Helping Salukis Advance Their Careers | News from CoB | SIU

Southern Illinois University



Helping Salukis Advance Their Careers

September 30, 2016, Chelsea Kujawa


oMBA Graduate David Prather
from Cape Girardeau, MO

The online Master of Business Administration program (oMBA) at Southern Illinois University attracts students from around the world who aspire to become tomorrow’s business leaders.

The program provides students with the opportunity to earn a degree with the convenience and flexibility of any environment. SIU’s program is part of a cohort, where the participation of fellow students encourages interaction and collaboration. The program is designed for students to earn a MBA in 23 months.

There are many benefits to completing this program online, and one of the biggest is that the online MBA program was created with the full-time working professional in mind. This means that students do not have to interrupt their careers to come to campus for classes.

Another benefit to completing the program online is that students get a chance to network with other working professionals from around the world. The program is nationally accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the most prestigious accrediting body.

“The rigorous standards the AACSB requires of all business programs, assures you that the value you are getting in your degree is very good,” said Jeffery Reece, director of recruitment and admissions for the College of Business Graduate Programs.

The program now offers an agribusiness economics concentration that started this fall through a partnership with the College of Agricultural Sciences. This concentration prepares students for the unique management challenge in the agribusiness industry. There are four specialized agribusiness courses required for this concentration, and they are available online.

The program stands out from other programs for many reasons, chief amoung them being the value. The cost of the oMBA is just under $36,000 for the entire 23-month program. This comprehensive program fee includes all course textbooks and course-specific supplemental reading materials.

The student experience also makes our program stand out. The College of Business is renowned for its student-centered learning environment, which stems from the dedicated faculty and staff who make student satisfaction a top priority.

“One key feature of our online MBA program is that we put creativity and innovation at the forefront of our program,” Reece said. “We make sure that students are not only transformed in the way that they learn but that the experiences they have in the virtual classroom are relevant to the current trends facing today’s workforce. We offer our students in the program the opportunity to enhance their critical thinking skills by conducting an in-depth analysis of business problems and help to strengthen their communication skills through class discussions and written assignments.”

The application process for this program is different from other programs offered at SIU because the start for the program is in the summer. The program is now accepting applications for the summer 2017 program. The deadlines to apply are June 1 for domestic students and April 15 for international students.

There are two parts to the application to apply for this program and Reece said the two-part application is there to ensure that students understand that this program takes significant time and commitment, as well as resources.

“Part I requires that they submit a personal statement answering five select and specific questions and include a corresponding résumé to demonstrate their professional work history and previous education,” Reece said. “After that, applicants may move on to part II of the process where they will submit a work experience document, answer five essay questions that are different than the personal statement, provide the names and emails of three professional recommenders, upload official transcripts from all universities attended, and submit the required GMAT or GRE score if they do not qualify for the GMAT waiver based on a set of established criteria.”

He noted that international students may also have to submit additional documents as well.

The program has record enrollments for the first time since it began in 2009. It’s ranked 34th on U.S. News & World Report’s list of the best online MBA programs in the nation – and ranked No. 1 in Illinois. That’s a statistic that stands out for people looking for top schools to ensure they are getting the best possible education.

Another factor that contributes to the record enrollments is that the undergraduate programs work closely with the graduate programs to help identify individuals, enrolled in online undergraduate program who may be interested in taking their education to the graduate level.

“One of the best ways to get the word out about our online MBA program is by working with employers’ tuition reimbursement programs to let them know about our exciting program and how it benefits them as an employer,” Reece said. “They then take that information to their multiple employees which maximizes the amount of people we can reach with the benefits of our program.”

There are many new and exciting changes going on within the college, Reece said adding that there are many employers who are providing their employees generous reimbursements because they recognize the value of higher education.

“We plan to continue to show the employers they are making wise investments in sponsoring our program with the employees they choose,” Reece said.

“Some of the future goals for the program are to further develop our programs so that we can continue to attract and retain the best and brightest students from all over the world, while not compromising the quality and integrity of the program and degree that students earn.”

“I would strongly encourage anyone who has been considering an MBA degree to get in touch with me so that we can discuss how our program might help them in attaining their educational and professional goals because no question is too big or too small.”

John Goodale, Ph.D. and associate professor of management, was recently named director of the MBA Programs. The college expects the online programs, specifically the online MBA, will continue to improve and grow under his leadership. Goodale joined the SIU College of Business in 2009.

For more information about the online MBA program, please contact the Graduate Programs Office by calling 618/453/3030, sending an email to or visit the website