Ohio University College of Business Open House

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Transcript

Brittani Smith: Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you for taking the time out to join us today for our Ohio University College of Business open house. You’re certainly in for a treat today, so again, I want to thank you. We’re going to cover a lot of valuable insight, information on how you can become a future Bobcat if you are looking into some of our online master’s degree programs in the College of Business. So, for today’s agenda, very open. We’re going to go over some introductions. You’re in for a special treat. We have some very special guests here with you today that are going to cover some of the College of Business online master’s program and go into them in very great detail. We’re also going to cover the online student experience, so what that means for you, what it means for you to be an online student, what we expect, what we’re looking for as it pertains to each program. We’ll cover that with you today. Then, we’ll have a short Q&A. Now, for this, I do want to point out, if you have any questions as we’re going through the slides, as the speakers are presenting, please utilize the Q&A box that you’ll see on your screen thereafter each section or towards the end or just throughout. As you have questions that pop up, we’ll be sure to address those questions. We have a Q&A section at the end of the presentation. However, we will address questions as they arise throughout the presentation. We will also talk about the MBA concentration and the dedicated program as far as the advisors, which you’ll be hearing from shortly and also which program is right for you. So, let’s jump right into our introductions. So, my name is Brittani Smith. I’m a senior enrollment advisor for the College of Business online master’s degree program. I’m also the point of contact for your master’s in accountancy program, your master’s in business administration program and the master’s in business analytics, so I may have interacted with a few of you already. If not, welcome, and I hope that the information shared today will be valuable for you and give you some insights on what we have to offer you as a future Bobcat. I’m also joined by my colleagues who will go ahead and introduce themselves as well.
Sean Dove: All right. Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. My name’s Sean Dove. I’m working with the master’s of athletic administration program for the past seven years so, in a sense, I’m the senior advisor for that program. I pretty much have my hands on every application that comes through for this application so you may hear from me as well. If I see anything with your application as you’re going through the process that might help you create a stronger application, you can be sure that I’ll be reaching out to you to assist you through the process.
Sonali Ibanez: And lastly, my name is Sonali Ibanez. I’m also an enrollment advisor for Ohio University. I also will be a point of contact for the master’s of accountancy program as well as the master’s of business analytics and the master’s of business administration. I have worked with many of you in the College of Business, so I look forward to continue working with you. I will be point of contact for any further questions that you have for our program. Yeah, that’s pretty much it.
Brittani Smith: Thank you, everyone. I did want to point out to you as well, if you have any questions after the presentation, please reach out to your enrollment advisor and we will address your questions accordingly. We also have other enrollment advisors as well here but these are the team that we have here that will be presenting with you today. Now, on your screen here, you’ll also see our special guest. These are obviously the program directors from the programs here that we have housed in the College of Business. Dr. Jennifer Stevens, she is the program director for the online master’s in accountancy program. You’ll hear from her shortly in regards to sharing insightful information about the master’s in accountancy program. We’re also joined by a few other program directors and I’ll let them go ahead and introduce themselves as well.
Dr. Bill Young: Kelley, why don’t you go ahead and introduce yourself to the audience today?
Kelley Walton: Sure. My name is Kelley Walton and I’m the director of the master’s of athletic administration program. We are a very specific program that prepares students for a career in interscholastic athletic administration, which is mostly high school or middle school athletic director, assistant athletic director, what athletic support-type positions.
Dr. Bill Young: Good evening. Good afternoon.
Kelley Walton: Yeah. Turn it over to Bill.
Dr. Bill Young: [crosstalk 00:05:17]- Thank you, Kelley. Good afternoon, everybody. I just wanted to spend a little bit and just thank you for being here with us this afternoon. I know probably a lot of you are taking time off of your lunch breaks and things like that to get some information about our programs and how these programs might fit your role. I am the director of the online MBA program as well as the MBAn program, that’s our master’s of business analytics program. Been the director of our MBA program for about seven years. We’ve seen a tremendous amount of growth in terms of our number of students. We’ve also seen a tremendous growth in our prestige. We’ve actually been ranked by a number of sources lately. [inaudible 00:06:07], Bloomberg, things like that. I’ve had the pleasure of working with a lot of faculty over the time. I’ve had also the pleasure of developing our proposal for the MBAn program, which is one of our newer programs. So, again, thank you, everybody. I’m going to look forward to answering your questions as best I can. Thank you.
Brittani Smith: Awesome. Thank you, everyone for your introductions. Again, you will hear from our program directors more into the presentation so please stay tuned. So, let’s jump right into the online student experience. Here, we want to talk about more of what you need or expect, what we expect while pursuing an online degree from Ohio University. Now, our online master’s degree programs are flexible enough for the working professional. What we mean by that is we want you to be able to pursue our online master’s degree program and have that work-life balance. So, whether you’re working a full-time job, you’re working 40 hours or you’re a stay-at-home mom or dad, you travel a lot, you work overtime, over 40 hours, you’ll find that our online programs are flexible and convenient where you have the ability to do the coursework anywhere, a location convenient for you and at a time rather convenient for you as well. You’ll be able to connect to real-time campus, so I’m not sure if many of you all know the history of Ohio University but we are the ninth oldest public institution around, so you can imagine with that, we have a wide span of alumni, so you’re connecting with them while being an online student. Not only that, we do have the Leadership Development Program in our MBA degree. We also have a coaching symposium in the master’s in athletic administration program. We’ll talk about more about those campus opportunities for you as we get deeper into our presentation but we offer those for you to connect with faculty and fellow students and take part in leadership learning activities. Our quality coursework is taught by faculty who have an extensive amount of information in that field. So, you’re dealing with faculty that have professional aspects in that field and you’re able to gain insights and utilize their resources for your coursework as well. You’re able to have the convenience of not logging in a specific day and time. We know that this is most important to a lot of online students. You’re not in the classroom setting so you want that flexibility. You’ll have that with our online learning platform. However, there are some times where some of the course where we have a synchronous component but is very minimal, so we keep that open for you, again to have that work-life balance. Also, it’s one course at a time in seven-week increments, so you’re not focusing on taking more than one course. You’re focusing on one subject at a time. It makes it easier for you to take time out of your day, whether that be in the mornings, afternoons, or evenings to focus on that coursework on a weekly basis. You’re still completing two courses at a time so it is a traditional semester base, three-semester starts per year which is pretty traditional with most online programs and you’re still able to complete it within two years or the time allotted for that program according to your educational background. So, again, you’re not alone here. You’ll have also access to student support specialists, enrollment advisors, faculty, fellow students, lots of alumni. We’re all here to help you through this process from start to finish, all the way up into the time that you first inquire about the program with your enrollment advisor to the time that you are accepted into the program, with your student support specialist and then faculty as well as students all the way through graduation. I want to pause here and just, again, reiterate, if you all have any questions that arise, so please utilize the Q&A box. We’ll be sure to address questions again as we go through the presentation. I’m going to hand it over to my colleague, Sean, to cover with you how we support our online students.
