The UConn School of Business announced plans on Thursday, Jan. 20 to redesign its Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs, a decision reflecting growing student interest in more flexible educational options.
Moving forward, the School will continue to offer its Executive MBA Program, a cohort option that meets on weekends, as a separate, unique program. The three other MBA programs—full-time, part-time and online—will be consolidated into one MBA program that will allow students to select in-person or online classes, or a combination of the two. By removing the differences between these programs, students will no longer have to choose one modality over another.
“We teach our business students that successful leadership requires unbiased evaluation, careful decision-making, a sharp focus on the customer, and the ability to pivot when new opportunities present themselves,’’ says John A. Elliott, Dean of the School of Business. “This change reflects those beliefs, as well as our continued commitment to putting our students’ needs first. We are providing them the maximum flexibility of an ‘MBA Your Way.’’’
“The pandemic has changed many aspects of our lives, and accelerated a trend among students to further their education while still maintaining valuable work opportunities, and family and personal balance,’’ he says. “This new approach will offer more flexibility, accessibility, and convenience in obtaining the highly regarded UConn MBA degree.’’
Elliott emphasizes that the School of Business remains strong and robust. Some 800 students are enrolled in MBA programs through UConn. But fewer students choose the full-time MBA program, which has experienced a gradual enrollment decrease from 110 students in 2016 to 76 in 2021. The structure of that program has, at times, limited student choice, making it difficult to take certain classes and concentrations. Furthermore, national trends show that fewer students are willing to leave employment to devote two years to earning the degree.
The new changes will go into effect in the Fall 2022 semester. Students who are currently enrolled will not be impacted. Students who are joining in the Fall will enjoy the most flexible MBA program, with increased student and career support.
Mia Hawlk, Executive Director of UConn MBA Programs, says a UConn MBA will remain the cornerstone for business professionals seeking meaningful career advancement and who aspire to the executive level in all industries.
“Students typically see a significant increase in salary and new and exciting opportunities after completing their MBA degree,’’ she says. “The business acumen gained across disciplines gives managers the foundation they need to lead their organizations in good times and in crisis situations, like we are seeing with the COVID-19 pandemic.’’
In addition to its academic strength, UConn’s MBA program offers experiential learning, extensive career advancement advising, and a vast network of prominent alumni. As a result of this program redesign, all UConn MBA students will have equal access to the full array of such benefits, regardless of learning modality, Hawlk says.