With a revamp of its Executive MBA programs, Emory University’s Goizueta Business School is taking a step closer to online delivery. Starting in the fall of 2020, Goizueta will offer a hybrid EMBA with nearly half the content online.
The change occurs after an 18-month research effort that found that prospective students increasingly are seeking greater flexibility to more easily accommodate demanding jobs and family responsibilities.
“The research gave us more validation on what we needed to do,” says Jaclyn Conner, associate dean for Executive MBA programs. “We also found that students feel that online hybrid experiences are just as engaging, valuable and robust as face-to-face learning. The notion that online or hybrid cannot be as strong as a face-to-face model is just not the case anymore.”
CHANGES BEING MADE TO STAY CURRENT AND MEET CHANGING DESIRES OF STUDENTS
Goizueta currently has a total EMBA enrollment of 121 students, with 84 students divided into two cohorts in its weekend version and another 37 students in a modular program delivered on campus every eight weeks. The modular program will be discontinued. Another 300 students are enrolled in Goizueta’s evening MBA program.
Goizueta will still maintain its more traditional alternating weekend format as another alternative for EMBA students. That program requires students to show up at 5 p.m. on Friday and attend classes all day on Saturday.
Conner said the changes are being made to stay current and meet the changing desires and expectations in the market for executive MBAs. “We have seen declining enrollments just as everyone else but that wasn’t the impetus behind the redesign,” says Conner. “We are trying to meet the students where they are. And it is truly about flexibility.”
HYBRID STUDENTS WILL COME TO CAMPUS FOR THREE OF NINE CLASS SESSIONS A SEMESTER
For those who desire more flexibility, the hybrid option will deliver some course content on-campus during those same weekends with EMBA students in the more traditional program while offering some content online.
“We wanted to maintain a lot of the networking and face-to-face community activities,” says Conner. “We didn’t want to lose that but we knew we needed to provide more flexible content to meet the needs of students.”
Hybrid students, explains Conner, would generally come to campus for three of the nine class sessions in each course, joining the traditional EMBA students for sessions one, four and nine. In addition to the three on-campus residencies each semester, students will be expected to spend six hours each week with online content.
COST OF BOTH EMBA FORMATS WILL REMAIN THE SAME: $115,505
“When hybrid students come on campus it will afford our faculty the chance to do some creative things in the classroom,” says Conner. “The faculty can build on those interactions, with experiential learning activities and outside speakers.”
The remaining six sessions would be online in a combination of asynchronous and synchronous learning.
Overall, adds Conner, 49% of the 18-month-long EMBA would be delivered online, while the remaining 51% would be on campus. The cost for either format will remain the same: $115,505.
SAME COURSES, SAME FACULTY REGARDLESS OF FORMAT CHOICE
Currently, Goizueta does not have any online degree programs and the new EMBA is the only hybrid program it will offer. Some of the online content for it will come from flipped classrooms, while the rest will be developed specifically for this new EMBA format.
“Many of our faculty are well versed in the online space and have robust amounts of content that they are already using,” says Conner. “Then there is a small subset where this is a completely new venture for them.” Faculty are now working with instructional designers to convert their content into video and other online delivery methods.
Regardless of format, all students will take the same courses, be taught by the same faculty, and receive the same Career Management Center support, according to Conner. EMBA students at Goizueta also choose electives from a pool of about ten courses, though they also can take two electives out of the school’s evening pool of classes or its Business of Healthcare series. Both EMBA formats will also include intensive leadership development with executive coaching and networking events as well as a global immersion and executive skills immersion that brings together all Executive MBA students.
Conner said the school expects the hybrid version to attract a larger percentage of students from outside the Atlanta metro area. “Anyone who can hop on a plane and get to Atlanta in two hours is an ideal candidate for this program,” she says.