Sean Dove: Good. Thank you, Brittani. Just a quick clarification for the athletic administration program. The campus visit is actually the Athletic Leadership Forum and we’ll talk a little bit more about that here in a few minutes but that’s probably the highlight of the program because, unlike a lot of online programs that are out there, it’s the same for our MBA and the MBAn as well as the accountancy program is. With most online programs, the other students in your class and your professors are just names on a computer screen. You never actually get to meet them. You don’t really build a real relationship with them other than in a virtual sense. Here at Ohio University, you actually get to meet everybody in your class with these campus forums, get to meet a lot of your faculty. In addition to that, we also have a student support specialist or coaches that work with all of our students as they go through the program. As you’re going through pretty much any program anywhere, you’re going to have professors that you can reach out to but typically, you only have contact with that professor during your class and then the next seven weeks later, you have your next class starting off a different professor. So, what’s unique about our program here is we offer you the student coaches that work with you throughout the entire program. They’re going to be with you from the day you get accepted to the program. They’re going to take you through orientation, help you get registered for classes, guide you. If you have any questions regarding financial aid, but they’re also going to be with you all the way through the entire program. Think of them as your educational concierge. They’re there to assist you with anything, if it’s not a question that a professor needs to answer, just something on the peripheral, reach out to your coaches. I know, currently we have four of them that work with all of our students. We have Mike, Walden, Kimberly, Terran, and Emily. They are devoted. They are going to reach out to you usually once a month or so, just to check-in, make sure that you have everything that you need and then, as it comes time toward the registering for classes for the next semester, they’re going to provide you up all that information that you need so you can do so as well as all your textbook information. Then, when it comes around to coming up for the campus visit, they’ll help you coordinate all of that as well. So, again, at Ohio University, you are taking an online program. You have the flexibility so that it works around your schedule, not the other way around but unlike a lot of online programs, you’re not by yourself. You actually have a full support team that is here to assist you the entire way through the process.
Sonali Ibanez: Okay. This is Sonali. There are going to be some key aspects into what makes a good, successful online graduate student, so as you can see here, the most imperative would be being self-motivated. With our graduate level coursework, you’re going to have to set aside some time to be able to do your coursework and submit your assignments on time. Although it is a graduate level program, we do have various resources that you can lean on. Like Sean mentioned earlier, you have the student support specialist, your faculty and also your cohort that you can reach out to with any questions or concerns that you may have. Also, having effective time management skills is another key. You want to make sure that you have time set aside during the week, aside from work and other commitments that you have to be able to study and complete the assignments on the time that they are due and also having a good environment where you can basically study, that keeps you free from any distractions and allows you to focus on the work at hand. What also make a great student is to ask questions. Being in class, there’s going to be a lot of questions that you have so you do have live lecture sessions with your professor where you can ask those questions or you could even get in touch with other students within your class where you could study with or use your online resources as any campus student. So, don’t be afraid to ask those questions and use these resources if you require further information.
Sean Dove: Thank you, Sonali. As you’re thinking about possibly applying for the program, just to give you a heads-up of what we’re looking for in an ideal candidate. Obviously, there are minimum eligibility requirements that have to be met but as far as what we’re looking for as advisors here, I mean, you see there on the list on the screen. It’s pretty much the same thing that you would have to be successful in any endeavor in life. Self-motivated, self-disciplined. Be aware of what’s going on around you. A lot of people kind of joke about being globally aware. What does that have to do with getting a degree in business? Well, what’s going on in China right now with the negotiations? That’s having a direct effect on businesses nowadays. What new laws being passed in Congress could affect the accountancy standards going forward? In the athletic world, there are different trends that are going on in the sports world. You need to be aware of that sort of stuff. Be analytical. Don’t just take it at face value. Dig into it. Why is this going to affect me and what can we do to change it? That’s the type of student that we’re looking for, someone that’s going to dig in. Basically, you’re invested in your future and looking to move ahead. Just in a nutshell, that gives you a pretty good idea. Then, if you have any additional questions, again, reach out to your advisor. We’re here to assist you with any questions that you may have as you go through the program.
Brittani Smith: Yes. Thank you, Sean and Sonali. To piggyback off of that, just so you all know, students also benefit from 24/7 live tutoring and writing services. Our online libraries are also here to assist you with research papers and projects. Then, Sonali mentioned the new student orientation. That’s provided for you in all of our online programs at the College of Business, so that way, you’re comfortable with our online learning platform. Then, once you graduate, the support we offer doesn’t stop there. We also offer career and leadership development services to all of our alumni as well as students, so that way you can continue to connect with potential employers even after you finish our online program. So, now we’re going to jump into which program is right for you? So, as you heard some of us mentioning here and you hear from the program directors, the master’s of athletic administration program, master’s of accountancy program, master’s of business analytics and the MBA. So, a lot of you may be thinking of pursuing either/or degree or maybe you’re thinking about pursuing the MBA with a concentration in accounting or the MBA with a concentration in business analytics. So, we’re going to go through what program is right for you and hopefully, the information that we share will allow you to ask yourself some questions and be sure to make that decision for you. So, here’s just some questions that you can ask yourself after we cover the information. What are your career goals? What are you looking to obtain later down the road, after you obtain your degree? What’s your yearly plan or your five-year plan or what do your goals look like? What is it that you’re currently doing that will align with the graduate degree program that you would like to pursue? Are you changing careers or building upon existing skills? So, are you looking to get out of one profession and move into another? Are you looking to move up with your current company? Are you looking to start your own company? Do you want to specialize or develop a broader understanding of one area, so do you want to have an MBA and specialize in a specific area? Also, are you interested in getting your CPA? Is your goal to run an analytics department or better understand what is being discussed in a boardroom? Also, are you comfortable with your career trajectory but looking to hone your business skills? So, these are just some examples that you may ask yourself why you would like to pursue this degree. Again, your enrollment advisor team is always here to assist you, to answer those questions and to help you think through that process if you’re not sure, of course. So, now, let’s talk about our MBA with a concentration versus the master’s of accountancy program as well as master’s of business analytics. So, we kind of want to talk about in the next few minutes here our MBA program with these two concentrations. Now, as you know with the MBA or you may not know, we offer eight different concentrations, executive management, accounting, business analytics, business venturing and entrepreneurship, operations and supply chain management, strategic selling, and sales leadership, finance, and health care. So, there are many choices for you when pursuing the MBA degree but here we want to talk about the master’s of accountancy program versus the MBA as well as the master’s of business analytics. So, ultimately, it is up to you, of course, while you’re doing your research and asking yourself those question, which degree you would like to pursue but again, we’re always here as a resource, to cover that information for you as it pertains to programmatic specifics. So, I would like to go ahead and turn the presentation over to the director for the business analytics and the MBA program, Dr. Bill. If you could, please, Dr. Bill, just give our audience here an insight as to what is the difference between an MBA with a concentration in accountancy versus business analytics and then the MBA program or the master’s of business analytics program alone, if you could, please. Thank you.
