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LSU Shreveport to begin offering online MBA

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LSU Shreveport says it will take its MBA program entirely online beginning in January. Students pursuing the master of business administration degree may complete it in 12 months, depending on their undergraduate degree credentials. The school’s MBA program director Bill Bigler said courses will be offered in shorter formats and there will be six starting points during the year, instead of the traditional three.

“If you look at the Harvards, Stanfords and Whartons of the world, I don’t think you’ll see the seven-week sessions just yet. But I think it’s a new trend," Bigler said.

LSUS has retained a Dallas firm, Academic Partnerships, to convert its face-to-face MBA into an online program and help manage it. The firm’s web site says it consults with more than 40 colleges worldwide and markets their online offerings. LSUS academic services director Christianne Wojcik said the MBA has been on the market for two weeks and already she’s received a dozen applications, none local. She thinks the cost of LSUS’s MBA -- around $10,000 -- is a bargain.

“Compared to other programs that are even within our own system, it is an incredible value, and that’s why so far we’re getting a lot of traffic on our site and from potential applicants," Wojcik said.

Currently, LSUS has 63 MBA students enrolled in coursework. Bigler said the goal is to enroll 200 students over the next 18 months. They’ll be able to tailor their MBA with two specializations. One is called family enterprise. Bigler said it explores the complexities of running family-owned businesses.

“We think we’re going to get a lot of interesting play and demand right in our region," Bigler said.

Given the number of family-owned businesses in this area, Bigler thinks this specialization will attract the attention of prospective students who are close to the source of their online degree.

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.