Higher Education

Davenport University launches 12-month MBA program

Degree is the same as the traditional one but on a condensed schedule.

October 2, 2015
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In line with today’s fast-paced business environment, professionals can now earn an MBA within a year.

Davenport University announced last week the official launch of its new 12-month Master of Business Administration program during an event at the Peter C. Cook Center at 45 Ottawa Ave. NW in downtown Grand Rapids.

The 30-credit, 12-month MBA program is the newest addition to the portfolio of Davenport’s Donald W. Maine College of Business and offers students an option to follow a predetermined schedule in a cohort of roughly 12 to 15 individuals to finish their degree within a year.

Pamela Imperato, dean of the Donald W. Maine College of Business and the College of Technology, said during the development of the year-long program, the university tried to look at the critical ingredients that would help facilitate students to move through the program from a content and structural standpoint.

“We have some very ambitious and focused students who are looking to achieve their MBA degree. They are students that have a background in business and they are looking at the ability to efficiently and effectively receive their degree and move forward from a professional standpoint,” said Imperato.

“Cohort-based learning has long been shown to help students move through a program and maximize the opportunities for things like peer-to-peer learning and team building that is so (necessary) in an MBA program.”

Michael Carey, department chair of MBA at the business college, said the 12-month program is an intensive format and retains all of the same content as the more traditional degree track at the university.

“The main thing to keep in mind is that this is our MBA program; it is not an abridged version, it is not lacking anything,” said Carey. “Many of today’s professionals are seeking to achieve their MBA quicker and still get all of the tools necessary they need to apply in the business world.”

The 12-month MBA program will be offered at the Cook Center, and the first cohort begins class Nov. 3, according to Imperato. Students will enroll in an introductory class before working through an intensive eight-month period covering business content areas that include quantitative business analysis, economics, financial management, legal and ethical considerations, operations and supply chain management.

The cohort will then take the same graduate-level-required capstone at the normal MBA pace, according to Carey.

“Some of these people may not have been in academia for a few years, so we really get them oriented and up to speed,” said Carey. “For about an eight-month period, that cohort is working together, helping each other to cover all the material and to apply the material. The nice thing about the cohort is they share experiences with each other, and they can build off each other on an ongoing basis throughout the whole program.”

The cohort-based program is intended for individuals who have a business or business-related undergraduate degree with some experience in the workplace, to ensure familiarity with the business environment, according to Imperato. Students can receive academic credit for their professional certifications, licenses and corporate training.

“We see this also as a perfect program for corporations to look at in terms of their high-potential employees — employees they want to keep motivated and keep in West Michigan,” said Imperato. “We are going to be rolling this out at our downtown campus because that is the heart of our community.”

By providing an option for students to leverage the advantages of an MBA degree more quickly, Imperato said it emphasizes the identity of Davenport as an institution focusing on performance rather than just the courses.

“We have always been an institution that has designed and structured our curriculum around professionally based applications. From a content delivery standpoint, when we say a traditional MBA at Davenport, I think it is quite different from many others in the market because of that practitioner-based focus,” said Imperato. “It is really a signature approach Davenport has to delivering education that we have been doing for 150 years.”

Davenport’s Donald W. Maine School of Business offers more than 30 undergraduate, graduate and post-baccalaureate certificates and degrees in business areas, including management, human resources, marketing, finance, global project management and honors professional accountancy.

The university also recently launched an online competency-based MBA, and a Master of Accountancy program.

“What we are trying to do as we craft not only our MBA program but other program offerings is to really understand and take into account not only how individuals learn but how successful organizations need to move in today’s business environment,” said Imperato.

“So it is: How do we make people more effective decision-makers and how do we design the instruction? How do we provide specific performance-based skills that lead to people making effective business decisions?”

The 12-month MBA program also is anticipated to be offered online in January to expand the opportunity to professionals across the country and the world, according to Imperato.

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