Dr. Bill Young: Sure thing. So, this is a very common question, of course. As we’ve talked a little bit, it’s such a personal decision. We really need to understand your goals. You have to understand your goals. You have to understand and have a plan of what this degree is going to achieve in those goals and where do you want to be? I can say that our MBA in general is a generalist business administration degree. Everything that we think is important and everything that is the background of this is rooted in our program. So, we have the traditional courses, like finance, accounting, marketing, operations, and some other leadership and strategy-based courses. So, those are all the fundamentals. What we know and what we know about the market and what we know about our audience is that there has to be a specialized sort of focus within the program itself. That’s kind of what’s needed and demanded about our students now that they want to develop a special skill set. So, we do offer all of those concentrations to get you better prepared for whatever it might be that you want to do with your career. So, often, we get asked, “Well, why would I want the MBA, maybe with a concentration of accountancy, or maybe business analytics,” or, “Why would I want to choose maybe the full program in Master of Accountancy versus the full program of Master of Business Analytics? Well, it really comes down to what’s been mentioned already. Maybe Dr. Stevens can help me out with accounting after I talked a little bit about the business analytics because that’s her expertise. But in terms of what you would be expected from an analytic side of things is you’re either going to be a type of person that wants to develop the deeper skill sets in analytics and you really want to know how these methods are used, not only used but you’re going to want to have an intimate knowledge of just how you build a predictive model or how you build an optimization model or how do you manage data within a database. So, you’re going to want to have a technical skills that might not necessarily all be featured within a concentration. You might want to be the person that has really no intent in necessarily doing the analytics, if you will, but you have full intention of managing people that give you reports, give you summaries, give you recommendations of the analysis itself. I would say in general if I had to summarize the difference, I would certainly say if you’re somebody coming from maybe a non-business degree and you’re in a leadership role or you’re moving to a leadership role or that’s what your aspirations are in, than an MBA makes sense because you’re going to get exposure to those pillars of this that you might not have had perhaps in an engineering program or other program that you might have had your bachelor’s in and you’ll still get that three-course sequence in a discipline that is of interest to you. Maybe it is supply chain. Maybe it is accountancy or finance or sales or something like that or entrepreneurship. So, if you’re the type of person that wants to oversee perhaps an analytics program but does not have the desire to build those models, that MBA concentration of analytics might make sense for you. If you’re the type of person that really has a passion for data analysis and you want to build those models and you want to know how to automate things and how to leverage systems that are in place at your organization, you’re going to want a full degree in business analytics to implement these things and get competitive advantage over your company. It’s going to require technical skills but among those technical skills, it’s also going to require some strategy and leadership. That’s why, within the MBA or MBAn, if you will, we feature those leadership courses because either you’re going to be somebody that’s directly out of college, you’re very, I would say, inexperienced perhaps. Maybe you have two to three years of experience and you want to know how to progress through your career or you’re going to be somebody that is sitting in sort of a middle management position or above wanting to give oversight and how to manage projects, how to manage analytic talent, how to manage analytic life cycles and things like that. So, without maybe getting into more of that now, Dr. Stevens, can you help me out about the accountancy side of things?
Jennifer Stevens: Sure. So really the big difference the MBA with a concentration in accounting and the master’s of accountancy is that the master’s of accountancy will fulfill the requirement for becoming a certified public accountant in most states, under most circumstances but the MBA with a concentration in accounting is not going to get you to that CPA license. So, you would have to take a significant number of additional accounting hours on top of the MBA with a concentration in accounting in order to get you to the required hours to sit for the CPA exam but the master’s of accountancy is going to fulfill that requirement. We also think that there’s incredible value in that certification. So, even if you don’t want to necessarily become an auditor or do tax returns, there is a lot of prestige associated with becoming a certified public accountant but you could still pursue a lot of different career paths or go into finance or go into data analytics, so you have the underlying accountancy knowledge so but again, that’s the big difference. The MBA with a concentration in accounting, not going to get you to the CPA. The master’s of accountancy will get you the requirements to sit for the CPA exam in, I think, most cases. There may be a tiny state requirement in a different state outside of Ohio, but for the most part, we should fulfill the requirements for 99% of situations.
Brittani Smith: Thank you. Thank you for that insightful, valuable information, both Dr. Jennifer and Dr. Bill. I hope that by now, you all have jotted down some notes and you’re able to answer some of those questions as far as whether or not both of those programs would be the best fit for you. We’re going to take a break here and we see some questions from our audience, going to address those. Again, please feel free to utilize the Q&A box that you see on your screen there to type in any questions that you have regarding any of the programs that we cover today and we’ll be sure to address them as we move along. So, the first question here from our audience is how much availability will I need from Monday through Friday and when? So, basically the question is around time management and how much time the students need to set aside to be successful with their coursework. On average, students need to dedicate at least 15 to 20 hours per week. That actually will pertain to the MBA program, the Master’s of Business Analytics and the master’s of accountancy. I will let my colleague, Sean, talk about the time dedication for the master’s at athletic administration, but for the three programs that I mentioned, you’ll want to set aside at least two hours per day to be successful. As I stated, most of the components are asynchronous so you’re not logging in at a very specific time and day. However, we do have a synchronous virtual office hour component, which is highly recommended that you be available for. That is actually required for the master’s in accountancy program once per week. Then for the MBA and business analytics degree programs, they are also recorded. I’m sure that both Dr. Jennifer and Dr. Bill will kind of cover that as well as we get more into the details of each program, but as far as that time commitment, you’re looking at at least 15 to 20 hours for those programs. I’ll go ahead and let my colleague, Sean, speak on the MAA degree.
