Bloomberg Businessweek named Elon’s part-time MBA program the nation’s best, with the top scores in student satisfaction, post-MBA outcomes and A+ grades in teaching quality and curriculum.
The #1 national ranking is up from a #6 ranking in 2009. This year’s ranking reports that 74 percent of Elon MBA graduates reported a salary increase, with the average increase amounting to 26.8 percent. The average completion rate for the program is 92 percent. The average class size is listed at 20 and the caliber of classmates in the program is rated at “A.” The program is rated best for both job changers and career switchers. The program cost listed at $697 per credit hour is significantly below most other schools in the ranking.
“This ranking is a great affirmation of the work we have been doing to drive the Elon MBA to the highest levels of excellence,” said Bill Burpitt, chair of the MBA program and associate dean of graduate studies. “We are especially gratified to be ranked #1 in the student survey results. We are a student-centered program and we are thrilled to have such a vote of confidence from the professionals we are working with. We’re also very proud of the A+ grades earned by the faculty who have devoted their energies and talents to building the nation’s best program.”
From the Bloomberg Businessweek story:
With the increased demand for their offerings, part-time and executive MBA administrators are trying to differentiate their schools and meet the needs of students who are footing more of their tuition bill on their own. With classes on weeknights and weekends, part-timers often aren’t “truly engaged in the program or with the students who are moving through the program with them,” says Bill Burpitt, associate dean for graduate and executive programs at Elon University’s Love School of Business in North Carolina, Bloomberg Businessweek’s top-ranked part-time MBA program.
To counter this, Elon has sought to make its part-time offering as personal and engaging as a full-time MBA. Part-timers at Love start with an immersion course where they develop business goals, undergo a comprehensive evaluation, and take on a two-day, team-based business simulation to get better acquainted with their classmates. Throughout each semester, those sessions are followed up with a range of social events. “All MBA programs teach finance; they all teach marketing,” Burpitt says. “What makes us different is that we try to deliver great personal relationships.”
At Elon, part-timers have job workshops and receive one-on-one career counseling similar to what full-time MBAs get at other schools. “There’s less job security now, and more students are looking at the MBA as an insurance policy,” Burpitt says. Among respondents to the Bloomberg Businessweek survey of part-timers, 58 percent identified themselves as either a job changer or a career switcher. Help with job hunting, Burpitt says, “has become a necessity.”
Bloomberg Businessweek’s ranking is based on measures of student satisfaction, academic quality and post-graduation outcomes. Students in the part-time MBA programs are surveyed about all aspects of their academic experience, and the results are combined with data on average GMAT scores, average student work experience, the percentage of teachers who are tenured, average class size in core business classes, the number of business electives available to part-timers, and the percentage of students who ultimately complete the program.
Elon leads programs at many of the nation’s finest business schools. Here are the top 20 schools among the 76 programs in the ranking:
1. Elon University (Martha and Spencer Love School of Business)
3. Carnegie Mellon University
4. University of Nevada
6. Rice University
7. Southern Methodist University
8. Worcester Polytechnic University
9. University of Michigan
10. University of Washington
The Princeton Review ranks Elon the #1 "best administered" school and also ranks Elon #5 in the "best campus facilities" category in its 2012 edition of the "Best 294 Business Schools." Elon is listed among the top business schools in the Southeast.
"The Best 294 Business Schools: 2012 Edition" has two-page profiles of the schools with write-ups on their academics, student life, and admissions, plus ratings for their academics, selectivity, and career placement services. In the profile on Elon, the Princeton Review editors wrote the following, including quotes from Elon students:
For a business education with a ‘personal touch,’ the tiny Elon MBA is an excellent choice. This small North Carolina program enrolls just 30 new students each semester, offering a surprisingly flexible education for professionals in every stage in their career, uniformly small class sizes and an emphasis on group work, professors ‘really take the time to know everyone personally,’ and students get ‘lots of personal attention’ from faculty and staff.
“Elon’s MBA provides ‘a well-rounded, general management education,’ covering advanced business topics in finance, economics, operations, and marketing. Within the curriculum, there is an ‘international perspective’ incorporated into many classes, as well as strong focus on leadership and business ethics. Students are encouraged to participate in class discussions, and group assignments are common throughout the curriculum. Highly practical, ‘collaboration is the essence of getting things done in the real world, and Elon places substantial focus on preparing us in that area.’”
Bill Burpitt, Elon's associate dean for graduate and executive programs and professor of management, said the university's MBA faculty and staff work to ensure that every student has the kind of quality experience that is expected of a full-time MBA program.
"This effort begins with how we recruit, and continues with our alumni," Burpitt said. "We want our students to feel a part of something, and that something needs to be more than a check-off list of courses."
The Martha and Spencer Love School of Business is accredited by AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Less than 5 percent of the world’s business leaders have earned AACSB accreditation.