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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Eller to offer new online program, accessibility for future students

Carl S. Miller III

In order to make classes more accessible for potential students, the UA Eller College of Management will soon offer a Master of Business Administration program online.

The idea for the online program came from a need to expand and offer the same level of excellence to students who do not have time to attend regular classes, said Joe Valacich, a professor of Management Information Systems for the Eller College and a member of the launch team.

“Often we’re limited in terms of the size of our program by the physical facilities,” Valacich said. “One of the things that are attractive to online programs is that they can potentially grow quite large … this efficiency creates resources and those resources can be used to support students, facilities and the other things that we use with our excess revenue.”

Because online programs are geared toward people who may be too busy or too far from the classroom, they do not compete with traditional programs, said Len Jessup, dean of the Eller College.

The program will also utilize a carousel system, allowing students the opportunity to enter the program six times throughout the year. This way, they do not have to wait until the following fall to enroll in classes and can finish the program in 14 months, Jessup added.

“The carousel system makes the program much more accessible. It’s designed for a person who’s working full time and is either job-bound or place-bound and they need that flexibility of when to start,” Jessup said.

Boris Shegolev, a UA alumnus, works as an exam developer at the American Board of Radiology and said an MBA could help him achieve his career goals. Taking classes online would save him time by eliminating his daily three-hour bus commute.

“I’m interested in Eller online, as opposed to traditional or evening classes for the additional flexibility with how I can manage my time between commuting three hours each day, working full-time and seeing my family,” Shegolev said.

As more colleges create academic online programs, business schools are becoming globally competitive.

“We’ve had to break free from the notion of thinking about where a student sits,” Jessup said. “It doesn’t really matter whether a student is sitting in a classroom in Tucson, Scottsdale or in their homes online.”

Eller professors working on the launch are also looking to expand
the brand so the college will be available to anyone around the world.

The new online program could serve as a potential revenue stream as well as educate students across the globe, according to Valacich.

The first rotation of the enrollment system will begin in September.

“This is a really exciting time for Eller,” Jessup said. “We aim to be one of a handful of the very best global, comprehensive, entrepreneurial, multimodal, self-sustaining business schools in the world. This is a critical element in us being able to compete in that space.”

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