Howard University is stepping even further into the digital age. The Historically Black College and University (HBCU) has announced the launch of its first online degree program, the online Executive MBA program.
“The world of business has fundamentally changed in recent years, managing in the global environment has become the norm, evolving technologies require new management strategy, and today’s challenging economic environment requires many business leaders to redefine themselves with new business knowledge, tools, and networks to remain competitive,” says Mr. Kim Wells, director of MBA and Executive Education at Howard University.
Starting in January 2012, the online format is designed to deliver a management education that is accessible to professionals who desire to work full-time while completing their degree. Consisting of 42 credit hours, the online Executive MBA program is designed to be complete in about 18 months. Howard University’s School of Business is accredited by AACSB International (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), ranking among the top U.S. Business Schools by Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Additionally, the Princeton Review has consistently ranked Howard’s MBA program as the top business program (#1) for the “Greatest Opportunity for Minority Students.”
“The online program provides busy business leaders a learning platform that is mobile, accessible, and yet still highly interactive and challenging. The online platform will also provide an increased opportunity for business leaders from around the world to study with our world-class faculty, and connect with the Howard Business School community that is one of the most respected in the world,” says Wells.
Applications will be accepted starting June 2011, with the inaugural online class starting in January 2012. “We have just launched our marketing campaign on June 6 and already have had a spirited response of qualified business leaders inquiring and applying for the program. The number of respondents to date has been very encouraging,” says Wells.
With many HBCUs struggling to attract potential students, this new online product will give Howard an advantage. “The new program will open the door for Howard to engage one the fastest growing segments in education: executive learners,” notes Wells. “We also believe the intersection of business leaders in the program from the U.S. and abroad will inspire innovation, future business collaboration and partners for the students and the university. The development and growth of the new EMBA program should also generate new revenue for the university to be reinvested in faculty research, and development of future advanced business programs such as a Ph.D. or DBA programs.”
To attract people to the online program, Howard is utilizing all the major social media networks. “Our primary marketing strategy has been to aggressively leverage online advertisement through vehicles such as Facebook, Google, Bing, targeted websites, and by using online education directories,” explains Wells. “We have also counted on the potential viral effect of the Internet by rolling out a series of announcements to undergraduate alumni, university faculty, business and government partners. This summer and fall we will also be hosting live, online open houses and targeted recruitment events on campus and in some select regional markets.”
The online MBA program is just one of the online offerings in the works. “We are looking at digitizing some of our Executive Certificate programs, our new Mini-MBA and possibly expanding into select EMBA or MBA concentrations of study in the future,” says Wells.
Howard University, founded in 1867, is a private, research university that is comprised of 12 schools and colleges. Howard produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States.