Ready, Set, Click — The Katz Blended Online MBA is Here

Bill Valenta, Assistant Dean of MBA and Executive Programs

Bill Valenta, Assistant Dean of MBA and Executive Programs

The questions have come from near and far, in person, by telephone, and by email. When will we offer online courses for graduate business students? Well, I am very happy to inform you that the answer is right now! If you want an MBA from Katz, and the only thing holding you back was the frequent travel to Oakland, you can now remove that as a reason for not joining our world-class MBA program.

This spring term, we completed our first two pilot courses in our Professional MBA program: Information Systems and Investment Banking and Venture Capital. We’re currently developing multiple core courses for the fall 2017 term — so much so, in fact, that if you were to begin the program then, you could conceivably take every course required to graduate in our blended online format. That is because we are continually adding courses and will have all courses available in a blended online format by 2019.

For the close-readers out there, did you notice that I called it “blended online” rather than simply calling it “online?” The distinguishing feature of the Katz program is that our courses will provide the flexibility and convenience of an online education, but with the focus on face-to-face networking and real-world learning that are core to the Katz mission.

Experience-based learning and a high-touch, personalized experience are what the Katz MBA is built on. This online blended format allows us to stay true to that mission, while offering the flexibility that people with a full-time job need.  Many students enrolled in our Professional MBA program are enrolled as part-time MBA students and take 6 credits at a time, but you’re allowed to take more or less credits, too, if you wish. That’s that flexibility I’m talking about.

I truly believe that our blended online program gives students the best of both worlds. Within each course, there is in-person learning and online learning. The online learning uses cutting-edge technology and has work that you can complete asynchronously on your own time and work to complete synchronously via live online class sessions.

I know we were a little late to the online education party.  There was a reason for that. We had to ensure that the technology and delivery could catch up to the high quality standards of the Katz MBA.  That time has arrived. Our blended online program does that.  It offers the same high quality standards as our traditional, in-person MBA format.

Some schools that are 100% online shortchange important aspects of the MBA experience: the sense of community, building a professional network, and offering real-world focused, hands-on learning. Some also admit huge classes in excess of 100 students, which quite frankly is not a great learning environment for graduate students. We don’t do that. Our program is high-touch and personalized to our students’ needs

The early feedback from students on our pilot blended online MBA courses is overwhelmingly positive.

  • 89% of participants would recommend the Katz blended online courses to other students.
  • 89% of participants are likely to take another Katz blended online course.
  • 89% of participants rated the course content as “excellent.”

I also wanted to share with you some direct quotations of student testimonials about the program.

“I really hope that Katz offers more of these. I love the format. In many ways, I felt I learned more with this class format than in traditional formats.”

“Online experiences are in demand for good reason. They get the job done, and much more efficiently. I look forward to seeing more online courses available.”

“Add more online classes.”

I’m happy to report that, on those last points, we will indeed be adding more blended online courses to the Katz Professional MBA program.

I love talking about the program, so if you’d like to learn more about it, don’t hesitate to drop me an email at valenta@pitt.edu.

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