Sean Dove: Thank you, Brittani. With the bachelor’s of athletic administration program, it’s a little bit different. With this program, we found from surveys that we’ve conducted with our alumni and current students that the typical amount of time that is being invested each week on their studies is between 10 to 12 hours a week. It’s not as heavily analytical necessarily as the other College of Business programs, but with this program, we’re finding better students as far as their weekly commitment goes. I’ve spoken to some alumni as well as current students. They’re finding that if they spend maybe an hour to two hours a day during the week and then a block of time on the weekend, either on Saturday or Sunday, that usually takes care of it for them but the great thing, again, like Brittani was alluded to, this program is designed to work around your schedule, not ours. The vast majority of the lectures are always recorded for you so you’re able to go back and review those at your convenience. The key difference being with the master’s of accountancy, there is that live session, which is incredibly valuable to you. You’ll want to be on. It’s not something that you’re going to dread. You’re going to look forward to it because what Jennifer is going to be presenting to you but you’re just not going to be able to pick it up as easily, if you were just to read it from somewhere or listen to the report and you want to be a part of that live session because it’s so insightful and gives you so many opportunities to dive deeper into the subject matter there.
Brittani Smith: All right. So, our next question from our audience here is, “How does the online school work at Ohio University as far as homework and exams?” So, I’m pretty sure the answer to this question is more program specific as far as homework and exams. So, what I’ll do is I will let Dr. Bill, if you could please answer this question as it pertains to the Master’s of Business Analytics and the MBA program.
Dr. Bill Young: Yeah. Sure thing. So, I would like to just add onto a couple of comments earlier about just because it relates to how this program works and I think a big part to remember is that we do our best to build community. It does take a student that has good time management skills to get through a program whether you’re talking about the accountancy program, the MBA program, the sports program or the analytics program. You’re going to want to engage. So, you do have your support specialist. You do have virtual office hours throughout the week and perhaps the weekend, depending on the program. You do have the Leadership Development Program in some of our programs as well. So, how does it work? Well, first of all, I would say it needs your engagement. So, we try to make our programs very student-centered. So, a lot of our homework, a lot of our exams are due on weekends and throughout the week, you’ll have various types of learning material to go through. I know in my courses, my courses are very video-driven. So, you’ll start the week watching videos. This goes for the analytics program as well as the MBA program but you’ll go through watching videos and mimicking some of the techniques that I’m showing you and demonstrating to you. You’ll mimic those [teachers 00:34:28], if you will, and problem-solving techniques on your own on perhaps a second screen at your desk. When we go through this, we’re building up to where we could meet at a virtual office hour mid-week to say, “Okay. How are you doing? Watching those videos on your own time?” They’re all pre-recorded. You can download them and watch or stream them when you want to but we want to give that sense of community there that, “Hey, we’re here for you.” What we don’t want to happen is you disappear for a week and then you have some time, maybe on the weekend to try to catch up and you’ve missed some of these opportunities to build that engagement and with us. So, mid-week, we give you a check. We say, “We’re here live. Come here for an hour,” or however long the virtual office hour takes. Then, we move forward from that to where we’re going to meet again on the weekend. We’re here live and we’ll show you different problems and we’ll get you through with our homework and we’ll prepare you the best we can for that exam. So, you have sort of a synchronous/asynchronous environment that you’ll go through but all the courses are different of course but every course is not the same because it doesn’t make sense to teach perhaps a change management course the same ways as it would a predictive analytic course. So, oftentimes, maybe if you’re not watching videos throughout the week, you’re reading various things from maybe a Harvard business case study and maybe you’re engaging on a discussion board and providing your colleague with some feedback on some of their written work, so it really just depends which class you’re in but we certainly have our standards to where we try to make it as similar as possible so when you jump from course to course, there’s a similar look and feel to our learning management system. There’s a similar schedule that you might meet every week on a Wednesday and a day during the weekend, maybe a Saturday or a Sunday. So, we try to do that just because we want to be student-centered. We want to meet in the evening so you have time to work. Hopefully, you’ve got some support from your spouses, from your bosses that you can meet us at 7:00 or 8:00. If you can’t, or a lot of times, our third floor office hours are recorded. So, in general, I would say that’s how it works.
Brittani Smith: All right.
Jennifer Stevens: And then the master’s of accountancy … Sorry. Could I jump in there for a minute?
Brittani Smith: Yeah. Go right ahead. Thank you, Jennifer.
Jennifer Stevens: Oh, great. So, the master’s of accountancy program would work very similar to our other programs, like Dr. Young was speaking to. So, you would have some recorded videos that would cover the content but then, we in the accountancy program, really focus on real world cases and case discussions. So, once you learn the textbook content and watch the professor’s lectures online, we want you to apply the material because a lot of times people think accountancy is all about black or white. You just record the number. Well, computers can record the number. We’re teaching you how to think. The question often becomes, “Well, what number do you record,” or maybe you don’t record a number at all. How do we really take these real world situations and apply what we’ve learned and navigate the gray areas because that’s where the skills and the critical thinking really come in where we’re training you to become information specialists, to turn financial information into usable information for decision-making. So, we do a lot of, once you go throughout the week, you’ll start the beginning of the week with the textbook content or the recorded lectures, the narrated lectures. Then, you will work on some case studies either individually or as a team and then we come together and discuss and debate them. Some people may think that this is the appropriate treatment or I teach fraud, so some people may say, “Oh, I think that there is misreporting in this area,” but some other students might argue, “No. I don’t think that there might be misreporting in this area.” So, we would have a live case debate discussion for the most part. Then, after that, you would have perhaps some follow-up questions to answer. Every class will be a little bit different but most of them are going to have some case studies and debate included.
Brittani Smith: All right. Thank you, Dr. Jennifer as well. Kelley, if you could also address that question in regards to homework and exams and how that works in the master’s in athletic administrations degree program.
