UNCW Offers New Online Executive MBA Program

By Cece Nunn, posted Sep 13, 2016
A new online Executive Master of Business Administration program offered by the University of North Carolina Wilmington is taking applications for classes that begin in January 2017, according to a news release.
The 48-credit-hour program offered by the Cameron School of Business will serve aspiring executives throughout North Carolina with five or more years of professional experience, the release said.

In the past, those who wanted to get a degree to further their careers often had to stop for a year or more to go to school and get an MBA, said UNCW Chancellor Jose Sartarelli on Tuesday.

"In this day and age, in a very tight labor market, if you do that -- if you step down from your job -- you're not going to get it back," he said.

An online EMBA was launched at West Virginia University when Sartarelli was serving as the Milan Puskar Dean of the College of Business and Economics there. UNCW currently has an array of online programs, including offerings for veterans and active-duty military personnel, nursing and a master's in science and chemistry.

"The limit of online education is just up to our imagination," Sartarelli said. "I think a lot of stuff can be done, and I've seen, even when I was in my previous position, people say sometimes, 'Well, you know, face-to-face is better,' but the truth of the matter is that's not the case. Many, many cases we've had, the amount of knowledge and expertise that a person gets in an online program is very similar to what a person would get face-to-face."  
Prospective students for the online EMBA program need to apply by Nov. 15 to receive preference for admission to the first group. The cost is $25,000 for in-state tuition and $53,750 for out-of-state tuition, with other expenses including books/cases and roundtrip airfare for an international residency, UNCW’s online EMBA website says.
“The online EMBA program fills a niche for aspiring executives and working business professionals who hope to advance in their organizations and their professions,” Cameron School of Business Dean Rob Burrus said in the release.
The program, which received final approval from the UNC system's General Administration last week, also provides the opportunity for specialization courses in finance and international business, according to the announcement.
“Two unique aspects of the program are three required residencies and specialization options. The program includes two on-campus residencies intended to develop ‘soft skills’ such as leadership, communication, negotiation, team building and persuasion that bring intrinsic value to organizations,” the release said. “A one-week international residency at one of four partner universities in Europe will increase students’ understanding of today’s global business environment and how cultural differences can affect negotiations and transactions.”
Initially, students will have the option to specialize in finance or international business or choose a more generalized program. Other specializations, such as business analytics, are planned, the release said.
The online EMBA program announcement comes at the same time as the news that UNCW ranks sixth among public universities and 16th overall on a new list of Best Regional Universities in the South published by U.S. News & World Report. UNCW maintained its previous ranking and was awarded several other key recognitions in the “Best Colleges 2017” edition, an announcement said. 
“UNCW’s strong commitment to excellence in teaching, research and community engagement forms the foundation for the student-centered learning experience our university offers,” said Sartarelli in a news release.

The university placed 11th on the list of Best Colleges for Veterans in the South, up three positions from last year, and was recognized among 25 regional universities in the South dubbed A+ Schools for B Students, the release said. In addition, the Cameron School of Business was ranked among the top 200 Best Undergraduate Business Programs, up eight spots from last year.
The release said UNCW also was recently recognized as a top regional university by The Princeton Review and ranked as the fifth Best Public University in North Carolina on a list compiled by USA Today and College Factual.
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