Online MBA Program Growth and Plans

Published November 30, 2021

The College of Business Online MBA Program Grew 700% Since 2019

The first Online MBA (OMBA) cohort entered in Fall 2019 with 28 students. In 2020, we enrolled an additional 69 students. In fall 2021, we enrolled 116 more students, and we expect to enroll another 35 students in spring 2022. OMBA has become our fastest-growing graduate program, indicating that we are tapping into an important segment of graduate education in our region.

In the first year, we developed and delivered a total of 8 OMBA courses in a format that combined synchronous class sessions with asynchronous work to allow courses to be completed in 8-week sessions. During 2021-2022, we will deliver over 40 OMBA courses to new and continuing students. The following chart shows the total student-course enrollments (one student enrolling in one course) during fall semester in the last three years. Student-course enrollments increased from 83 in fall 2019 to 614 in fall 2020.

Contact for chart description
OMBA 2021 Enrollment

Over the three years since we initiated the program, we have learned much both from the operation of OMBA as well as the conversion of other programs to alternate modes of instruction (online) during the pandemic. This presents an opportunity to build on our successes— and learn from our failures— to create better graduate programs.

Core Course Revision

We are engaged in revising the first eight, core, courses in the OMBA curriculum. The goals for this revision are several:

  1. Develop packaged course content, i.e., a library, to reduce course preparation workload for new instructors.
  2. Create a common student interface within and across courses.
  3. Revisit standard course outlines to assure that courses deliver relevant content to create skills and competencies demanded by employers.
  4. Rationalize content to reduce unnecessary duplication across courses and allow integration of concepts throughout the program.
  5. Improve student engagement in all courses.
  6. Improve student learning outcomes in all courses.

Packaged course modules reduce the workload for instructors by reducing the effort needed to develop course material, deliver lectures, and manage virtual classroom activities while assuring consistent content. This will allow instructors to focus on assuring that students learn the content. Finally, it is relatively easy to vary the level of synchronous or even in-person course delivery if required. The modules, emphasizing basic principles and concepts, can be used in a variety of ways.

With guidance from our external collaborator, Everspring Partners, and assistance from the CSULB Academic Technology Services, the first four revised courses will be implemented in spring 2022 and the remainder will be implemented in fall 2022. The project team will continue to serve as advisory and quality control resources for up to two years, as we measure progress toward our goals.

Non-core Course Revisions

The core course revision addresses exactly one-half of the Online MBA program. There are eight more courses that build on core skills and knowledge. Once the revised core courses are implemented, evaluated, and refined, the next step is to update those last eight courses in the program. We will consider changes to the curriculum where necessary to ensure our OMBA program remains competitive. We will also consider identifying a unifying theme (such as the Saturday MBA emphasis on sustainability) to increase the opportunity to integrate cross-discipline knowledge.