By Sue McMurray, Carson College of Business
PULLMAN, Wash. – The Carson College of Business this month will celebrate a significant milestone on Dec. 8, when it presents its 1,000th degree for its online master of business administration programs.
The two programs, the MBA and Executive MBA, began in 2008 and 2010 respectively and are now offered completely online.
The college, part of Washington State University, was one of the first accredited schools of business in the nation to enter the online MBA space and is consistently recognized by U.S. News and World Report. In 2018, the college ranked number 12 in the nation for best online MBA programs and number 8 for best online MBA programs for veterans.
“By offering our programs 100 percent online, we have exponentially increased our reach and the time in which students can earn their degree,” said Cheryl Oliver, college associate dean for professional programs. “Where we once were limited to producing about 50 graduates per year via our three campus‑based programs, we are now able to fully realize our mission of providing opportunity for business education on a regional, national and international scale.”
Value of an online MBA
Among the students helping the college to reach its 1,000th milestone are Rob Younger, Xochitl Cruz and Christina Homfeldt. They and other graduates of both programs say reputation, flexibility and skills that are immediately applicable are among key reasons why they chose WSU over other schools.
Younger had always planned to get his MBA, but 20 years had slipped by during his busy career. As a managing vice president of Capital One’s ShareBuilder 401k business line, he wants to be in the strongest possible position when it comes to advancing his career and preparing to teach and mentor others.
He said the online executive MBA program provided him with executive‑level strategies needed to lead and evaluate businesses, such as a firm understanding of ratio accounting and recognizing warning signs and success indicators that demonstrate a business’s financial health.
“This program was comprised of very bright students and faculty, and getting to know each of them has been both enriching and rewarding,” he said. “Visiting with international businesses during a trip to China was a tremendous experience.”
Cruz chose the online executive MBA program for its focus on innovation and global markets, a decision that led to more promising opportunities in her career.
“It’s easier for me to contribute to other areas where I was not involved before due to the experience and learning gained through the program,” she said. “Analyses of real business cases were extremely effective and valuable. Secondly, discussion postings were an effective tool to share knowledge and learn from each other.”
As a result of her EMBA training, Cruz was promoted to a vice president position within the international company Bimbo Bakeries USA.
Homfeldt, a full‑time working professional with small children, said the flexibility of the online MBA format allowed her to focus on her studies from the comfort of her own home and on her own schedule. She said she researched WSU and knew its reputation as an accredited, top‑tier online MBA program was the right fit.
“I knew the online MBA program would allow me to build essential competencies and collaborate with like‑minded professionals while balancing all my responsibilities,” she said. “The program also had a reputation of developing a well‑rounded foundation in business theory, strategy, ethics and leadership that ultimately would enable me to develop as a professional, both within my current organization and my local community.”
60 years of graduate education
While recognizing the 1,000th online MBA graduate milestone, the college is also celebrating its 60th anniversary of providing graduate business education.
“As we prepare to honor our 61st year of graduate education, we look forward to continuing our commitment to preparing students to address global business challenges,” said Oliver. “That dedication isn’t just an ideal for our educators — it is what establishes the Carson College of Business as the business school of choice in the Pacific Northwest.”