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Blended learning MBA programs growing in popularity

Thursday, June 18, 2015
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Blended learning MBA programs growing in popularity
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The idea of being able to participate in an MBA program at a top school without being required to leave the comfort of your own home is attractive for many reasons. Not only does online learning allow students the ability to balance education with a full time job, earning an advanced degree can also help boost job security and put professionals on an accelerated career path. A blended MBA program can also make students feel more comfortable working in a digital space, which is something that is becoming increasingly common across a number of fields.

"Blended learning is becoming an expectation among students."

The appeal of blended learning
Many schools are aware of these benefits and are introducing programs that mesh well with the busy schedule of working students and the prevalence of the digital workplace. Blended learning, which is defined as a program of study that incorporates a mix of online and in-person education, is not only helpful to students, but is actually becoming an expectation of theirs, according to BusinessBecause, an online resource for students interested in attending business school. 

"It is really a shift in thinking about communicating in a digital space," Phil Powell, chairperson of the Kelley Direct Online MBA program at Indiana University, told the source, "demonstrating how effective it can be to collaborate and network within a digital environment."

Students are earning their degrees online.Students are earning their degrees online.

Schools joining the bandwagon
Francis Marion University in Florence, South Carolina, is just one college offering a new blended MBA program. The Master of Business Administration with a concentration in healthcare executive management is being introduced to professionals and students in the healthcare field who would like to gain a better understanding of business to complement their skills. 

"All practitioners need to understand today's business of healthcare to provide value-based best patient outcomes," Ruth Wittmann-Price, Ph.D., chair of FMU's Department of Nursing, said.

What better way to gain a business sense than by following a business-based curriculum that's partially offered through a computer screen? The program requires students to attend in-person sessions three times per semester.

The University of West Alabama is another school to offer a blended grad degree. The 33-hour master's degree is being introduced in fall 2015, and will allow students to complete the program in just over one year. The flexible schedule is meant to appeal to those who already hold full time jobs in their prospective field.

By Monique Smith

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