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Posted: March 29, 2010

Choices and more choices

Paths toward MBA and other post-graduate work offer plenty of variety

Nora Caley

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For many workers, it might be time to go back to school. Colorado secondary institutions are responding by updating or expanding programs and by making it easier for students to attend classes. New programs include sustainable energy certificates, fast-track master of business administration degrees, and online learning.
Here are brief summaries of what some local business schools offer. These are just highlights, so be sure to visit the schools' websites for more information on admissions, tuition and start dates.

COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY

The three MBA programs at Colorado State University are 21-month programs. The Denver Executive MBA, designed for managers, executives and entrepreneurs, consists of evening classes in downtown Denver plus an international trip. The Professional MBA emphasizes team building and long-term networking, and classes are held in Fort Collins in the evening. The Distance MBA consists of lectures on DVDs and video streaming, and can be scheduled over four years instead of two.
CSU also offers the Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise (GSSE) concentration in the Master of Science in Business Administration at the College of Business. The focus is on becoming a global social entrepreneur. The program includes a 10-week international summer practicum in which teams of three to five students travel to work on projects such as increasing fuel efficiency of municipal vehicles in India or developing solar energy in Peru.
There are also master's degree programs in management practice, accountancy, global social sustainable enterprise and others. For more information visit www.biz.colostate.edu.

 UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO AT BOULDER
The University of Colorado at Boulder Leeds School of Business offers two MBA programs. The full-time and evening programs each take about two years to complete. Students can choose among five portfolios, or areas of interest: entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, real estate and sustainability.
Leeds recently changed the evening MBA structure from 33 months to 24 months. "We made the change in part because most of the other programs in the region are two-year programs, and we thought the compressed time frame would be more appealing to candidates," says Anne Sandoe, director of MBA programs. Classes for the first two-year Leeds Evening MBA class begin in May.
CU Boulder also offers energy-related degree programs. The Renewable and Sustainable Energy Graduate Certificate Program, which requires 18 hours of coursework, is available to enrolled students who are pursuing a master's degree. Non-students can sign up for an intensive four-day certificate program offered by the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship, or year-long certificate programs from the Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies.
For more information on the business school visit http://leeds.colorado.edu/MBA. For more information on the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute visit http://rasei.colorado.edu.


UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO DENVER
The University of Colorado Denver's Master of Science (MS) in Global Energy Management (GEM) starts with 40 hours of classroom study, then continues with online coursework. The 18-month program emphasizes teamwork and decision-making. There's a Managing for Sustainability specialization for current UC Denver students who want to also earn a certificate. The post-graduate certificates are for people with MBA or MS degrees in business from another institution who want to gain expertise in entrepreneurship, decision sciences, international business or one of about a dozen other areas.
Other post-graduate specializations include sports and entertainment management, which has an optional internship. For people who want to earn an MBA quickly, there's the 11-month option, a full-day program that includes a trip abroad.
Linda Brooker, assistant dean for the Business School, says classes in the MS in GEM and the MBA in Health Administration have been full each semester. The graduate program with the biggest gains is the evening Professional MBA program. "The comments we hear from students is that they want to protect their jobs by advancing their education," she says.
For more information, visit http://business.cudenver.edu/.


UNIVERSITY OF NORTHERN COLORADO
The University of Northern Colorado's Monfort College of Business plans to launch an MBA program in the next couple of years. "While there are a lot of MBA programs out there, they are not all of a high quality," says Michael Leonard, director, external relations. "There are niches in the MBA market that aren't being served to a great degree, and we will be developing a program to take advantage of those open spots."
Meanwhile, Monfort College of Business is developing a Master of Accountancy (MAcc). The program is undergoing the approval process, and UNC hopes to offer it to students this fall. Leonard says the school will likely have 15 students enrolled at the start, and about 30 by the third year of the program.
The Monfort Institute, part of the Monfort College of Business at UNC, will soon start offering open enrollment, non-credit workshops to managers, directors and other executive-level individuals. "The most requested courses have to do with leadership roles and responsibilities, employee engagement and creating culture change in an organization," Leonard says.
For more information, visit mcb.unco.edu or
www.MonfortInstitute.org.


