WSU MBA Faculty of the Year Winner Webcast

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Transcript

Jason Techeira:

Good afternoon everybody and thank you for joining us for lunch today and our webinar session that we have to go over our program and introduce you to our faculty member of the year. I do just want to go over a few housekeeping items for our presentation.In order to minimize background noise, we do have it in broadcast only mode. We will have questions at the end of our presentation, so please do feel free to type in your questions and answer box in the bottom of your screen at any time and we will make sure that we answer those questions as early as we can. Again, this presentation is in broadcast only mode, so we cannot hear you, but you can hear us. So, please do, again, utilize that question and answer feature.

For today’s presentation I do just wanna go over some introductions and introduce you to our speakers. We’ll go through some history of our institution and program, as well as some of the admissions requirements and some of the features that make our MBA program unique.

Today, we will be having myself, Jason Techeira. I’m one of the enrollment advisors for the program for our online MBA and online executive MBA programs. And we will have the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Muehling. He is a faculty of the year professor of the chair of the department of marketing and international business for our online MBA programs.

So a little bit about Washington State University. We are a land grant university, one of the first, founded way back in 1890. And one of the important aspects of being a land grant university and why that’s important is it’s established through the Moral Act and shows that our program does have that reputability and the Moral Act was actually established to make higher education more affordable to the general public. And we do have quite an extensive background perfecting our programs, as well as our online programs in over 20 years of online education. And even prior to that, we had been offering distance learning through various methods. So, it’s not something that’s new to us and we’re more than privileged to have you be a part of our online MBA program and entrust us in providing a quality education for you.

Some of our accreditations, you know, we do have our regional accreditation, as well as the programmatic AACSB accreditation. We are actually among of 1% of schools worldwide that have received the accreditation at all of our levels, the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. And the AACSB accreditation is very important to most individuals, as well as employers as it is considered the gold standard for accreditation for business programs. Just one of the longest lasting accreditations to ensure academic quality, and to ensure that your program is going to meet all of the specific requirements that most employers are looking for.

Here is a short list of many of our rankings and wards, recognitions. We are ranked no. 27 among U.S. News & World Report as being one of the best online MBA programs in the nation. We’ve actually consistently been ranked among the top online MBA programs year after year. We are also recognized as a military friendly institution. Recognized on military times list of best for vets colleges 2017. Among this, we’re also ranked no. 4 nationally on Money Magazine’s list of colleges that add the most value. That’s Washington State University and various many other rankings and recognitions that we received. CEO Magazine ranks us tier 1 for the global EMBA program.

As far as our online MBA curriculum, our program is 100% online and we really do cater our program to the working professional. So, we try to provide a very asynchronous learning atmosphere. We do have foundational courses built into our MBA program for those that don’t have business backgrounds. And this is really going to help you with those technical skills that are needed to transition into some of those core classes and making sure that you are going to have a strong education throughout the entire time in the program.

We offer several concentrations in the program as well, marketing, finance, hospitality business management, as well as international business. And those will all be a part of your elective courses. We do also offer a general MBA track as well.

Again, our program is completely asynchronous. So, there is no specific time or amount of time that you’re required to log into our live lectures, but we do recommend that you attend those, as they are extremely beneficial and will have weekly assignments that will be required for you for the program as well. And the capstone project, absolutely one of the largest takeaways from our program. Most of my students will tell you that it’s just a phenomenal experience. The engagement and tools that they receive to do that capstone project, that they’re able to take right into their professional lives really makes a huge impact.

We do also have an international field study. It’s a completely optional field study. As I said, our program is 100% online, but I highly recommend the international trip. We typically go to China, but I’ll be able to discuss more about that trip later on in our presentation. But, we do have that option for those that are interested in an international trip.

So our MBA certificates, as I mentioned we have several concentrations in the program and we do offer all of those concentrations as stand alone graduate certificates as well. One of the great things about our program that sets us apart is as you pursue your MBA, you will have the option of choosing a concentration and you’ll receive two credentials upon completion of your MBA. So, you will receive your MBA degree, as well as a graduate certificate in whichever concentration you choose. So, it’s absolutely one of the things that helps stand us apart. And you can come back to the program after completing and complete as many of those certificates as you like.

As far as networking and career resources, a lot of my students ask me since it’s an online program what resources are available? And the great thing about being an online program is that there are so many tools and resources in today’s day and age for networking and collaboration. We have online Facebook groups. There’s exclusive executives MBA online LinkedIn group. We do have yearly events that take place within and outside of the region. As I mentioned, we have our international trip that takes place and then our alumni association actually happens to be one of the largest alumni associations in the nation. And you don’t have to be an alum to join and we do have quite a few different resources within our alumni association for specifically networking and especially career resources.

