questions.

Again, I would like to thank Cheryl Oliver, the assistant dean with the online MBA programs here at the Carson College of Business and I would like to thank everybody for attending with us. We will send out your own copy of this webinar directly to your email as well. Thank you everybody, thank you Cheryl.

Cheryl Oliver:
Thank you Jason. Thank you everyone. Really great questions. Excited to see more from all of you. Bye-bye.
[End of Audio]