College students who aspire to earn both bachelor’s and master’s degrees usually figure they will spend six to seven years of their lives working to complete the graduation requirements. For the first time, though, William Woods University is offering a program for students to earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in five years.
Starting a year earlier than planned, the WWU business department now offers a program for students to begin earning their Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree the senior year of their undergraduate classes. The 12 pioneer students who started the program this year are:
“I think the five-year MBA program is one of the best programs that college students can participate in,” Koselansky said. “Why wait six years to have your MBA when you can get it in five? Having started the program already, I feel that this was a great choice for me to make and I can’t wait to graduate with that MBA.”
The program was suggested about five years ago after David Forster, dean of business, researched universities that had similar options. After suggesting the program to his colleagues, the business faculty teamed up with Forster and began planning and promoting the program.
“When I brought the program up to Dr. Michael Westerfield, he was all about helping us make this program happen. He gave us the permission, we got the finances to get the program started and ran with it,” said Forster.
“We wanted to find a way to encourage our business majors to consider our MBA program and we wanted to do so in a way that would be convenient for our students,” said Westerfield, vice president and graduate dean. Projected to run in the fall of 2013, the program immediately attracted students already enrolled in their senior year at William Woods University.
“We had so many students interested in the program saying they wanted this opportunity that the program provided. It was because of all these students expressing their interest that we decided to forward on with the program and begin a year earlier,” said Forster.
To participate in the MBA in 5 program, faculty suggest students declare early. By declaring early, students can plan their schedule over the next four years to that their senior year has room for the eight-week graduate courses.
When Christine Whittier found out about the MBA in 5 program, she was a sophomore researching what classes she would need to take for her business administration minor.
“Once I saw it, I switched my calendar year and my minor immediately,” said Whittier. “I came to this school for the equestrian program, but to leave with a Bachelor of Science degree in equestrian science and a Master of Business Administration degree was an opportunity that I never thought I would have.
She added, “I always knew I wanted to own my own equestrian business so being able to concentrate most of my undergraduate career on the equestrian program gives me the edge I need in the horse industry, while the MBA program prepares me for the reality of running a business.”
“We’re very pleased with the program and very excited for our students going through. The program allows so many benefits for the students. Just simply walking away in five years with that extra degree I think certainly makes you more marketable,” said Westerfield.
CUTLINES: Olivia Koselansky