Kelley Walton: Yeah, sure. Like Sean said, it is a little bit different. We do not have synchronous learning opportunities for our students. However, there is a lot of interaction. We are heavily discussion-based and we use a program called VoiceThread and we use within Blackboard discussions as well. I would say, in a seven-week course, most student would need to participate in a discussion, there’s probably going to be three or four discussions so they do need to plan out some time where they can have two, three, four days in a row where they’re going to be going back and forth with their classmates to address a variety of different things. It depends on the classes. I guess that kind of goes with the homework as well. I agree with Sean. It’s about one to two hours a night and then a good block on the weekends. Most of our assignments are due on Sunday evenings and we’ve done that based on alumni feedback and student feedback that it’s better for them to have assignments due on Sundays. That way, they have a weekend to kind of work on the assignment and get through it but in a seven-week course, they’re probably going to have three to four assignments and/or what we call challenges. They can be anything from, and again, ours is interscholastic athletic administration-focused, so it’s preparing people to be a high school athletic director, middle school athletic director so like an event plan. We would have somebody put together, that would be one assignment. It might be 10, 15, 20 pages depending on the type of events that it’s going to be. Then, you could also have in a legal class, you might have a quiz. So, there’s a variety of different assignments that we do. We make everything as practical-based as we can. We try to give our students a foundation of business knowledge and understanding of marketing and event planning and finance and legal in the legal side of things when it comes to athletic administration, something like Title IX. If you have to do a Title IX audit, that could be a lengthy assignment. So, kind of depends week to week as to what it is but our faculty and with the help of a lot of our students has made sure that we keep in mind the amount of reading and watching and case studies and all the different things that we do in a week to try to keep it to something that’s manageable as well as extremely helpful and applicable to them. It’s both a degree but it’s also professional development when it comes to athletic administration. So, hopefully, that, timing-wise, it depends on the class but, for the most part, they can kind of bank on that one to two hours a day. Some people get up early. Some people do it over lunch. Some people do it in evenings. Some people, Monday, Thursday, those are their days and then they do a big chunk on the weekend. So, there’s a variety of different things that people can do to try to make it flexible for them and, again, they can take it anywhere. As long as you have a laptop, you can take it with you.
Brittani Smith: Thank you again. So, we’re going to move now into more of the general admissions requirements for our online master’s degree programs here at the College of Business. Again, if you all have any questions that arise throughout the presentation, please utilize the Q&A box and we’ll address them at the end of each session. So, the good thing about looking to apply or qualify for the College of Business master’s degree programs online is that most of the requirements and application process is the same. We’ll kind of go into the differences for each but what you see here on your screen, of course, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a minimum GPA of a 3.0 or higher. There are some leeways to that but we’ll get into that later, as it pertains to each program. Of course, you’ll need your official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. This is especially important because, for the MBA master’s in accountancy and business analytics programs, we do need to see transcripts from all institutions that you’ve attended. So, if you have a transcript credit, if you’ve attended more than one institution, you’ve received a degree, even if it is master’s level as well, we would need you to submit those transcripts with your application. A current résumé to show your years of work experience. This is something that’s also different for the MBA program. We’re looking at at least two years minimum for you to have … And we’re looking for some career progression in consistency with that. That falls in line with your résumé. Of course, you’ll want to display that and update that résumé to show that progression and consistency with your full-time work experience. With the Master of Business Analytics program, the two years of work experience is not a hard requirement. However, it is recommended. Of course, you’re pursuing a graduate-level degree program. We’re going to want to see that you have that professional work experience. It doesn’t have to be in any specific area such as analytics or data but if it is, of course, that’s going to be of advantage to you and how well you will perform in the program. Then, same for the master’s of accountancy program. It’s not a hard requirement but it is something that’s recommended, of course. We’re not looking for individuals that typically comes straight from their undergrad but some work experience, full-time work experience or consistency is what we look for there. We do require a personal goal statement or an essay. With that, there are different requirements for each program. You’ll also see if you’re looking to apply and when you start the process to apply, you’ll see in the application that it does give some guidelines and parameters as to how long it has to be, 500 words. Also pointing out any skills that you have that relate to the degree program that you’re applying for. Why Ohio University? Any curriculum courses that you foresee set out to you as to why you’re looking to apply. Telling your story, your career goals. That’s the kind of information that we’re looking for in your personal goal statement. Three letters of recommendation are required as well. We would like for one to come from your current supervisor or manager for the MBA, business analytics and accountancy program. Professional references is what we’re looking for here, and then the online application fee is $50. Now, we don’t require GMAT or GRE scores for any of the programs and transfer credits are not acceptable as well. I will turn it over to my colleague Sean. He’s going to kind of cover the same information but differences as it pertains to the master’s in athletic administration program.
Sean Dove: Thanks, Brittani. It’s pretty much the same for the athletic administration program. There’s just a couple of key differences, the first being the work experience. In order to get into the master’s of athletic administration program, because this program is designed to prepare you to become a high school athletic director, you are required to have at least two years’ experience working with an interscholastic athletic program. That could be a coach, athletic trainer, assistant AD. You may already be in that position or an AD but it has to be at the interscholastic level. I do speak to coaches on occasion who coach interscholastic-age kids and they’re asking if that would qualify. For instance, AAU basketball league they have. It’s an independent league and they have, this also done by grades. That will not count as this experience because the whole point is this is for you to have experience working within the bureaucracy and that confines within a school system. So, it has to be at a school, public or private, it doesn’t matter and it doesn’t even have to be a paid position. We have volunteer coaches that are going through this program but you have to have that two years’ experience, again, working with an interscholastic athletic program. As far as the GPA’s concerned, we’re looking for a 2.7 and again, with all the programs, the GPA, if you’re a little bit low, speak to your enrollment advisor. We do know what the admissions committees are looking for. We know what exceptions that they will make and there may be workarounds so reach out to us. It’s not a hard no but definitely you want to reach out because that is an issue that will need to be addressed for you to submit your applications. And then, lastly would be with regards to the letters of recommendation. With the athletic administration program, you are required to have a letter of recommendation from your school’s athletic director or assistant athletic director. The reason for this is being there are going to be some assignments that you are going to have to do throughout the program where you’re going to need their assistance. It’s not a lot of time on their part but the point of the letter is to demonstrate that you have that relationship with them that they would be willing to work with you but you do need that one letter from the athletic director or assistant AD. If you happen to be an AD, then you would need a letter of recommendation from either your school’s vice principal or principal in that case. Since we’re talking about the athletic administration program … Oh, one moment here. I’m going to go ahead and turn it over to Sonali. She actually has-
Sonali Ibanez: Yeah. I just wanted to let you know, for the general admissions requirements, there’s a lot of gray areas. Each situation can be student-specific questions, so in order to fully determine your eligibility, us, as enrollment advisors, do come into play. We’ll be able to help answer those questions. I know that pursuing a graduate education is a big decision and we just want to ensure that you succeed when you choose Ohio University. So, we will be working with you from the start. Basically, you will be assigned to a dedicated enrollment advisor who will answer any questions that you may have throughout the application process, about our program, your eligibility, things like that just to keep in touch with you during the application process just to make sure that your application file is strong and complete before having it sent to the admissions committee, so that’s just something that I wanted to put out there.
Sean Dove: Thank you.
Brittani Smith: Thank you, Sonali. So, before we jump into more nitty-gritty details on each one of our program, we’re going to hear more from our program directors here now. We’re starting with the master’s in athletic administration program. Just want to ask the directors of each program if you have anything to add here as far as the general requirements and the application process for each program.
