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Article overlooked part-time MBAs

October 6, 2012
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IBJ Letters To The Editor

A [Sept. 10] article cited evidence of a drop in MBA applications as part of a nationwide trend among prominent business schools. While the article specifically names decreases in applications to highly regarded MBA programs at Indiana University and Purdue University, it overlooks the significant growth within part-time MBA programs like the one offered here at the IU Kelley School of Business in downtown Indianapolis. This program is ranked ninth in the country by U.S. News and World Report.

This fall, the Kelley Evening MBA program is not only full; there was a waiting list to enroll. In fact, we deferred students to our spring cohort, and the number of applicants and early admits for January 2013 is running well ahead of last year. We have already filled 40 of 64 available seats for our January 2013 class.

Indeed, national data suggests a trend toward part-time MBA programs. A recent study by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business found that part-time programs make up 56 percent of enrollment, whereas full-time programs account for 44 percent. Professionals understand the MBA’s value for career advancement, but many don’t want to lose their career momentum in pursuit of an advanced degree. The allure of a part-time program like the Kelley Evening MBA is that it’s challenging yet manageable.

In response to increased student demands for flexibility and the shift toward technology-enhanced learning, the Kelley Evening MBA program, offered on the IUPUI campus, introduced a hybrid curriculum that blends the best aspects of online and face-to-face instruction. Students augment in-person class sessions with online exercises and interactive forums, which are completed at a student’s convenience. This hybrid pedagogy gives our students the best of both worlds while enhancing learning.

Indiana University recently announced its new IU Online initiative to deliver more online programs to address the state’s economic and work force development needs. This initiative and our own hybrid MBA reflect IU’s commitment to expand the use of technology to improve student learning and reduce the cost of college.

As we see changes in MBA enrollments, it is wise to remember there are a growing number of educational choices. One program may not be compatible with the lives of some students while others fit their needs precisely. Here at the Kelley School of Business we strive to be the top choice for working professionals who require flexibility and excellence in an MBA.

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Philip L. Cochran,

associate dean, Indianapolis Operations, Indiana University Kelley School of Business

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