Enrollment now represents over 20 percent of student body
By Mindy Hunt
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Fall 2011 brought a record enrollment in the Graduate School! As a result, the Graduate School enrollment now represents over 20 percent of the university’s student body. Much of the success of the Graduate School can be attributed to excellent faculty and the increasing international and online options for students.
Many students choose JBU for graduate school because of the excellent reputation of its faculty. These faculty include both full-time professors and practitioners who bring an applied perspective to the classroom – professors and practitioners who, according to MBA graduate Josh Eldridge ‘04, “give legs” to the classroom material.
Just a few examples of faculty excellence include: Prof. Tom Verdery, who has over 34 years of sales management experience with Procter & Gamble; Maxie Carpenter, who has 27 years of experience in operations, training and communications with Walmart and now uses his expertise as a consultant. Counseling faculty members Steve Seward and Joe Young are counselors in private practice and, therefore, can integrate what they do into what they teach.
In addition to receiving quality instruction from excellent faculty, JBU graduate students have the opportunity to earn graduate credit through international trips that are designed for working adults who are not able to go overseas for an extended period of time. In the past, international trips were limited to Guatemala and Northern Ireland, but a trip to China was added during Summer 2011.
These trips are 7-10 days and are designed to complement the students’ other studies. For example, when in Guatemala, students learn about business practices within the social, economic, political and cultural context of a developing country; whereas, when in Northern Ireland, students receive a practical orientation to European business and cultural issues that help prepare them for the increasingly international marketplace. In China, students are immersed in the culture of one of the world’s fastest growing economies.
As a retired Procter & Gamble executive whose extensive international experience includes China and other parts of Asia, Tom Verdery is able to draw on his connections to provide JBU students with a unique and memorable introduction to the business and culture of this rapidly expanding economic entity.
Graduates like Ronnette Smith ‘10 state that some of their most memorable experiences in the graduate program include international trips. “My trip to Guatemala was life changing. I was drawn by the unity and strength of families in the Guatemalan communities to rise above challenges,” said Ronnette, who received a Master of Science in Leadership and Ethics.
The international trips not only provide an international experience for students but also help them gain a global perspective in their chosen field of study.
While the international trips give graduate students the opportunity to learn about cultures in other countries, the online options give students residing in other countries the opportunity to earn a JBU graduate degree from afar. For example, Jake Day is a soldier who is stationed in Kosovo but is able to pursue an MBA through JBU’s online program. According to Jake, “my professors have done a great job at creating online learning environments which foster interaction, quality learning and integrity.”
Over 40 percent of the graduate students took at least one online course during the Spring 2011 semester and at least that many enrolled in online courses during Fall 2011. With the online program continuing to develop, all the graduate business courses and selected graduate counseling courses are now available in an online format.
Current MBA student Emily Jones ‘09 says, “I can’t speak highly enough about JBU overall and the online classes in particular. The instructors have a lot to do with the online learning environment. They listen and respond with what works well for students.” All online courses are interactive and all faculty are selected based upon their subject matter expertise and passion for sharing both knowledge and experience with students through the use of various virtual interactive forums and collaborative e-learning initiatives.
The online programs combine the academic quality and tradition of the existing campus programs with the convenience and technological enhancements available for online course delivery. In keeping with JBU’s mission, they are designed to not only provide students with academic knowledge in all business-related matters, but also to partner that academic knowledge with real-world application relevant to students in their professional pursuits.
The Graduate School of John Brown University is an increasingly prominent part of the institution and will continue to take JBU’s mission to those seeking post-baccalaureate education.
Mindy Hunt is coordinator of marketing for the Graduate School at John Brown University.