Kelley Walton: I do not. Yeah. This is Kelley. I do not and you all, you covered it great. Thanks.
Brittani Smith: All right. Awesome. So, I’ll turn it back over to my colleague, Sean.
Sean Dove: Good. Just real briefly, a lot of people have a lot of questions about the athletic administration program. They ask, “Is this master’s of sports administration program, or is this a sports management program?” and what the differences are. Just real quickly for you. In case you didn’t know, Ohio University was the first university in the nation to have any sort of a graduate program that focused on sports management. Back in 1967, they created the master’s of sports administration program. That program focuses on preparing you to go into athletic administration at the collegiate or professional level. That program now, it’s over 50 years old and it is hands down the premiere program of its type in the nation. I’ve heard it said by many people that it’s actually easier to get into an Ivy League school than it is to get into that program because the standards are so high but if you are to take a look at the alumni list from that program, it reads like a who’s who of collegiate and professional athletics. Now, several years ago, around 2000, 2001, the NIAAA or the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association approached Ohio University. What that association does is they give the accreditations for athletic directors throughout the United States at the high school and middle school level. Their concern was there weren’t any programs out there that focused on the high school, middle school level. Everything was focused on the collegiate level. So, in working in partnership with them, the Master of Athletic Administration program was created. A lot of the same faculty that teaches the MSA program also teaches the athletic administration program. So, you’re getting an incredibly high-quality program here. You will be very well equipped to run the business of a high school athletic department. A lot of programs out there, they just kind of give you the basics but we get into the nitty-gritty. We’re going to help you put together that annual budget for your high school’s athletic department. We’re going to teach you how to market your teams and to build the community support for it, facilities management, the whole … I say the whole enchilada. I can’t think of the right phrase there but basically everything you’re going to need to know to run an athletic department, you’re going to have that. So, the day that you graduate from this program, the very next morning, you can sit down at the AD’s desks and run with it. Kelley, let’s get your insight because a lot of the people have already spoken to an enrollment advisor but hearing from the director of the program brings a unique perspective to it. So, please, what are your thoughts? What separates us from everybody else that’s out there that’s offering different types of athletic administration or sports administration programs?
Kelley Walton: Yeah, sure. Thanks, Sean. I think there’s a variety of things that separate Ohio University from others and I think you hit on one of the most important ones and that’s our faculty. We have a great combination for our program of both on-campus faculty who teach in a variety of our programs from undergrad to our on-campus master’s of sports administration degree and are just really involved in the Department of Sports Administration. I feel like each one of our faculty have a specialty in whether it’s intercollegiate athletics or e-sports or human resources or law or sponsorship or marketing or whatever. We try to incorporate a lot of those people into our programs. We also have three dedicated full-time faculty who teach in our program. From what I understand, that’s an unusual situation for a lot of the master’s of sports administration and/or master’s of athletic administration-type program. As well, we have some amazing adjunct faculty who are retired athletic directors who teach in this program because they want to give back and they want to share what they know. So, we have this great combination of faculty of our on-campus faculty, of our dedicated MAA faculty, our adjunct faculty with the three that’s come to the top of my head that we just spent a weekend with at Athletic Leadership Forum. Each of them retired with over 30 years of experience in interscholastic athletic administration. It just doesn’t get any better than that, from learning from people who’ve done it. And they’re great, great … Gosh! They’re great teachers. They just really care about our students. Then, that leads me to the next one, which is our Athletic Leadership Forum. It’s funny. It’s a requirement for all of our students that come on campus for a two-and-a-half-day leadership forum where we focus on, we have some leadership-type training and courses. One of the things that, this year, we had them get certified in Safe Sport Zone, which they are Safe Sport Zone-trained for event management and after-school safety. It’s a three-hour training. They can now go back and tell their bosses that they have this specific training. That’s a plus for them to be trained in this but another thing, it’s good for them to know how to do it. We had another leadership training with one of the [dash 00:57:00] best leadership professors around. Then, we also had some classwork as well as connecting with each other, connecting with our cohort members, connecting with our faculties. So, it’s a big weekend of leadership, some training, some classwork, and networking. And I find that that is one of the benefits. I know a lot of our students and we all joked about this as they were getting ready to leave on Sunday. Most of them thought, “Oh, my gosh. I can’t believe that I have to go all the way to Athens.” We have students in California, Texas, New York, Michigan, Indiana, Connecticut. We have one from Taiwan. We had people coming from all over for this forum. They thought, “Gosh. You know, it’s really hard to get away for a weekend.” Every single one of them said it was absolutely the best part of the program so far, that they were so glad they came. They were so glad that they had such a great weekend. They got to know our faculty. They go to know their cohort members. That, I think, is one of the things that sets us apart. Yes, I think that online education and the ability to learn in an environment where it’s flexible is good but there’s also something to connect with your cohort members, the people who are taking your classes with you and with your faculty. Over a two-year program to do it for one weekend, every single person that left said, “Absolutely, this is one of the best things about the OU program.” Most of them are about halfway through. So that. And then also, I think our specific focus in interscholastic athletic administration is what sets us apart. There’s a variety and I get a lot of questions of what’s the difference between sport management, athletic administration and, Sean, you touched on this a little bit, too. With ours, it is very focused and it’s very different working in an environment in interscholastic athletics, working in basic in a school system. Whether it’s public or private, it’s still a different situation than it is with college athletics or pro-sports or Olympic sports or those kinds of things that a general sport management degree usually prepares people for. This is very targeted and very specific. So, we have a lot of coaches. We have a lot of assistant athletic directors. We have several current athletic directors who are going back for their master’s degree who want both professional development and to understand how to do certain things. I mean, it’s really a professional development type of a degree. So, when you come out, you are able to do a very specific job. I think that’s really unique and one of the best, another top piece about our program.
Sean Dove: Thank you, Kelley. Your comments there talking about the Athletic Leadership Forum reminded me of a quote that I had from one of my former students. When I asked him about it afterwards, he said, “We had close to 120 other coaches and athletic directors together in a room. How can you not have fun?” It’s a great weekend. You’re going to be exhausted by the end of it but you’re going to have a lot of fun. It is truly one of the highlights of the program. Kelley, I’m not sure if you touched on this but our relationship with the NIAAA continues to this day and because of that, they are going to be giving you LTC credits for the coursework that you do complete with us. This isn’t just you’re studying their courses and you’re getting credit for it. We actually go a whole lot deeper into the program than what the LTC courses cover for the NIAAA but they will be giving you credit for that and just reach out to your enrollment advisor. We can give you the details regarding that but basically if you’re looking for a career in athletic administration, you’re basically knocking out two birds with one stone with this program and you’re going to have a lot of fun doing it. Okay. So, at this point, I’m going to go ahead and turn it back over to Brittani so you can discuss a little bit more about the NBA program.
