CSULB’s New ‘Saturday MBA’ Integrates Business Disciplines to Better Prepare Students for Today’s Business Environment

In Fall 2010 Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) will launch the “Saturday MBA,” a restructured master of business administration (MBA) degree program that is distinguished by an innovative, cross-discipline integrated curriculum designed to teach students to solve the complex issues organizations face today.

Most MBA programs are designed to teach students a fundamental set of business skills and then concentrate on advancing knowledge in a single discipline, such as finance, accounting or marketing. The Saturday MBA pilot will go a step further by institutionalizing the integration of these and other business concepts across functional disciplines.

“There was a time when just learning about business concepts and mastering a single functional specialty was adequate for personal success. However, business leaders now tell us that for managers and recent graduates to differentiate themselves, they must develop a broad perspective to effectively solve organization-wide business problems,” explained David A. Horne, College of Business Administration (CBA) MBA director and marketing professor.

The Saturday MBA will organize students as a cohort of teams for both study and project purposes. Courses will meet once a week during the 14-week semester. Students will attend one course in the morning and one in the afternoon. By taking two courses a semester, the entire 50-unit program will be completed in 21 months.

In the first year, students will learn key functional concepts and acquire analytical thinking skills through a set of discipline-based courses. The second year, more advanced courses will address much broader challenges. Courses in this pilot program include Managing the Global Enterprise, Maximizing Value Chain Profitability, Building Sustainable Organizations and Managing the Innovation Driven Enterprise.

Horne added, “Our MBA classes are no longer presented as isolated topics to complete and be done with. Instead, every course is taught in the context of its role in the strengthening of corporate capabilities. Actually, many MBA programs have been grappling with the appropriateness of their current MBA instructional model. Our restructured Saturday MBA demonstrates that CSULB is beyond the analysis stage and is into the implementation of this cutting-edge curriculum.”

Saturday MBA will also attract professionals who want to earn an accredited MBA without giving up their careers. The program will be ideal for managers and supervisors who need to move up in their organization and want to be better prepared for more challenging assignments. MBAs are popular among engineers, scientists and professionals in other industries seeking graduate business education to complement their skills as well as entrepreneurs who want a complete foundation in functional management issues.

Besides being a 21-month accelerated MBA, other special features and benefits of the new program include a five-day residential orientation worth three units to start the program and free textbooks and materials. Saturday MBA also includes a one-week, three-unit international assignment during the second year of instruction, designed to provide a hands-on understanding of the global business environment.

Along with access to CSULB’s Career Development Center, students will also be guided by campus career planning and development professionals, have access to a writing resource center that is exclusively for MBA students, and will network with other working professionals and executives in a team learning environment.

The 21-month Saturday MBA is accredited by the AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International).

Spring 2010 Issue

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