Alverno College Launches New MBA Program

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:36 pm

Working professionals interested in taking their career to the next level can enroll in a unique master’s in business administration (MBA) degree program now offered by Alverno College.

The college, located at 3400 S. 43rd St., Milwaukee, announced that it has begun accepting enrollment for the MBA program to start classes this fall.

Although Alverno is a women’s college, its MBA program is open to both men and women.

Alverno’s MBA program is the third graduate-level program offered by the college, in addition to its nursing and education graduate programs.

The MBA will allow for a student’s professional and personal development through Alverno’s ability-based learning program, said William McEachern, MBA program director and professor of business and management for Alverno.

The MBA program, which will meet every other Saturday, consists of 36 credit-hours and can be completed in five semesters. Alverno is only accepting students who have at least three years of professional experience, McEachern said.

"The idea is that people have something they can bring to the program to contribute to the learning community of students and that they can then see how that in effect can enhance and add value to their organization," McEachern said.

The ability-based learning program Alverno has built into its undergraduate programs emphasizes skills in communication, problem-solving, decision-making, social interaction, developing a global perspective, effective citizenship and aesthetic engagement through a series of learning experiences offered in conjunction with a student’s major.

A more advanced set of abilities is expected on the graduate level, said Kathleen O’Brien, senior vice president for academic affairs for Alverno.

Students must fulfill the ability-based criteria in addition to finishing coursework and acquiring credits, making graduates more aware of their own strengths and weaknesses and the thought processes of those around them, O’Brien said.

Ability-based outcomes that graduates of the Alverno MBA program will portray include: strategic analysis and execution; global and cultural competence; innovation; and ethical management and leadership.

"The MBA is a logical extension of what this institution is about," McEachern said.

Core knowledge areas offered in the MBA program include:

• Accounting and finance.

• Marketing, production and microeconomics.

• Organizational behavior, human resources and managing organizational change.

• The macro-environment including macroeconomics, regulation and public policy and global economics.

• Technology and quantitative methods.

Electives available include courses such as adult learning and workplace competency; a graduate seminar with rotating topics; facilitating organizational change; managing the consulting process; group and team facilitation; tools and processes for organizational intervention and short-term study abroad.

Alverno calls its learning process REAL, which is an acronym that stands for Relevant Experience, Active Learning, McEachern said.

"More and more, an MBA is needed to get ahead," McEachern said. "It used to be an undergraduate degree, but more and more, it is the MBA."

The Alverno MBA program is unique because the curriculum is integrated so that there are no silos of information. A student whose focus is in accounting, for example, will still be able to understand and solve a marketing issue after obtaining the degree, McEachern said.

Students need to be able to look at problems from multiple perspectives, he said.

"If they don’t learn how to see things from other people’s perspectives, then they will never be able to compete in a global marketplace," O’Brien said.

Feedback from both peers and faculty allows students to see a situation and how they handled it by taking a step back. The feedback also enables students to set their own learning goals, McEachern said.

"One thing we stress is the ability to do an accurate self-assessment and to receive the feedback that students need to be successful and good managers," O’Brien said. "We teach students to break out a goal and how to articulate what would make them successful and when they know if they are in a successful situation through the criteria we have set. By the end of the program, the students will be able to write the criteria for themselves."

Unique criteria will be applied to Alverno’s graduate program.

"We provide feedback to students against a set of criteria so that they can see where they are already effective and see where they will need to take the next step," O’Brien said.

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