WWU Offers New MBA Degree with Human Resources Emphasis

In a continuing effort to meet the needs of working adults, William Woods University now offers a master of business administration (MBA) degree with a human resources concentration.

The program is initially being offered at the WWU campuses in Jefferson City and Columbia. An orientation for the program in Columbia will be April 2. The program is already under way in Jefferson City and will be offered again in October.

Prospective MBA students are encouraged to contact the university’s Graduate & Adult Studies (G&AS) program now if they are interested in this particular emphasis.

Developed for the full-time working adult, the new human resources concentration is a 36-hour program designed to equip the student with a broad array of skills and knowledge for professional practice. It is intended for the professional who is involved in management decisions and practices that directly affect or influence the people who work for the organization.

The new program focuses on three distinct areas of human resources: Employment Law and Labor Relations; Compensation and Benefits, and Performance Management, Training and Development.

“In recent years, increased attention has been devoted to how organizations manage human resources,” Brian Lemons, director of business programs for WWU’s Graduate & Adult Studies, said.

“This increased attention comes from the realization that an organization’s employees enable an organization to achieve its goals, and the management of these human resources is critical to an organization’s success.”

According to Lemons, the new HR concentration was developed with the belief that organizational success is based not on conventional factors like large size, unique image, perfect market niche or dominant market share, but on how employees are treated.

“The career outlook for HR professionals is strong,” he said. “External events related to corporate reorganization, global competition and changes in workforce demographics represent long-term trends that have transformed the way organizations interact with employees. HR professionals are in a pivotal position in terms of these challenges.”

According to Lemons, the MBA with human resources emphasis is unique to mid-Missouri. William Woods also offers a regular MBA, as well as MBAs with concentrations in accounting and health management.

As with the other programs, the new one was developed after “extensive research to determine what employees are seeking today,” he said. “The three focus areas embrace the core competencies employees are looking for.”

Lemons said that faculty for all Graduate & Adult Studies business programs are leaders in the business community, who bring years of practical professional experience to the classroom.

He added that the MBA-HR “utilizes particularly strong practitioners,” including Bob Scribner, president/owner of Executive Advantage; Ron Jenks, human resource director for Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance, and Bob Irish, manager of human resource for the Daniel Boone Regional Library.

Non-traditional students reflect a growing national trend as more full-time working adults realize the value of maintaining a sustained involvement in higher education. Many adult students recognize that they need additional education either to advance in their current positions or to change careers.

According to Betty R. Tutt, vice president and dean of academic affairs at William Woods, the program will “provide the classes necessary to make sound judgments necessary for assuming leadership roles in the business of managing people.”

She explained that classroom activities of the entire curriculum are designed to provide the proper blend of theory and practice, thereby making for a truly applications-oriented program.

In addition to the MBAs, William Woods offers a number of other G&AS programs, including an associate of arts in liberal studies (AA), ACCESS (general education), a bachelor of science degree in management (BSM), a bachelor of science in computer and information management (CIM) and a master of education (MED) in both administration and in curriculum/instruction.

In the beginning, the G&AS programs were located only in mid-Missouri. Now, thanks to the growing demand, William Woods has expanded G&AS programs to locations across the state for the convenience of interested students.

These programs make it possible for a person with a full-time job to complete a degree while remaining employed. Courses are facilitated by practicing professionals. Classes meet one night a week for four hours and courses normally run six weeks.

Employing a model of accelerated learning developed especially for the working adult, educational programs are structured so that a degree may be completed in as few as 22 months.

“William Woods University is a leader when it comes to designing quality programs for nontraditional adult students. Everything we do here at WWU in our Graduate & Adult Studies program is specifically designed to help adults succeed in reaching their goals as efficiently as possible,” Tutt said.

To learn more about the William Woods G&AS programs, call 1-800-995-3199 or contact WWU by e-mail at cgas@williamwoods.edu or by fax at (573) 592-1164.