So, I encourage you to be a part of the alumni, especially if you’re looking to get into some of the more career researching aspects. And networking is absolutely a vital part of any MBA program and one of the reasons why it’s such a respected and credentialed. And we do have, again, many opportunities and we’ll discuss with you more of those a little bit later on in the presentation as well.

As far as our military students, we actually have dedicated military support throughout our entire program. We have a veteran’s coordinator on staff and he is phenomenal. Any of our military students that are listening in today, I know that you can feel when I say that speaking with the VA, it tends to be a bit of a challenge many times. And our veterans coordinator will actually work with you directly with the VA to help expedite that process and really take a lot of that off your hands. So, I encourage you to communicate with your assigned advisor and have his contact information to help you if there are any issues going on there.

But we are a yellow ribbon institution as well. So, we do have many resources available for you. Active military personnel and veterans may also be eligible for discounted tuition rates. So, we really try to make sure that for the service that you’ve done for us, that we’re doing a service for you as well.

As far as requirements for admissions, we do look for a 3.0 GPA on a scale of a 4.0 here in the U.S. And we do have slight wiggle room with GPAs when we’re looking at last 60 credit evaluations or last 90 credit evaluations. So, I encourage you, again, to reach out to your advisor and send your transcripts in so that we can look over everything and again really just try to provide that concierge service for you.

Experience, we don’t have a minimum professional experience requirements. Many of our students do come in with some experience, but we don’t have that as a requirement. GMAT scores are typically a 550 or better. Again, depending on your GPA, there may be some slight wiggle room there as well. So, I again encourage you to reach out to your admissions advisor.

And we will need, of course, an online application completed and signed and then just standard documents. Official transcripts from every institution completed after high school, resume, three letters of recommendations – and those can be either professional or academic, and a statement of purpose. The statement of purpose is just a great opportunity for you to highlight your background, your intent for pursuing an MBA degree and the reason why you choose Washington State University.

And at this time, I would like to hand the microphone over to Dr. Muehling so that he could go over a brief background. He is, again, received the faculty of the year award and has been a faculty member with us since 1985. And his Ph.D. is in business administration with an emphasis in marketing from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. And without further adieu, Dr. Muehling, I would like to give the mic to you.

Dr. Darrel Muehling:

All right, thanks Jason. I told Jason a little bit earlier that I was gonna keep my comments relatively brief and I plan to do that so that if you have further questions, that you’ll have the time to address the questions or concerns that you might have. As Jason said, I’ve been a faculty member – actually been here since 1985 at WSU. I’m the department chair. I’m located here in Pullman.

I’ve been associated with the online program for a number of years in different capacities, but in the OMBA since about 2007, 2010 I guess actually, around that time. I teach two classes, primarily. One is a foundation’s course. Jason made reference to foundations courses. For some students who enter the OMBA program, they don’t have any academic experience in finance or accounting or marketing. And so, I teach the BA 501 course, which is principles of marketing. Students first exposure and academic exposure to the principles. And then the second course I teach is an electives course. It’s a marketing promotions class, primarily in advertising. A little bit of social media class that I’ve been teaching for some time.

I am home based here in Pullman. I’m a faculty member, as I said department chair. I still do research service and whatever and then I’m doing the online MBA program in addition. But, I enjoy the interaction with students and I have enjoyed my experiences with the online MBA program.

As far as best practices and advise for students, these are gonna be pretty basic, and maybe almost the response from you of a duh, but I wanna reiterate that the reason I’m bringing these up is that I found that some students that do struggle or have some issues, especially early on in the program is simply because of things that they could have easily done, but they didn’t.

And so without further adieu, those things are one is to read a syllabus. And obviously, these are online syllabi, so you’re not getting a syllabus handed out to you in the class, but they’re on the online course space. But I can assure you that students that maybe miss a guideline or a timeline or an assignment have done so just because they weren’t more prepared and prepared means to have looked at the syllabus. Now syllabus may be a number of screens. It might not just be a paragraph or two. But, if you take the time early on in the course time to review the syllabus and understand the protocol, the procedures, the dos and don’ts, I think that’s going to go a long way.

