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Jump Start For An MBA Education


By Nicole Lehner

Traditional MBA programs provide students with a two-fold advantage: a wealth of business knowledge, and the credentials necessary to advance in the business world. Yet many of these programs require previous managerial experience, not to mention an expensive commitment to a full-time academic program. This means that many of the brightest, most promising managerial candidates can get left behind.

Now, two certificate programs from American Graduate University give nontraditional students the same advantages of learning and advancement associated with full-blown MBA programs. Called “MBA Essentials” and “MBA Principles,” these programs are designed for self-starters who may already have logged time in the working world, but who have no managerial experience, or for those who want to jump-start their career without the commitment and expense of a conventional MBA program.

“These programs are stepping stones,” says Toby Gouker, VP of University Affairs at American Graduate University. “They allow students to test the waters with minimal investment—in terms of dollars and of time.”

Both of these programs school their students in the core curriculum provided by an MBA, including marketing, purchasing, allocating, scheduling, and organizational and interpersonal skills. Together they comprise the art and the science of management. Yet in these unique programs, students learn at their own pace, in their own time. They can take six weeks to complete their studies, or two years. In other words, these programs break down the big leap of an MBA education into smaller, more manageable steps. Best of all, they can help you turn a job into a career.

With AGU’s rolling admissions policy, students can begin their studies any day of the year. The curriculum is text-based and web-enabled—textbooks and study guides are provided for each course, while supplemental resources are available, many on the Internet. Unlike some distance learning programs in which students must post assignments to an email list or Internet message board, MBA Principles and MBA Essentials students are not tied to a rigid schedule.

“Here at AGU, we recognize that your family and job come first,” says Gouker. “We don’t impose artificial deadlines, but instead let students choose their own pace. From your first hour of study to your last, it’s up to you when you learn.”

Each course is broken down into units, which a student will master at his or her own pace. When the unit is completed, the student takes an exam and then moves on to the next unit. There are no outside deadlines, no trick questions, no pressure—just the materials and resources to help self-motivated adults who are eager to learn.

Every AGU student is assigned an individual faculty mentor, who is available to provide assistance on any given day. Faculty members are all experts in their fields. In addition, the student services office can answer any non-academic questions that may arise. This high level of individual attention, and the fact that these programs are about genuine learning, not about memorizing or beating the academic system, are all part of AGU’s student-centered philosophy of education.

American Graduate University has been in business for 35 years, and has been granting degrees for decades. These two programs were created in response to a need in the business community. Based on several years’ worth of feedback from people in government and industry, they are designed for real-life employees with experiential accomplishments.

“Completing one of these programs will allow you to round out your skills and knowledge so that you can jump to that first rung of the managerial ladder,” explains Gouker. “Full-blown MBA programs are often too big of a bite to take, but we provide a multi-tiered approach towards a management career.”

Many MBA programs try to be everything for everybody, and therefore produce students who have general knowledge but no specific, applicable training. AGU’s programs, however, are geared toward students who have been rising through the ranks in their current field, and who are now ready to advance into a supervisory position. In order to do so, they need to fill in a few gaps in their experience, to complete their personal inventory of knowledge.

The MBA Essentials and MBA Principles programs target the areas that are deficient in an individual’s skill set, and therefore provide the most efficient way for a student to round out their education and experience.

The Principles program is designed for the employee who has the technical and quantifiable knowledge in his or her particular field, but who has little experience working in a supervisory capacity. The MBA Principles program will teach this student the “softer skills” of management—interpersonal relations, organizational behavior, negotiation. On the other hand, the MBA Essentials program targets people who are already great motivators and negotiators. It takes those who have the people skills to succeed in the managerial world and schools them in the “science” of management: accounting, marketing, finance.

The certificate programs can provide the credentialing to help an employee move towards a managerial track. Together, these programs are the yin and the yang of managerial education, and provide the full spectrum of core courses most often seen in traditional MBA programs. Yet unlike these traditional programs, there are no experiential prerequisites. You don’t have to have three years’ worth of managerial experience before you even can even begin learning. All you need is self-motivation, a love of knowledge, and a desire to take your career to the next level.

If you’re thinking of aligning your career towards a managerial track, the student-centered programs at AGU can be a great stepping-stone. They can also be a jump-start for qualified individuals toward earning a full-blown Master’s degree. If you’re ready to supplement your valuable on-the-job experience with the crucial skills and knowledge provided by an MBA degree, without the expense or inflexible schedule of a conventional MBA program, it’s time to find out more about American Graduate University’s MBA Essentials and MBA Principles programs.

For more information about AGU’s MBA Essentials or MBA Principles programs, visit http://agu.searchforclasses.com For information about an education online visit http://www.searchforclasses.com or http://searchforclasses.blogspot.com/ To read about online education news visit http://sfcednews.blogspot.com/

Matt McAllister