“What makes the program special is the degree of flexibility and convenience offered to our students,” said Sonya Premeaux, associate dean for graduate students in the College of Business. “Traditionally, they would come to campus one to three nights a week, depending on their chosen course schedule. Now they can come to campus whenever they want. It’s eliminated the commute, the fighting rush hour traffic, or having to rush out of work to make it to class.”
Beginning in the fall 2020 semester, all required MBA courses will be offered via Zoom video conferencing. For students who prefer in-person classes, all courses will be taught on-campus in classrooms outfitted with advanced technology.
“UA Little Rock’s MBA will allow the student to choose the delivery method that best suits them at the time – in class or through Zoom technology,” College of Business Dean Jane Wayland said. ”If life gets in the way, the class is recorded with a transcript for the student to view at any time. This provides the ultimate convenience for the student.”
MBA students will have the freedom to attend classes on campus, online, or to switch back and forth at any time and as often as they like. Online and on-campus students will be able to see, hear, and interact with their instructors and classmates.
“This MBA program solves one of the major problems we see for our students,” Premeaux said. “Many of them receive a promotion, transfer, or new job offer and move in the middle of their program, and they need a way to finish their degree. The new flexible learning option makes completing their education seamless. They can continue as if they were still here, even if they have moved out of town.”
All classes will be recorded and made available for review. To make it easier for students, all class recordings will be accompanied by a searchable transcript indexed in the video recording that allows students to easily find content without the hassle of continuously fast-forwarding and rewinding the video.
“The new option will help me earn my MBA by allowing me to have the option to either learn in person or at home,” said Michael Kramer, an MBA student from Heber Springs. “It also allows me to re-watch the lecture, in case something was missed in real-time. Students have different schedules and learning styles, and this option has broadened the ability to cater to all styles and schedules. These options allow for the utmost flexibility as most students’ schedules can change from week to week.”
College of Business faculty and students have been testing the hybrid learning classes for the past academic year.
“The faculty and students are loving the flexibility,” Premeaux said. “They are offering us invaluable feedback with suggestions to improve the experience for incoming MBA students.”
Kyle Davis, an MBA student from Redwater, Texas, said the transition to a flexible MBA program is a “great move” for UA Little Rock.
“I know that many people may have the desire to pursue higher education, such as an MBA, but cannot commit to the time constraints of a traditional curriculum,” Davis said. “By providing prospective students with online class options, I think that many more people will seriously consider obtaining the degree.”
Since he is also pursuing a Ph.D. in pharmacy while completing his MBA, Davis said the new MBA option is offering him the opportunity to have the life and education he wants.
“The increase in flexibility of the curriculum will hopefully allow me to have more control over my schedule and alleviate some of the pressures of time constraints,” he said. “I’m a huge fan of having the ability to complete my coursework on my own time, and I believe that the transition UA Little Rock is making will drastically increase the likelihood that people will enroll to pursue a higher education with UA Little Rock.”
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