UNIVERSITY OF DENVER
The Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver will launch its fast-track MBA in August. The program is designed for students who recently graduated with a bachelor's degree in business and want to move directly into a one-year master's degree program. "Many talented prospective students/employees are seeking an MBA earlier in their career," says Daniels Dean Christine Riordan. "The trend in the 1990s and early 2000s was for MBAs to have five to seven years work experience. The market is showing that this model is not the only model that works for successful graduate business programs."
DU expects 25 new students to begin the one-year program in the fall. The school also offers a two-year MBA, Professional MBA, International MBA, Executive MBA and upcoming DU World Executive Program. There also are graduate business certificates in areas such as accounting, finance, management and leadership. The certificates take six months to a year to complete.
For more information, visit www.daniels.du.edu.


UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO AT COLORADO SPRINGS
The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs offers on-campus and distance MBA programs that take about two to three years to complete. The areas of specialization include accounting, finance, general business, health care administration, international business, management, marketing, operations management, project management and others.
Windy Haddad, director of the Campus MBA program, says the average age of students has dropped from around 32 years old to around 29. "As younger workers are struggling to land good jobs with only a bachelor's degree, many are coming back to school," she says. "They hope to graduate into a stronger economy armed with additional skills that will give them an edge in the job market."
The UCCS Graduate School of Business Administration also participates in the Executive MBA program offered by the Boulder and Denver campuses of the University of Colorado. The courses are offered on the Denver campus.
For more information, visit www.business.uccs.edu/mba/.

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REGIS UNIVERSITY
Regis University has two new Spanish language graduate business programs. The bilingual MBA has an emphasis on emerging markets and targets mid-level executives at companies that conduct business globally or want to conduct more business in the emerging economies. The Master of Science in Organization Leadership is delivered in a dual-language format so students can learn the professional content while they strengthen their language skills.
Also, through a grant from the Sloan Foundation, Regis University is piloting a blended delivery in the MBA program. Some of the courses are delivered online and some are conducted in the classroom.
The School of Management also offers the combined bachelor's to master's degree program. Students may take up to two graduate level courses during their undergraduate studies and complete requirements for both the undergraduate and Master's programs in five years.
Among the not-so-new programs, Dr. Heinz Buschang, dean of the School of Management in the College for Professional Studies, says accounting has been especially strong lately, in undergraduate and graduate.
For more information, visit http://cps.regis.edu/SM.php.


MESA STATE COLLEGE
Mesa State College in Grand Junction offers several business-related programs, from certificates to master's degrees. The Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) has several choices for concentrations, including economics, finance, landman/energy management, human resource management and others.
Students in the MBA program are required to undertake an applied research project. "Many of them choose their current employer as the source for the project, which creates a neat win-win for the student and the business," says Morgan Bridge, head of the business department. "The student has a project for their MBA practicum, and the business has the ability to acquire some pertinent research to assist them in decision making."
New for the fall, pending board approval, will be concentrations in insurance, managerial informatics
and hospitality management. For more information, visit
www.mesastate.edu/business/.


COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY
AT PUEBLO
In fall 2009, Colorado State University-Pueblo opened a Colorado Springs based MBA program. The classes are held in the evenings at the Citadel Bank Center. The program is geared toward working professionals. Students can choose their pace, and part-time students can complete the program in two years.
Cora Zaletel, executive director, external affairs for Colorado State University-Pueblo, says they are pleased with the enrollment numbers so far. "We began the fall with 12 enrolled through summer applications," she says. "While we're still working to grow enrollment at the Colorado Springs location, we have reason to be optimistic given there are 20 students enrolled this spring in the Business Ethics course." (There's also a Pueblo MBA program. The Business Ethics course was set up as a teleconference course, so MBA students in both Colorado Springs and Pueblo could enroll.)
Colorado State University-Pueblo's Malik & Seeme Hasan School of Business also offers a 3+2 program, where students can graduate in five years with a bachelor's degree and MBA. For more information, visit http://hsb.colostate-pueblo.edu


ADAMS STATE COLLEGE
Adams State College, which is in Alamosa, launched its MBA program in 2009. The online-only program offers three different emphasis choices - leadership, health administration and public administration. Fifty students have enrolled, and the school expects to start a summer and fall cohort in 2010, which will add another 60 to 80 students.
"The response has been great," says Liz Thomas, director of the MBA program. "The students appreciate having a high-quality program that they can take online at an affordable price."
In spring 2011, ASC will launch a five-year program in which students can earn a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and an MBA. Thomas says the college also plans to add an accounting emphasis in the MBA program.
For more information, visit www.adams.edu/academics/business/mba/.


