Seven New Courses Added to Western Illinois University Online MBA Program

Compiled by Ryan Garner
January 23, 2013

Increasing the flexibility and marketability of its MBA program, Western Illinois University is planning to offer seven additional online MBA courses in the fall of 2013. The university introduced its first online MBA course – an accounting class – during the summer of 2012, and it turned out to be very popular with off-campus students who were pursuing a master's in business administration.

“We cap all of our MBA classes at 25 students, and we rarely ever fill everything. But when we put that MBA class online with a cap of 25, it filled in 12 hours,” said John Drea, associate dean of Western Illinois University's College of Business and Technology.

Allowing students to complete coursework from anywhere with an internet connection, online classes have steadily grown in popularity. Drea notes that online programs have been surging, while many universities across the Midwest have seen a decline in traditional two-year MBA applications. Drea said the "convenience factor" of being able to take an MBA course from one's home computer appeals to students.

Currently, 11 classes are needed to earn an MBA through Macomb, Ill.-based Western Illinois University. In addition to the eight courses to be offered online, students are required to take three traditional classroom MBA courses, since those courses do not translate well to online delivery.

“We've been doing some things with the MBA program to do a better job of serving students and to meet the changing nature of the market,” Drea said. “We're hoping to add more courses (online) in the future, though only where we can deliver a quality course."

The new online classes will utilize recorded lectures that students can watch at their convenience, but the classes also will offer online interaction, giving students a chance to ask questions. The new online offerings will include finance, human resources, management, marketing and three supply-chain management classes.

Faculty members will teach both the online and the classroom MBA programs. All tests for the online MBA classes will be taken in supervised testing centers. Students will show identification before being provided a computer code to take examinations on a secure computer. The school aims to ensure that each course is fully interactive, providing instruction on par with the traditional classroom experience.


Sources:

“WIU to offer seven more online MBA courses,” whig.com, January 21, 2013, Edward Husar

“Western Illinois University to Offer Seven Additional Online MBA Classes,” onlinembapage.com, January 22, 2013