As part of a greater mission to boost Arizona State University Online’s enrollment to 20,000 students by 2020, the school’s top-ranked W.P. Carey School of Business, is boosting its online enrollment as well.
The school offers online business degrees at the graduate and post-graduate levels, including dual-degree MBA/Master of Science in Engineering degree programs, a Master of Science in Information Management, and a graduate certificate in supply chain management. It also offers an online professional MBA with emphases in finance, international business, marketing, and supply chain management.
One of the areas of growth the W.P. Carey school has seen lately is in its online certificate programs. Dawn Feldman, executive director of the Center for Executive and Professional Development at business school, said certificates are starting to be a means of development for working professionals. They are not necessarily a career transition tool, but rather are often pursued by someone who realizes they need more knowledge in a particular field, or those who hope to stand out among competitors.
The school’s supply chain management certificate offers coursework in operations and supply chain management, strategic procurement, logistics, supplier management and negotiation, and cost management. It is available as both a graduate and professional certificate.
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In both programs, students will take five, five-week courses and will be required to read, complete assignments, and participate in weekly engagement activities. For the graduate certificate, however, students will also be required to do team assignments and complete activities, exams, and essays.
Feldman said while there is no “typical” student in the program, most who earn their certificate have five to seven years of experience.
The graduate certificate, she said, is typically geared toward students who seek academic credit and a transcript, and are more likely to be eligible for employer reimbursement. On the other hand, students who enroll in professional certificate programs don’t necessarily need the academic credit, she said, though they will get a comparable academic experience. Because they won’t receive academic credit for their coursework, the program cost is typically a bit less.
The school’s online professional MBA has seen a lot of growth as well.
Michele Pfund, faculty director of the online MBA program and assistant chair of the supply chain management department, said the school first launched its online MBA in 2003 with about 100 students. Now the program enrolls more than 450 students, and it’s still growing.
What Pfund thinks students like about the Carey program is the course structure: one six-week course at a time, with one or two weeks between each course.
As the growth of the online MBA program continues, and administrators have yet to determine a maximum capacity, if there is one, students will see no difference, Pfund said. The same number of students will be in each section; more sections, and more faculty as needed, will be added.
The school also plans to see more growth when it launches its hybrid weekend MBA this fall, increasing general enrollment and enrollment from new markets. Additionally, the first class of the school’s online Master of Science in Information Management program began in January.
The school has held accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business – placing it among the world’s top business schools – for 50 years.
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