The online MBA at Southern Arkansas University is offered by the College of Business and is fully accredited by AACSB, International, the premier accrediting body for colleges and schools of business. Fewer than 5% of all business programs worldwide are accredited by AACSB, which indicates the quality of the program.
We talked with MBA Director Dr. Christie Hough, about the online MBA at SAU.
What type of student typically enrolls in your online MBA program?
Dr. Christie Hough
Students in our online MBA program are very diverse. Some start this program immediately following their BBA, but many are returning to school after time in the workforce and realizing the additional education will greatly benefit their opportunities. Typical online MBA students in our program also work full-time and have very full lives, but believe the sacrifice of time to complete their education is well worth it.
Where are most of your students located?
Most of our MBA alumni have come from the tri-state area near SAU (Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana). However, as the online program has expanded, we have students from eleven other states across the country, coast to coast!
How do students in the online MBA program interact with faculty?
Our faculty are full-time professors on campus at SAU, with one adjunct faculty member. All have earned Ph.D.s and prior business experience. These faculty work closely with students through Blackboard, email, and phone contact. Some faculty also set up ooVoo or chat rooms where students can meet via camera with their professor or even with a group of students. We strongly believe in quick responses to student email and to assignments. When alumni have been asked about their experience in the MBA program, often the answer has to do with the personal, quick attention they received from their professors.
What is unique about the structure of your online MBA program?
Our program is AACSB accredited, with caring, knowledgeable faculty. Students do not have to come to campus to complete the program. We have two emphases in addition to the General MBA program: Agri-Business and Supply Chain Management. Students can begin the program at the start of any semester (fall, spring, two summer terms). Even with all of these advantages, we were named the most affordable, accredited online MBA Program by onlineu.org!! And more recently named 19th in the nation for quality online MBA Programs by http://www.affordablecollegesonline.org/online-colleges/mba-programs/! (The only Arkansas University to receive a listing in the top 65!)
What opportunities do online MBA students have for networking?
Students in online MBA classes have access to the rosters of students in classes with them. They can contact them by email. They also often interact through discussion boards and team projects. In class introductions, I often see students commenting to students they have had classes with in the past. Students seem well able, in the technology-age, to connect with each other on social networks, email, Skype and other web-based tools.
Do you offer career services and professional resources to online MBA degree candidates?
SAU offers career services and anytime opportunities would match our MBA students, we notify them. Often large corporations with SAU alumni, contact us for recommendations and we work hard to make connections between them and students/alumni who would fit their needs. Faculty also have business career experience that may lead to job opportunities for our students.
What advice would you give a prospective candidate for your online MBA program?
Students looking for any MBA program should consider size, accreditation and cost. SAU offers small classes, AACSB accreditation and recognized affordability. Students interested in furthering their education by obtaining an online MBA should strongly consider SAU. The following links should help answer some of your questions: http://web.saumag.edu/graduate/ - Admission information; http://web.saumag.edu/graduate/programs/mba/ - MBA information. I would love to interact with prospective students through email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out more interviews at Online MBA Report's Interview Series.