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By Maura Jensen

The first cohort of Eller College’s Online MBA program began in September 2013. Now at its six-month anniversary, the program is realizing its goal to increase access to students who were not served with traditional, in-person classes.

“There are working professionals who are ready for an MBA but are place bound,” explained Len Jessup, dean of the Eller College. “In addition, they need to balance all the demands of work and home life, and can only consider an MBA that offers maximum flexibility.”

The program is comprised of six terms of eight weeks each, with two core courses and up to three electives offered each term. Each student, in order to graduate, is required to take 14 core classes at 2 units each, and 17 elective units. This works out to be 45 units, the same number and makeup of courses offered in Eller’s Evening MBA program –  just ranked #25 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

With six different start dates throughout the year, Eller’s Online MBA is a practical choice for mobile students, out-of-state alumni, students with prohibitive schedules, and especially those in the military. Mike Zarker, a current OMBA student, started the program in the inaugural session in September. He is currently on active duty with the Navy.

Zarker chose Eller’s Online MBA program due to its flexibility and the fact that it is military and veteran friendly. “I currently live in California and I moved here from Alaska two months ago,” he said. “I’ll be transitioning out of military service in about ten months and I know that an Eller MBA will help to make me more marketable in the civilian world.”

Paige Bausman, director of the Eller Online MBA, said that the feedback from the students has been positive thus far. In late March, she organized a coffee date for the Online MBA students that were in town. The caliber of faculty and other students, ease of use of the online system, and the accessibility of the professors were all noted as positive traits of the program. “When creating the program, we really aimed for ease of communication and interaction between the students and the professors. It’s great to hear that that’s what is happening, even though they often have the challenge of being in different cities,” Bausman said.

By September, the program’s one-year mark, the Eller MBA aims to have between 60 and 100 students enrolled.

Top photo of A young caucasian male working on a desk with a laptop courtesy Shutterstock.