Charleston West Virginia Economic Development

Discussions on Economic and Community Development in West Virginia and the Charleston MSA as well as issues of the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Monday, April 28, 2008

The below article about the University of Charleston's new business graduate school appeared in the most recent edition of The State Journal. In it, Dean Charles Ryan speaks about partnering with the Charleston Area Alliance to solidify an international exchange program for the school's students. The Alliance has developed a strong bond with Italy, so the partnership makes sense. This could be mutually beneficial for both business and education.

University of Charleston Grad Program Heads Downtown

By Ann Ali

CHARLESTON - While location might not be everything, it will be a big part of the University of Charleston's Graduate School of Business as it launches a master of business administration and leadership degree program from a satellite campus downtown.

The downtown site, on the second flour of the Triana Energy building, will place students in the middle of businesses, entertainment and government and bring a college-town feeling to the Capitol City.

"I don't believe people in Charleston have an appreciation for the depth of capital at UC," said Charles Ryan, dean of the Graduate School of Business. "When we unleash that in downtown Charleston, the dynamic is bound to change.

"At the end of the third year, we'll have people radiating out into the community; people will know these young people, and it will make UC have much more of a presence."

Three programs - the Master's of Business Administration and Leadership, an Executive MBA for those with a few years in the business community who need evening and week-end classes and an Executive Master's of Forensic Accounting - will fall under the umbrella of the Graduate School of Business, which Ryan said he hopes will have about 30 students each year for the next three years.

Ryan said the fast-track, problem-based degree programs would stress leadership, the global market and executive networking.

The curriculum for the MBAL program will include a "two-plus- three" option for all UC sophomores, no matter their concentration of study, and sophomores with one year of business education from any other college or university. Those students will be able to enter the program and earn the MBAs, after three years of graduate study.

The second option is open to all UC junior and senior business majors and students with three or four years of business education from other schools who would enter the second year of study of the graduate program.

Ryan said the problem-based curriculum has its roots in medical education, in which a problem is presented to a group of about five or six students. They share and organize ideas and knowledge, rank the learning issues and solve the problem.

The first-year curriculum is planned to include core business elements, including executive mentor ing. The second semester of the first year will require students to apply fundamentals, such as building and operating a company.

"Our goal is to have one mentor for each student," he said. "I've had quite a few volunteers, so I'm confident we can do that."

The second year of study is planned to include lessons on entrepreneurship and global business operations along with a requirement for community or board involvement.

"As these students learn, they will become a part of this process," Ryan said. "From the day a student gets in the door, he will be part of the network."

The curriculum also will include a summer semester abroad between the second and third years, and Ryan said the school is working on partnerships with West Virginia businesses that have international sales, the Charleston Area Alliance and the Italian Manufacturing Association.

"So if you're in Spain, you might have two Spanish students and two UC students in your cohort," Ryan said. "They would work together then radiate out to the businesses in the geographic area; they might even be shadowing."

Ryan stressed that the required internship experience would be meaningful for both the employer and student, with a workshop for participating companies.

The program also will include a director of student services to serve as a liaison for students, faculty and administration, so the graduate school functions as smoothly as the main campus. Ryan said that person would have a special focus for student athletes - a group that he said often is overlooked in graduate school recruitment.

He said the program's goal is to have a total enrollment of 90 by 2010.

Tuition will run about $23,500, with a $1,000 technology fee that will pay for a laptop for each student.


Post a Comment

<< Home