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Posted: October 01, 2013

Executive MBA program offerings promote corporate advancement

With Washington University’s Denver move, four Colorado schools offer accredited EMBAs

Maria Martin

The program, run out of Washington University’s Olin Business School, is globally recognized, ranking No. 2 worldwide by The Wall Street Journal and No. 9 in the Financial Times Global EMBA Rankings in 2012. This gives the St. Louis-based program – which also offers classes in Kansas City – an edge for applicants looking for a school with a national reputation.

The school’s status comes from experienced teachers and a rigorous, 20-month program, Shuff says.

Professors who are leaders in their fields help boost the program’s reputation, says Shuff, a graduate of the program.

She was inspired to enroll after starting her own consulting business in 2010, after years working in the communications field.

“When I left the company I worked for, I lost my security blanket of people who could help me,” she explained. “I had to learn different aspects of the business, and learn the language on my own. I was able to take the lessons I learned and apply them when I went to work. It really taught me leadership skills.”

UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO

TUITION

$65,000

YEAR FOUNDED

1981

CLASS SIZE

40-45

Glancing at the alums of the University of Colorado executive MBA program is like viewing a Who’s Who of America’s most important business leaders.

Among the many who rose the ranks: Dave Taylor, recently retired president and CEO of Ball Aerospace and Technology; Katherine Meddles, director of finance at CenturyLink; and J. David Wisenteiner, director of worldwide sales strategy at Microsoft.

Kathleen Bollard, vice president for academic affairs, says CU’s executive MBA program draws its strength from its pool of talent tapped from the three schools in Boulder, Denver and Colorado Springs.

“This year, we’re excited to have a new director, Nicholas Hamilton-Archer, who will be involved in outreach to firms, so we anticipate more company partnership,” Bollard says. “We’re also partnering with the Center for Creative Leadership, which will let us focus even more on the leadership aspect of the program.”

CU also offers an executive MBA in health administration, and it fills up quickly, Bollard said.

“Our intention is to make sure we’re completely relative.”

 

COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY

TUITION

$62,000

YEAR FOUNDED

1988

CLASS SIZE

20-22

John Hoxmeier agrees with other university professionals that executive MBA programs gain strength from the interaction in the classroom.

With that said, the associate dean of enterprise programs believes it’s important to draw from all available tools for today’s tech-savvy workers.

“In our Denver classrooms, we record all of our lectures and make them available as study aids and to help students who can’t be in the classroom,” Hoxmeier says. “We’re one of the leaders in the online MBA marketplace.”

Mobile learning is the key to the future, says Hoxmeier, adding that courses are offered during the week instead of weekends, a perk that appeals to many. CSU’s executive MBA students skew a bit younger than those in other Denver classrooms, with an average age of 36.

The program also attracts people who are looking for value, he says, noting the low price tag of CSU’s program.

“Our students tend to be very value conscious. They shop, they compare and they figure out the return on investment.”

 

UNIVERSITY OF DENVER

TUITION

$81,000

YEAR FOUNDED

1973

CLASS SIZE

35-40

The executive MBA program at the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business has the distinction of being one of the nation’s oldest. It started in 1973 in response to a need for strong leadership from the business community.

“Our programs are about using business skills to make a difference in the world,” says Kreisman, associate dean. “Social responsibility comes from the original Bill Daniels theme of philanthropy, and making a difference for others.”

To that end, small teams from the class focus on a social project, delivering outcomes on the final day of class. Many graduates go on to be board members of the nonprofit groups they worked with, Kreisman says. “Some of these people have lived the corporate life, but they know there’s something more than just making cash.”

Good candidates for the program are open-minded and eager to learn.

“If someone isn’t about changing, or only wants an academic experience, they should look elsewhere,” Kreisman says. “Our program will change the way you view things.”

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Maria Martin is a freelance writer.

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