New Online Programs Accommodate Far-Flung Students


Students who wish to obtain a master of business
administration (MBA) with a particular emphasis will find it much easier,
thanks to new online programs offered by William Woods University.

The university recently began providing online emphases in
seven areas: accounting, agribusiness, general management, health management,
human resources, marketing/advertising and public relations.
The MBA program is a 36-credit-hour program, consisting of 27
core credits and nine emphasis credits. While WWU previously offered some of
the emphases onsite, the online program provides more flexibility.
“This allows us to serve students better,” said David
Forster, dean of business. “In the past, if we had a cohort of eight
students, it was difficult to provide an emphasis since the members of the
cohort were often interested in different areas.”
Using agribusiness as an example, Forster explained that a
student could be in an MBA cohort in Kirksville and be working on an
agribusiness emphasis with students from Cape Girardeau, St. Joseph and other
parts of the state.
“We don’t have to turn them away just because there may not
be enough others in Kirksville interested in agribusiness. They can take their
core credits with the Kirksville cohort and their online emphasis courses with
people 500 miles away.”
Forster did say that if there were five people in a
particular area interested in a specific emphasis, it could be offered onsite
if the students preferred.
“This is an application-oriented program, designed to further
prepare the working professional for a career in business administration,”
Forster said. “Classroom activities for the entire curriculum are structured to
provide the proper blend of theory and practice.”

The core courses consist of managerial ethics, human
resources and organizational behavior, economics for business,
entrepreneurship, marketing research decisions and analysis, marketing planning
and development, accounting for managers, financial decisions and applied case

The applied case project is a capstone learning experience
that requires group members to develop a business plan for a company startup,
extension or expansion.
The accounting emphasis provides courses in governmental
accounting, advanced auditing and advanced taxation. The emphasis will assist
students in preparation to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Agribusiness consists of agriculture policy, agriculture law
and futures trading. General management comprises fundamentals of executive
management, human resources in administration and business
environment/international business operations.                              
Those taking the health management emphasis would study
healthcare management, legal aspects of healthcare management and human
resources in health services management, while those taking human resources would
concentrate on employment law and labor relations, human resources development
and training and compensation and benefits.
The marketing and advertising emphasis consists of integrated
marketing communication, building and managing strategic brands and creative
media management, while the public relations emphasis covers public relations
foundations, strategic communication and reputation management and public
relations campaigns.
Cristin Mumma, marketing coordinator for the University of
Missouri Health System and a current MBA student pursuing a marketing and
advertising emphasis, commented, “My experience so far has been challenging and
also rewarding. My cohort is composed of people from all different industries
and I am learning a great deal from them. Only two classes in to the program,
I’m looking forward to the rest of the adventure.”
Ken Lyle, chief financial officer for Fulton State Hospital,
has been teaching graduate courses for William Woods for many years. When he
was first approached about teaching online, he was hesitant, but now admits it
is a good experience.
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