Sprott makes changes to MBA program

Additional courses designed to benefit non-business student entrants

An edge in the competitive job market—this is typically why students enrol in the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program at Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business. Until recently, however, the MBA was primarily accessible only to student who had already completed an undergraduate degree in business. Those without this background had to take up to eight prerequisite courses in order to qualify for admission to the program.

These limitations will soon be gone. In September 2007, Sprott will introduce new foundation courses into the MBA curriculum that are designed to give students with a non-business bachelor’s degree, or professionals interested in upgrading their academic skills, the opportunity to begin the MBA immediately rather than having to wait until they have finished extra coursework.

“These qualifying courses have always been an impediment to joining the MBA for some people,” says Roland Thomas, who is both a professor in the school and the director of the Sprott MBA program. “This has been especially true for older students who had to enrol in classes designed and taught at a pace suited to students newly out of high school.”

As Thomas explains, current academic admissions requirements have not changed, however, the content of the new foundation courses has been redesigned. The new courses will be taught by full-time faculty at a pace that is now designed for more mature learners. The result is an MBA that is more accessible to students with varying academic backgrounds and circumstances.

“The program is now much more flexible,” he states. “For example, many organizations help their employees by offering tuition reimbursement or special leave, but the employee has to be enrolled in an MBA. This change in programming will make admissions more efficient and allow employees to take advantage of benefits that their organizations offer.”

Mature students are not the only ones who will benefit from these changes. Ontario’s double-cohort students will also find it easier to pursue an MBA at Carleton and, as Thomas points out, a provincial task force has recently concluded that an increase in the number of graduate students would have a positive impact on Ontario’s ability to compete in the current global economy.

In its third annual report, the Ontario Task Force on Competitiveness, Productivity and Economic Progress noted that the province’s graduate level participation rate is about half of that in peer U.S. states. It also observed that this lack of graduate students is a leading contributor to the 10 per cent productivity gap between Ontario and its peer U.S. states. Given such evidence, Thomas believes that the changes to Sprott’s MBA are essential.

“Making our MBA accessible to more students, and especially more of Carleton’s own graduates, will ensure that Ontario can compete more successfully in the knowledge economy.”

More information about the Sprott MBA is available at http://sprott.carleton.ca/mba.

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