The MBA for the Early Career Professional reaches out to recent college graduates with zero to five years of work experience. In particular, with the absence of a significant amount of experience in the work world, the curriculum employs a more traditional approach, with the quantitative pillars of accounting, finance, economics, and statistics that are present early in the course of study, as follows:
Students take two courses at a time, which are offered over an eight-week period (compared to one course at a time in the accelerated, part-time option). Each course meets once a week, from 5:00 – 8:00 pm. This track is comprised of students with less experience in time management skills, organizational skills, and work experience. Accordingly, spreading the course over more time enhances the learning process.
Accelerated Collaborative Learning Model: 3+3+3
It is important to note that each course employs a 3+3+3 model; that is, each course requires:
- Three hours of in class instruction;
- Three hours of out-of-class collaboration among students and their sub groups
(of usually four to five students), and;
- Three hours of individual preparation.
The 3+3+3 model represents a minimum guideline. Individuals in groups may need to devote more time and energy to satisfy the course requirements. The three hours of out-of-class, sub-group collaboration is essential to this accelerated learning approach. With each course spanning just eight weeks, it is critical that students engage in learning outside of the classroom. How the three hours of out-of-class time is accomplished is at the group’s discretion. Students working together in their sub-groups are often resourceful and creative, employing a combination of face-to-face, phone, email, and fax as methods of interaction, communication and collaboration. Students are required to certify that they have engaged in the required hours of collaboration outside the class.
Field Consulting Project
The “thesis” element of this MBA option, taking into account the relative inexperience of the students, is an integrative, team-based field study consulting project. Working together, students must select and consult with a local business for purposes of initiating positive change. This hands-on exposure to the work world is a necessity for the less experienced MBA candidates. The consulting project provides a real and applied link between theory and practice.