Wright State’s M.B.A. program attracting students from afar, taking distance learning to whole new level

Asil Khalil Far has participated in Wright State’s M.B.A. program from her home in the West Bank.

One student takes Wright State University courses from her home in Palestine. Another does it from the ship she has been deployed on overseas. Still others are learning from their homes in Columbus and Cincinnati.

All are students pursuing their Master of Business Administration online offered by the Raj Soin College of Business.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced many students to work remotely to help prevent its spread, is driving some of the interest from out-of-area students.

All of the core M.B.A. courses and many of the electives are available online. And unlike some M.B.A. programs that require students to come to campus for occasional intensives, Wright State’s does not mandate any in-person seminars.

In addition, Wright State’s M.B.A. program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, an accreditation that is the gold standard for business school programs. Only 5% of business schools worldwide hold that distinction.

John Martin, professor of management, believes many out-of-area students are drawn to Wright State’s M.B.A. program through word of mouth.

“When our M.B.A. graduates spread the word about our dedicated faculty and staff, prospective students are attracted to our program and choose to enroll,” he said. “Moreover, we have military students that start their M.B.A. while stationed here and might finish at their next duty station. They, in turn, spread the word about our strong program, and out-of-state students enroll.”

One of Martin’s students, Deanna Fisher, is in the military, has been deployed and is stationed on a ship overseas.

“She is able to view our lectures, interact with students on discussion boards, and take part in an online business simulation with her team,” Martin said. “This flexibility is amazing and gives people like her the opportunity to nearly seamlessly achieve their educational goals.”

Asil Khalil Far has participated in Wright State’s M.B.A. program from her home in the West Bank. Because of the time difference, she had to take part in some mandatory live virtual class discussion sessions from 2 to 3 a.m.

“The other students enjoyed having her in class and would always wish her a good night after the case discussions,” said Rachel Sturm, associate professor of management. “Her microphone did not work on her computer but she was able to call in to the sessions on her cellphone so she could participate, which was great.”

Kevin Asper, who lives in Cincinnati, is in the fifth semester of his M.B.A. and hopes to complete it in the spring of 2022.

Other out-of-area M.B.A. students are a little closer to Wright State.

Kelsey Tyler, who attended Wittenberg University, lives in the Columbus area.

“I chose Wright State for my graduate degree due to knowing so much about it from being around the Dayton area for my undergraduate years,” she said. “I knew when choosing that it was a great school, but it’s honestly passed any of my expectations. I’ve had nothing but amazing experiences with the other students, all of the staff and the courses.”

Jennifer Williams, of Cincinnati, said she chose to attend Wright State because of its reasonable tuition, solid reputation and that she didn’t have to jump through a lot of hoops for admission such as interviewing, submitting letters of recommendation and writing an essay.

Kevin Asper, who also lives in Cincinnati, is in the fifth semester of his M.B.A. and hopes to complete it in the spring of 2022.

“I registered for this course because I am currently in a middle-management role at General Mills and I intend to move into senior leadership within the plant,” said Asper.

Martin, who teaches Developing and Implementing Competitive Strategies and Social Influence in Organizations, said many M.B.A. students realize they can continue to work full time while learning about new business tools and then applying them in their jobs immediately.

“For example, students learn about social influence tactics, and they journal about these tactics while relating them to their professional experiences,” he said. “It is eye-opening for them and many comment on how much more competitive they are in their careers after taking this course due to learning tactics they had never previously considered.”

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