Three Kansas City-area universities are banding together in hopes of recruiting more candidates for master's degrees.
The University of Kansas, the University of Missouri at Kansas City and Rockhurst University are joining forces for the Big 3 MBA alliance.
They are emphasizing that students should get accredited masters of business administration degrees rather than obtaining an MBA from a less costly but less prestigious higher-education program.
An MBA is a major investment both financially and from a time standpoint, and students should carefully select their program, said Neeli Bendapudi, dean of the KU school of business.
"We should be picky anytime we make purchases that risky," she said. "You are trusting that the income will be a good one."
KU, UMKC and Rockhurst are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Just five percent of business schools get the designation, and they undertake a tough in-person review, KU's business dean said. Accredited universities must make changes to offer a rigorous curriculum, she said.
"The accreditation body certifies that we have appropriately qualified instructors, that our curriculum is where it needs to be," Bendapudi said. "(A curriculum) is like milk in your fridge. It should have an expiration date. It is not good forever. Accreditation guarantees that we are offering to meet standards."
She said too often tuition helps determine whether a student enrolls, but she said the decision-making process should be more complex.
"When you take the bold step of investing in yourself, be a savvy customer," the dean said. "Ask what is the return on the investment?"
While touting the quality of their staff, the three universities also say that their students benefit from the schools' networking systems.
Bendapudi said 95 percent of the graduates of KU's MBA program get a job within three months of graduation.
Tuesday, September 16 2014 3:01 PM EDT2014-09-16 19:01:19 GMT
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