An Online MBA For the Price of a Jeep

AUBURN ALSO HAS AN INEXPENSIVE EXECUTIVE MBA PROGRAM

This $28,000 online MBA program isn’t the only distance MBA offered at Auburn. Students can also participate in a hybrid Executive MBA program that was named 2012’s Best Remote Learning Programme in North America by European CEO. The EMBA program has a 10-day international trip built in, along with requiring students to come to Auburn for five residences that stretch from Sunday to Friday. It comes at a price of $55,480, which includes all books, lodging, airfare for the international trip, and most meals.

Unlike the online program, the EMBA lectures aren’t live; they’re produced in a studio. While students have up to six years to finish the online MBA, the EMBA must be completed within 21 months. The student profile is also different, with the EMBA students possessing 16 years of work experience, while the online students averaging six-to-eight years. “It’s easier for seasoned executives to arrange to be away for residences every few months,” says Harris. “Online students often have a limited ability to do that…but students have to decide what works better for them.”

SCHOOL WANTS TO IMPROVE CAREER SERVICES FOR ONLINE STUDENTS

Harris has an ambitious agenda for the coming years.  For starters, he’d like to make on-campus students more like online students through blending. “I’d like to put more content in short online modules that students can see before class. [That way], we can spend more time in class addressing the grays in the world and topics that require deeper discussion [and reflection].” Harris also plans to increase dual degrees and concentrations for online students, so everyone has the same opportunities.

What’s more, he wants to put greater emphasis on career services. Harris concedes that most online MBA students are already working and focusing on advancing within their own employers. However, he wants to build in more opportunities to make students aware of career progression and “teach them to fish” when the time is right. This is another area in which the more expensive programs provide more career support, even personal coaching in some instances.

To do this, Harris has convened a committee of faculty, staff, students, and alumni to help him “see the right things” and “identify what [he] hasn’t thought of.

“You can’t rest on your laurels. You can always do better.”

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