What Makes the Saint Joseph’s MBA Stand Out
One data point that was key to the discussions is companies’ reticence across the board to pay for employees to pursue their MBAs, a trend that began with the 2007-2009 recession and has remained despite an increasingly competitive labor market. Just 49% of respondents to a 2018 Society for Human Resource Management survey said their employers offer graduate educational assistance, down from 61% in 2008.
Part of the fabric of Philadelphia, Saint Joseph’s is well connected and well respected in the region among employers, students and ranking organizations and contributes to the region’s business community. Haub’s new MBA model, which can be completed entirely online, makes the case for employers’ to upskill their workforce through a “stackable” model of three certificates – a core certificate with foundational courses in management, finance, accounting and marketing and then two specialty certifications of the student’s choice: marketing, finance, data analytics, data management, data science, leadership, real estate, accounting or human resources management.
“You can focus on complementary areas of focus, or choose things that may not intuitively go together – leadership and finance, HR and accounting,” Zervanos says.
The new structure also responded to student feedback expressing a desire to earn “micro-credentials” or to get regular reinforcement along the way to earning an MBA, says Nicolle Clements, Ph.D., associate professor of decision and data sciences and a member of the task force.
“Students didn’t want to wait two years to be able to update their credentials on their LinkedIn profile or to tell their manager they had achieved mastery in a subject,” Clements says. “This curriculum allows them to earn a certificate to show what they’ve learned throughout their time in the program.”
Another change aimed at increasing speed-to-degree, Zervanos says, is that students without undergraduate degrees in business, who would have previously needed to take several foundational courses in a traditional format, will now be able to do them asynchronously at their own pace and at a fraction of the cost. The new curriculum also reduces the number of required credits to 36, creating a faster and more affordable path to a degree.