MISSOULA – The University of Montana College of Business graduate programs are thriving. Despite a global pandemic and an economic decline, students are flocking to the three advanced business degrees UM offers.
Across the nation, many schools already were seeing declines in enrollment for graduate programs prior to 2020. The UM College of Business is bucking that trend, setting records with an enrollment of 289 students across its graduate programs this fall.
The UM Master of Business Administration is the largest graduate program in the College of Business and has grown by 100 students over the course of seven years. The Master of Science in Business Analytics also is gaining ground, setting record enrollment numbers for 2020. In just its fifth year, the MSBA program has tripled in size.
“I believe students see the value of an education from the College of Business at UM,” said Dawn Hambrick, program director of the College of Business Graduate Program. “All our programs offer very competitive pricing, while faculty members provide a world-class learning experience.”
The MBA prepares students to operate in today’s rapidly changing professional environment. The curriculum helps students broaden and deepen their knowledge and skills so they can meet today’s challenges and succeed in the workplace of the future. More than 215 students are enrolled in the MBA program this fall.
The MSBA prepares graduates for successful careers in the newest frontier of the professional environment – at the intersection of business, statistics and computing. Data is more than a trend, it’s the new language of business. The MSBA boasts 45 students this fall, which is up 15 students from a year ago.
Both the MBA and MSBA are taught by flexible delivery, giving students the option of taking courses in-person, online or a combination of the two. This year, the Master of Accountancy temporarily joins the other two business programs by offering a flexible delivery option.
The M.Acct. is the only accounting program in the state of Montana to have a separate accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Only 185 programs – just 1.5 % of the world’s business schools – have attained accreditation in both the accounting program and business school.
“Every successful organization is guided by financial experts. Demand by employers for certified public accountants typically exceeds the supply,” M.Acct. Program Director Lisa Eiler said. “Our modern approach and cutting-edge curriculum not only positions students to succeed on the CPA exam, but also in their career.”
UM M.Acct. alumni pass the CPA exam at rates far above national averages, and 95% of students have jobs on graduation day.
To help facilitate flexible delivery for students across the three programs, the College of Business has invested in classroom technology that helps students and faculty engage and interact in a classroom setting. There are now three Zoom classrooms and one computer lab in the Gallagher Business Building that have technology specifically designed for flexible delivery.
The technology in these Zoom rooms include ceiling microphone systems, dual camera systems, multiple monitor systems in the front and rear of classrooms and touch-enabled podium monitors to allow professors to write on a screen. The signature feature of all the Zoom rooms in Gallagher Business Building is the technician desk that allows techs to operate all of the cameras for the instructors, as well as troubleshoot any technical issues while offering guidance.
“The technicians arrive at least 20 minutes before the start of class, so all faculty have to do is walk in, log into the podium computer, start the Zoom app and begin teaching without having to worry about the technology,” instructional media technician Jeff Meese said.
Having in-classroom technology experts helps ensure lessons are transmitted smoothly and effortlessly to students online, so they can focus on the materials and easily participate with instructors and fellow class members.
“The ability to customize a learning experience, between flexible delivery, unique certificates and joint programs, continues to draw students from across the country to the College of Business graduate programs,” Hambrick added.
For more on the programs, visit the UM College of Business graduate programs website. Applications for the 2021 spring semester are currently being accepted.