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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

University of Rhode Island MBA programs
retooled to meet challenges at turn of century

KINGSTON, R.I. -- February 9, 2000 -- Just as the turn of the century has focused people's attention on new ways of doing business, it has prompted the University of Rhode Island to retool its master of business administration degrees to offer more choice, a greater commitment to global education and improved efficiency.

URI's College of Business Administration offers three distinct MBAs: the Executive MBA (EMBA) offered at the University's W. Alton Jones Campus in West Greenwich, the full-time Kingston MBA offered on the main campus and the part-time Providence MBA offered at URI's Feinstein College of Continuing Education at night.

Two major changes are being implemented in the Executive MBA program.

Denise Early, associate director of the EMBA program, said one of the additions to the program is a week-long trip in the spring to Germany, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

"Students requested spending time in Europe as part of the course because they are dealing with global issues in their companies," Early said.

The students will visit a different European company every day, including Swissaire, BMW, and Siemens.

"Students will attend lectures on strategies from high level managers," Early said.

This year and next, the trip is optional, but when this year's class enrolls, the trip will be included in the program and tuition costs. Of the 22 students in the program this year, two thirds are going on the trip. Three professors are making the trip as well. Lisa Hadzekyriakides, MBA coordinator said, "This trip is one of several recent changes made in our MBA curriculum as we respond to changing markets. For example, when the EMBA program was first created, students entering the program needed training in computer and math skills. Students applying to the program today already possess those skills so we made them pre-requisites to entry rather than a part of the program."

"Making market-driven changes to our curriculum has enabled as to reduce the EMBA program from 22 months to 18 months without denigrating its content," agreed Early.

Each August at the start of the EMBA program, a class of 20 to 25 experienced professionals begins the intensive 18-month learning experience with a week-in-residence at the Alton Jones Campus. The residency program continues with alternate Friday/Saturday sessions throughout the year, with classes beginning on Friday afternoon at 1 and concluding at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

URI's College of Business Administration has also redesigned the full-time Kingston program from a two-year program to a one-year program. Classes start the last week in August and end the following July. What accounts for the time difference? Like the EMBA program, the computer and math requirements are no longer part of the course work. In addition, students are now required to complete both semesters of summer sessions. Students also once concentrated in one area, such as finance or marketing, but that approach has been replaced with an internship and directed study that focus on companies and industries of interest to the student.

"The redesigned program is more competitive overall and more attractive to young professionals," said Deborah Rosen, URI associate professor of marketing and director of the Kingston MBA program.

"While starting salaries for undergraduates in fields such as engineering, pharmacy, and nursing are hitting record highs, the MBA still offers a big boost for advancing beyond the entry level position."

Hadzekyriakides said the College has developed a joint MBA with the College of Pharmacy in which students will be able to transfer credits within each discipline whether they choose to enter the one-year program or the part-time program.

The part-time MBA program held at the Providence location is currently the largest of the three programs, with enrollment at around 200 students. "We are currently working on strengthening our electives through possible weekend and distance learning electives" said Hadzekyriakides.

She went on to say, "Most business schools offer only one or two MBA programs. The three different programs are all about giving students a choice.


For Further Information: Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116


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