January 11, 2017

Online MBA program earns recognition

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- For the third consecutive year, Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s online MBA program has earned a spot among the top 40 “Best Online MBA Programs” according to U.S. News and World Report.

In addition, the online MBA program earned the No. 19 rank in the Best Online MBA Programs for Veterans rankings list released this week by U.S. News and World Report. This marks SIU’s first appearance on this list.

“We are certainly pleased with the latest rankings of SIU’s oMBA program by U.S. News and World Report. It is a nice acknowledgement of the efforts and quality of our faculty and the staff in the Graduate Programs Office,” John C. Goodale, director of MBA programs and associate professor of management for the College of Business, said.

“However, we also know that this competitive landscape changes every year, and new online programs are starting across the country,” he added. “So our focus will continue to be working to strengthen the oMBA Program for the future and providing the best experience for our students that we can.”

SIU is No. 36 on the Best Online MBA program rankings released this week. Despite the fact that numerous universities are adding online MBA programs each year, SIU has consistently held spots in the mid-30s in 2016 and 2015. The online education program rankings were established six years ago and SIU was first ranked in 2014 at No. 51.

“In the midst of this competitive turmoil, I am very pleased to see that our online program remains stable at No. 36. We must be doing something right! Bravo, our online team,” Terry Clark, dean of the College of Business, said. “We know the competition is going to get even tougher this year and we are working very hard to improve our very strong position.”

The rankings are based on various factors, including student engagement, admissions selectivity, peer reputation, faculty credentials and training and student services and technology. All schools that have had an online program for at least a year and that have an enrollment of at least 10 students were evaluated.

To be eligible for consideration for the Best Online Programs for Veterans rank, a school must be within the top half of schools in the country in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Online Programs rankings. Program affordability, accessibility and reputation as well as faculty credentials, retention rates and graduate debt loads are all considered in the ranking process for the Best Online Programs for Veterans review. 

There are currently 84 students enrolled in SIU’s online MBA program. A record 63 students began the program during the last session, which began in summer 2016. The program takes 23 months to complete and students participate in courses together in an interactive format.

The program added a new component in 2016. The College of Business, in partnership with the College of Agricultural Sciences, now offers an optional agribusiness economics concentration designed to benefit professionals who are interested in career advancement in this growing field. All online students complete the core MBA coursework but those who choose the agribusiness economics concentration replace a few traditional business courses with agriculture business courses in their curriculum sequence. SIU is among fewer than a dozen public universities in the country offering an MBA concentration in agribusiness.

A new online MBA cohort begins each summer and applications are now being accepted for the summer 2017 online MBA session. The program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, International.

SIU’s College of Business has earned numerous national rankings and accolades during the past year. The Online MBA Report ranked SIU at No. 30 nationally on its Top 50 Online Programs in the U.S.-2016 rankings list and Best Schools ranked SIU among its 50 Best Online MBA Programs for 2016 at No. 36.

In addition, SIU earned the eighth spot on the Online Accounting Degree Report’s rankings for the top Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business-accredited online bachelor’s degree programs in accounting, the only Illinois university achieving recognition. SIU also ranked seventh on the 2016-2017 College Choice 50 Best Online Bachelor’s in Accounting Degrees list and Accounting Degree Review ranked SIU at No. 27 on its top 30 affordable online bachelor’s in accounting programs list as well.

The college has also earned previous recognition for its support of veterans. Military Times named SIU to its “Best for Vets: Business Schools 2016” list.