Brittani Smith: Hello again, everyone. So, the College of Business online master’s of business administration degree program, much like the master’s of athletic administration, we have a strong caliber and quality of our faculty. They have, more than 80% of them actually hold terminal degrees in their field. That means that a large quantity of them hold either a doctorate degree, a doctorate of business degree. The faculty members are also active industry practitioners so they bring a lot of new light to the MBA program through our active real-world or current knowledge of the industry. The College of Business, because of that obviously, is consistently ranked among the top business schools for our quality and value. We’re ranked by U.S. News & World Report and by Peterson’s Competitive Colleges. So, with that information, you know that you’re getting a very high level of degree. We are also AACSB accredited, so that is a very high accreditation on the rankings. Only 5% of business schools worldwide hold that accreditation. Now, our online curriculum was designed for a full-time working professional so, again, we mention that flexibility towards the beginning of the presentation and talking about how we want to have that work-life balance. The program can be completed in as few as two years with a total of six semesters so each semester is compromised of two terms, seven weeks each. Therefore, when you register for the courses, you’re registering for two courses at a time but taking one course at a time. Now, while your core courses in the program will cause a variety of business-related topics, which are nine courses of the program, your concentration courses will be specific to your selection. So, you’ll see here again the eight different concentrations that we offer in the program, executive management, finance, health care, business analytics, operations, supply chain management, accounting, strategic selling and sales leadership, and business venturing and entrepreneurship. So, you’ll have three courses that pertain to that specific concentration. Now, I’ll turn it over to our program director for the business MBA program. Dr. Bill, any insights that you can add here regarding the concentration of the degree program?
Dr. Bill Young: Oh, boy. Let’s see. Well, I do have a lot of thoughts. I think there’s been a lot of good questions being addressed by our audience today. I mean, really, it just goes back to which program is best for you and where you want to broaden your skill. So, oftentimes, when we’re talking to agile skills or T-shaped skills. We have those skills that are very deep. Now, if you want to develop your deeper skills, then maybe a concentration isn’t going to fulfill everything you want. So, maybe one of our dedicated programs such as accountancy or the [inaudible 01:04:29] or maybe the master’s of business analytics is where you go, but if you want to take those T-shaped skills and be more broad and definitely more knowledgeable about one of these fields or the various concentrations, than I think this is an excellent time to do so. A lot of our students, they’re either career changers or they’re career progressives. If you start to see yourself in a role where you do need to understand a little bit more about finance, a three-course track is going to broaden your skillset for sure. If you start to see that you’re getting a lot more report to investigate and to interpret and simple report I’m talking about, I’m talking about dashboards, I’m talking about reports generated from maybe your superiors or your supportives or peers even or consultants. You need to be able to interpret what kind of course of action your business should take based off of these reports or models or whatever we’re dealing with, maybe something like analytics is right for you.
If you’re dealing with quality of improvement and risk assessment and areas of project management, operations and supply chains would be sort of an obvious choice. So, we’ve got a wide variety. Again, this is what the research tells us that students need in today’s higher education platform is that we need to broaden our skills and we need to actually have deep skills as well, so we think we have a good mixture of program for you and concentration for you.
Brittani Smith: Thank you, Dr. Bill. So, we have a question that we want to address from our audience that pertains to the master’s in business administration program. I’m actually going to ask Dr. Bill if you can answer this question for us. The question is, “Why should I get an MBA with a concentration in health care versus the master’s of health administration program?”
Dr. Bill Young: You know what? That, again, goes back to your goals. I’m not as familiar with the other program as I am with ours in terms of our MBA with health care as a concentration but it goes to trying to address what skills do you want to obtain after this program is over? So, again, I think if you’re looking for an exposure of health care systems and perhaps you’re coming from a bachelor’s background that’s not in business. I think you would certainly benefit by an overview of business administration for the generalistic side of things as well as an overview of where are we with business standards today? Where are we with health care? Where’s health care going, health care law, US health care systems, and things like that? So, we really got to understand what it is I think that you want out of a program. I think you ultimately have to be realistic about these things because our concentrations are three courses. So, realistically, I don’t think you’re necessarily going to be able to change careers with three courses. You certainly will have a deeper understanding and a broader understanding of contemporary issues within any of our concentrations.
Brittani Smith: All right. Thank you so much for that, Dr. Bill. Now, I’m just going to go ahead and talk a little bit about our curriculum. The online master’s of business administration is our comprehensive and rigorous program with an emphasis on strategic leadership and also professional development. The program does incorporate hands-on leadership and training opportunities in addition to real world approach to the curriculum. So, it is structured to resemble the development and deployment of a strategic business plan, both online and through our onsite Leadership Development Program. So, this online platform is meant for the working professional, so it is flexible for the user while also providing opportunities to connect with the professors and peers throughout the program while also maintaining a full-time working schedule. Along with the importance of the online platform, Blackboard, the program offers an integrative support system for all students to have assistance with the heavy demands of working full time and the part-time educational schedule. So, Ohio University’s MBA program online is housed on the concept of student-centered learning. As such, the university offers you connection with enrollment advisors like myself, student advisors, faculty, and your fellow students as support systems to ensure the student success. So, basically in the end, the online program offers students the opportunity to graduate with an MBA program from a highly-affordable, top lane business school in less than two years. Now, Dr. Bill, if you could just touch base on what the Leadership Development Program workshop entails.