Secondly, you wanna make sure that you familiarize yourself with the course space and the tools. We use a collaborate system for live sessions once a week. Office hours, we call them. Blackboard and collaborate and sometimes students wait until the night of the sessions to find out a little bit more about ‘em. Again, if you are a bit proactive, I think you’ll find it less in your issues and causes of concern, if you have any.

I also encourage my students in the two courses I teach to access the daily discussion boards. These are informal question and answer sessions, asynchronous where you can ask the section instructor or the lead instructor simple questions of clarification or issues that you may be coming up with. Even if you don’t have any issues, I suggest that you tap into these discussion boards on a regular basis because sometimes students raise issues that you hadn’t even thought of or hadn’t experienced yet. And that helps alleviate some concerns as well.

Finally, the last comment I would make is that – and I know this is true of a lot of students, you’re working, you’re in the military, you maybe have 50-60 hour weeks and now you’re still trying to pursue the online MBA program, taking a course. But, I would say don’t wait until the due dates, which is often a Sunday of the week. Most of these courses are done on weekly assignment bases.

And for a variety of these, I think you’ll find that the experience would be much more beneficial to you if you try to allocate some time, not necessarily every day, but maybe every other day be doing a written assignment or a discussion board or whatever as opposed to waiting until Friday or Sunday or whatever day is a free day for you and trying to lump it all into one major session.

Obviously, you’re here to learn something. I think when it takes place in a better more efficient manner if you’re able to spread out, allocate the time of doing these tasks as opposed to what we used to refer to and probably still refer to as cramming. So, Jason, those are my comments and I’m gonna turn the mic back over to you and wait for questions from students at the end of the hour. Thanks.

Interviewer:

Well, thank you Dr. Muehling. And so I’d like to continue on with just a little bit more about some of the support for our program. Again, Dr. Muehling as one of our professors and faculty of the year, I know how supportive he and all of our faculty members are that’s in our program, but there is support throughout every aspect of the programs here with Washington State. So, from the beginning when you’re applying to the program, we have our enrollment advisors established here to help you to build a complete portfolio. To give you the best chance of being admitted to the program.

Most importantly though, we don’t want to just admit anyone, we wanna admit graduates to our program. So, we’re really looking to find somebody that is dedicated to obtaining their MBA and we wanna make sure that we provide you all the support needed to help you with transcripts, GPA, GMATs. We have a lot of information if you are looking to take the GMAT or you’re scheduled to take the GMAT. We do have a lot of information we can provide you to assist you in that exam or studying or preparation for that.

We also have dedicated supports throughout your program. Obviously, our faculty is there. We have the student support advisors that are available to assist you with any questions or concerns. Our student support advisors are always more than happy to reach out to you regularly or if you wanted to reach out to them, please make sure that you keep that communication open.

In addition to our professors and our student support, we actually have section instructors as well. And those section instructors are pretty much a professional version of a teaching assistant, but just a lot more experienced. All of our professors are going to be Ph.Ds. And it really, again, just shows you all of the different knowledge that they have and section instructors, the same. And even outside of those at Washington State University, the students within the program, since we have so many students that do have extensive career backgrounds and then a nice mix of students that have lighter background, we are always introduced to fresh minds, new dynamics, new perspectives. So, it’s just an amazing opportunity to learn and grow and take what you learn right into your career.

We do have tech support available to help you throughout the program. Smaller class sizes allow us to really, again, cater to our students and make sure that we’re assisting you through the program as best as possible. And then our assistant dean actually does lead many of our MBA town hall events. So, again we’re really trying to make sure that we give you the atmosphere to be successful within our programs.

As far as our international business trip that I mentioned earlier, this trip is a phenomenal opportunity to, again, travel to a foreign country. We typically go to China, although we’ve gone to Switzerland. We have learning centers in Tanzania, Switzerland, China as well. And you get to dive into some of those emerging markets within some of these increasingly expanding economies. And so, you get to develop the global view of the business world and really just focus on interconnectivity, managing a global marketplace. It’s a phenomenal trip, typically 10 days, faculty led. And typically, you will work on a project while you’re there as well. But, do some cultural activities. I know that we’ve gone to see the Great Wall, we’ve gone to Ho Chi Minh City. Tiananmen Square. And again, just a phenomenal experience.

And a great opportunity for networking. As I mentioned earlier, our program has so many opportunities for networking within the program and within, again, our alumni position. There are so many resources for that networking, but career planning, engagements, career expos. We have many partners within our program. Quite a few companies and organizations. And so, that’s actually another thing that we will do on the international field study is visit with some of these companies and possibly partners of ours in these countries. And really get to gain more of that experience of the global world and focus, again, on more of that interconnectivity.