METROPOLITAN STATE COLLEGE
OF DENVER
Last year, Metropolitan State College of Denver was given legislative authority to offer master's degree programs in accounting, social work and teacher education. The program will begin this fall. Metropolitan State College of Denver also offers bachelor's degrees and certificates in accounting, computer information systems, and others.
The school also has the Center for Innovation, in which bachelor's degree students can earn a minor in entrepreneurship, and nonbaccalaureate students can earn a certificate. Courses have titles such as Creative Problem Solving and New Venture Feasibility
"This is the only undergraduate program of its kind," says Catherine B. Lucas, associate vice president of communications and advancement for Metropolitan State College of Denver. "They offer leading courses and programs to help students and community members realize their business and social entrepreneurial dreams. Last year, they initiated a micro-lending program, which allowed students and community members to start a business."
For more information, visit
www.mscd.edu/business or
www.metrostateinnovate.org.

FORT LEWIS COLLEGE
The School of Business Administration, or SOBA, at Fort Lewis College in Durango offers four-year bachelor's degree programs. The emphasis choices are accounting, business administration, computer science information systems, economics and marketing. Bachelor's degree students can also minor in these topics or in entrepreneurship and small-business management. For more information, visit http://soba.fortlewis.edu.

CSU GLOBAL

Colorado State University launched its Global Campus in August 2008. The all-online program offers 8-week course formats and multiple start dates. Among the Master's Degree offerings are the Master of Science in Management and the Master of Science in Organizational Leadership.
Becky Takeda-Tinker, dean of academic affairs for CSU Global Campus, says they are seeing quite a bit of interest for both programs. The MS in Management program attracts people working in mid to lower level positions and want to move into a management role. "They need skills such as how to create budget forecasting, how to make sure the department is in line with line expenses and revenue," she says.
The adult learners in the MS in Organizational Leadership program already work in supervisory roles. "They want the skills to lead their teams to be more efficient and productive," she says. Those skills include effective communication, conflict resolution, change management, and strategic planning. Many of the students work for state government or for non profits, but the program is open to workers in the private sector too.
The programs are 36 credits and take 12 to 18 months to complete. The specializations include human resource management, organizational leadership and change management, strategic innovation and change management, and others. For more information, visit www.csuglobal.org.

 COLORADO TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY
Colorado Technical University offers online courses, campus-based learning, and DegreeNOW hybrid learning. CTU offers several MBA programs and also master's of science degrees in management. Francis "Skip" Maffei III, the program chair of management for CTU, says all the MBA programs are seeing an uptick, especially in marketing, operations management and project management.
CTU's other business-related programs include associate's degrees in accounting or business administration and bachelor's degrees in business management. There are also doctorate programs including a Doctor of Management in Environmental and Social Sustainability, and a Doctor of Management degree with a concentration in organizational development and change. "Those have become hot topics as companies reconfigure their organizational structures," Maffei says. The doctorate programs contain an online component as well as intensive multiday residential sessions at CTU's Colorado Springs campus.
For more information, visit
www.coloradotech.edu.

JONES INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY
Jones International University is a fully accredited, fully online university. The school offers associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in business and in education. Terry Rawls, vice chancellor, academics, says the biggest growth lately has been from people in their 30s to 50s who did not finish their bachelor's degrees years earlier. "A lot of that is around the economy," he says. "A lot of those folks are unemployed or concerned about employment and trying to secure their position."
He has also seen growth in programs such as the master's degree in forensic accounting. Also, the doctoral program in business is growing.
A new program for Jones International University is the BBA/MBA, in which a student in their last year of the bachelor's degree program can start taking master's level classes, then earn the MBA in one year.
For more information, visit http://international.edu/schools/business.

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Nora Caley is a freelance writer specializing in business and food topics. She can be reached at noracaley@comcast.net.

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