With the financial instabilities of some area colleges, some students and residents wonder how Castleton University can survive when others around them are failing.
But Castleton officials say students should not worry because the university is growing, and its newest endeavor will even further differentiate it from its competitors.
Castleton has recently announced the launch of its online Masters in Business Administration program that will be starting in the fall of 2019. This long-awaited program has been in the works for over a year, and has finally come to fruition.
The program will offer four concentrations in Leading Organizational Change, Healthcare Administration, Analytics, and Media & Communication.
This 36-credit master’s program is positioned to not only be affordable at $643 per credit, but also timely, as full-time students can finish their degree in one year, according to the MBA page on university’s website.
“The concentrations that we’ve chosen are needed by many industries … I think they are popular and growing industries,” said Peg Richards, professor and Business Administration chair.
Castleton attempts to stay ahead of the curve by offering popular concentrations and affordable rates to draw in as many students as possible. Richards said there won’t be a cap on the number of students the program will accept.
But senior Michael Allard has his reservations about the 100 percent online program. He wonders how students will connect to the professors and be able to further understanding the material without any face-to-face interaction.
Richards said they’ve thought of that and with the program’s “Online Plus” feature, students can get one-on-one video meetings with professors where they can ask questions and receive immediate responses.
Online instructors will also have on-campus mandatory office hours where students can visit them in person, she said.
“You can’t teach here and not have regular contact with your students, even if they live in Washington State,” Richards said.
As Castleton’s Moodle platform will be phased out after this semester, Canvas will be the new infrastructure put in place, which has been tested and is said to be more user friendly than Moodle.
“The online aspect of the MBA program is the best part of the program because I can complete my masters online from Kenya,” says senior Business major Kinyenje Ngigi.
The addition of the MBA program will also mean the addition of a new Castleton faculty member to oversee the program, its professors, and its students. This faculty member will be in charge of coordination, oversight, as well as teaching a course or two, said Richards.
Current faculty members outside the business department will also be brought in to teach courses in the various concentrations.
Students looking to take advantage of this program are urged to visit castleton.edu/mba or contact admissions directly at (800) 639-8521.