So at this time, I would love to open the floor up for some questions about our program. I know that I have been receiving a few questions already and I am more than happy to answer those and shoot some questions over to Dr. Muehling for our program. So, give me one second here while I go through those questions. And please anybody that I –

Interviewer:

Jason, can I hit you back on a couple comments that you made just a moment ago?

Interviewer:

Absolutely.

Interviewer:

So, is the mic back to me?

Interviewer:

Yes, please Dr. Muehling.

Interviewer:

So, one of the things that I wanted to mention and just emphasize that you had already said, I in the teaching of the classes that I’ve done, I’ve been really impressed with the quality of the students. And the folks that are in the audience today are wondering what kind of classmates they may have. I can tell ya, I can assure you that you’re gonna be very impressed with your fellow students. Really, really good group of folks. And it doesn’t matter what the course is. I’ve heard this from other faculty as well.

And secondly, I’m gonna admit that when I was offered the opportunity to participate in the online MBA program, I was a doubter. I really was questioning the quality of learning in an online environment. But I’ve changed my opinion of that dramatically over the course of the last 10 years or so. For one thing, I think faculty that prepare online courses are much better organized than they might be if they were in a face to face environment. I also find them to be more responsive to student’s needs than perhaps what we’d see in a face to face environment.

And third, I find that sometimes the frustration of mine in the face to face environment is that students are so caught up in their electronic devices when they come to class and they leave class. They really don’t get a chance to interact. That seems kind of weird, but to interact with students that are sitting right next to them in the classroom.

In an online environment, I think maybe because we don’t have that physical connection, having someone sitting across from us or next to us that it forces the students to be maybe a little more cognizant of that and be more team oriented. So, I see a lot of collegiality. I hear this from students. I can experience and read it in the discussion boards. And so I just wanted to put in a good word for the online environment versus the face to face. Not that face to face isn’t a good experience for students, but I also just wanted to assure you that you could learn a lot and it’s quality education in an online environment as well. So, with those points, I’m gonna turn it back over to Jason and await for any other questions that I might be able to answer. Thanks.

Interviewer:

Yeah, thank you so much Dr. Muehling for that. It’s amazing how far along online program and distance learning has come, so I really appreciate you adding those words in. I do just wanna give a quick recap of both of our programs. They are 100% online with a very flexible schedule, taking only one course at a time. So, you really are able to dedicate your time to each individual course and make sure that you’re obtaining all of the knowledge from the instruction that’s given. And the program, you’re still able to complete the entire degree in only 18 months for the executive MBA and between 22-29 months for the traditional MBA.

And myself, as well as all of the admissions advisors here are more than happy to review your resume and your background and goals to really help determine which program is going to be the best fit for you. So, at this time, I would love to answer any questions that we do have. And again, I see that we have quite a few questions coming in, so let me start looking at those. And our first question, Dr. Muehling, you kind of already answered this slightly, so I think I’ll hand it over to you for this one again. How do I successfully bridge the gap to online learning coming from a brick and mortar university?

Interviewer:

Well, I wish I had a quick answer to that. You know, maybe I’m gonna take a little bit of a side step on the answer. You know it’s like if you were a student and you opened a physics textbook to the middle of the book, you might be thinking, oh my goodness, there’s absolutely no way that I understand these physics equations and concepts, but you don’t start the book in the middle of the book, you start it at the beginning.

And I think in an online environment, just like any other new experience, we’re gonna recognize that for many of you, this is the first time you’ve done this. In fact, there was a first time for me. And I admit, the first time I probably had some things that I needed to fix, but it’s a transition period. So, I wouldn’t get overly concerned about it. If you’ve had brick and mortar experience, which most of you have, you’ll find that the online experience transition is gonna be a lot easier than you might think. And the only issue that some students have might be with the technology. And again, I think the younger students probably do a better job of technology than us old folk students. So, I wouldn’t be concerned about it, you’ll do fine.

Interviewer:

Thank you so much Dr. Muehling. And another question here I’ll go ahead and answer. How long are the classes? And that is going to depend – our executive MBA program, those courses are all five weeks in length. And again it is one course at a time. And within our traditional MBA program, those courses, for the foundation courses you would take those prior to going into core classes if you need them, and those would be five weeks long.

And then once you go into your core courses and electives, those will each be seven weeks long. Most courses do actually have a slight break in between.

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