Dr. Bill Young: Sure thing. As I really reflected over my seven years of being program director for the online MBA program, I’ll be very honest with you. I really wondered if the LDP would be a success because I thought at the time, well, we have an audience that wants to take courses online. I don’t know how they’ll feel about visiting our campus and having that residential requirement but I was wrong. Our LDP has been very successful and very well-evaluated by the people that attend and we’re growing in terms of repeat attendees. I think that’s a really good sign of authority of programs that we put on. We have speakers that come in nationwide. We leverage our centers of excellence here at the college, the Walter Leadership Center for one and recruiting speakers from major organizations. You know, Cardinal Health, Whirlpool, GE and amongst many others. The experience is really fantastic, to be quite honest. I could talk about that community element of what we’re trying to achieve here and I could tell you that it’s a great opportunity to get to know your faculty in a face-to-face environment. It’s good to see the students that you’ve been working with online. It’s good to see your support specialist. What we try to focus on other than socializing with the various people is obviously leadership. I think a business that’s a really poor thing to identify and enhance because we have found out, have an understanding of leadership. We work with other people, of course. We’re in environments where we either need to take the lead or we need to follow. A lot of our students are those career progressors, if you will. So, leadership is quintessential. So, we focus on identifying new leadership strategies. How to improve that leadership strategy. Identifying other’s leadership strategies and how to work with them. So we have breakout sessions related to your concentration. We have panelists from a variety of companies that we are connected with. Maybe even moreso, it gives you just a chance to connect and not feel like you’re just another number in an online program. You’ll get a sense of being a Bobcat. When I listen to these webinars, when I participate in these webinars, I mean, I honestly do get goose bumps hearing about our faculty because I know. I work with them. I know they’re very student-centered. I know the differences between a program that we offer and other institutions. And other institutions, you might not be getting access to really the instructor of record that has that PhD or terminal degree qualification. You might not be talking to the person that has years of experience I could share with you. We’re very student-centered. We’re very real world application-based center. You’re not speaking with a graduate student that’s under an instructor of record per se in our program. So, I think about when [inaudible 01:14:04] comes to school and they talk with me and they’re like, “OU is such a unique place. There’s actually faculty in their office. They’re actually talking to students.” I think that just resonates with everybody involved with our program all the way up to our Leadership Development Program. We’re really here for you. We want to help you achieve your goals. We have a variety of ways to do that, which is special and unique from other programs out there.
Brittani Smith: All right. Thank you, Dr. Bill. So, let’s see here if we have another question from our audience pertaining to the MBA program before we move into the business analytics.
Dr. Bill Young: I would like to maybe address one thing that I’ve had is that others might have a question about. The question was essentially there might have been a blemish, if you will, from a past undergraduate experience and maybe the GPA is not quite as high as we’d like. Maybe there’s something that doesn’t necessarily align with all of our requirements but I can tell you that one thing. If anything just doesn’t look good. Let’s say you took that statistics class and you got a D. Maybe you withdrew and you had to take it again or there’s something on your transcript that’s not necessarily where you’d like it to be. We understand that. Things don’t always go as planned. We understand when you’re in that undergraduate environment. You’re young. And that’s why we look for things like letter of recommendations. Where are you at today? And are you the same person? We get a lot of students even though we only require two to three years of experience, our average is between, depending on cohorts, seven to nine years of experience. With that being said, we understand that. Online education is new. So, again, I just want to stress the student-centered nature of all of what we do to make this a successful venture forward. So getting back to the requirements, I would just take those blemishes, if you will, head-on and talk about them in your personal statement. As one thing of what happened and don’t try to pretend like some of the blemishes never happen. We actually would prefer you just to speak directly about them. It’s never one thing, I think that will get you in a situation where we’re going to deny your application. It’s a collection of things so I would just recommend to be open and honest and really direct that in your statement.
Brittani Smith: All right. Good insightful information, Dr. Bill. Thank you for adding that. We do have a company of questions here from our audience regarding the MBA program. The first question is, “Is there a scholarship opportunity for the MBA in finance?” We’re actually going to talk about a couple of scholarship opportunities that we do have in some of our College of Business programs. We have an offer for the business analytics program and the master’s of accountancy program. Currently, there is no scholarship being offered for those. Looking to pursue the online MBA or the online master’s in athletic administration program. The next question is around years of work experience. So, the question is, the individual has 1.8 years of work experience, and they want to know if that would qualify them for admittance to the program. Now, for gray areas such as these, again, just like the GPA, we recommend that you reach out to your individual enrollment advisors. This 1.8 years of work experience that you do have, a couple of things can depend on your qualifications as far as consistency with that work experience, whether or not you hit your two years at a time, your term that you’re applying for will come around at that time. So, there’s a few things that we can look at there and speak to you on. So, as to that audience member, I do encourage that you reach out to your enrollment advisor as well as anyone else that is unsure about their GPA or their work experience and whether or not they’ll meet the qualifications for any of our master’s degree programs. So, let’s jump right into our next program, the master’s of business analytics and cover the highlights there. So, just like the online master’s of business administration program, this program as well is consistently ranked by U.S. News & Report and Peterson’s Competitive Colleges. We are also obviously housed in the College of Business so we hold the same accreditation as the MBA, the AACSB accreditation, which, as I mentioned, is the top accreditation. Only 5% of business schools worldwide held that accreditation. The online business analytics program includes an online platform, again, that is meant for working professional. It is flexible for the user. It provides opportunities to connect with professors and peers throughout the program while, again, working your full-time working schedule. It can be completed in as few as 18 to 20 months. There’s a total of five semesters. The business analytics program, again, each semester compromises of two terms so term a and term b, which are also seven weeks each. Therefore, again, you’ll register for two courses per semester. Again, there’s three semesters starts per year so you’re completing one course at a time for seven weeks each. Now, with this program, there’s a total of 30 credit hours and you’re completing 11 courses for the business analytics program. So, within those 11 courses, you are able to gain the skills needed to develop and interpret large data sets such as techniques of applications of analytics and develop an analytics-based leadership mind-set. This will help you grow in your current career or if you’re looking to branch out and your future career by becoming a data scientist, a director of business analytics, or a manager of business intelligence and more. Going to turn it back over to Dr. Bill to kind of elaborate more on the business analytics highlights.
Dr. Bill Young: Sure. Obviously, this is a topic that’s near and dear to my heart. Not only am I a director of the program, I’m also a faculty member in the program and teach several of the courses within the program. What can I say? I hope I do this justice because we’re at a point in time where analytics is a very hot topic. We’re getting to a point where business has finally basically realized that advanced skills, quantitative skills can really be a differentiator and a competitive advantage. Really, I don’t care what organization you’re from. The analytics can help you make better decision that … It’ll help you augment decisions. It’ll help you gain additional insights that you might not otherwise take. So, when we look at the spectrum of analytics, there’s a lot of confusion because it’s a growing, emerging field. The field is doing what they can and addressing their needs of different titles and different skill sets. So, often you’ll hear things like business analytics. Well, what’s the difference between business analytics, just analytics, data science, maybe business intelligence? There’s a lot of buzzwords out there. Like I said, it’s because it’s relatively new for, at least now, currently it’s in high demand. If I was to give you a spectrum of what analytics really is, it’s really four things. We start out at the very lowest level of analytics, which is descriptive and that’s where we’re going to take any of our students enrolled in the program and start with. We’re going to assume that really you have a very limited or no background in analytics because if you’re a student that’s got 7 to 10 years of experience, probably, the most quantitative courses you’ve had is probably statistics, probability, maybe a little bit of economics and accounting, perhaps. So, we’re going to build your skill set from day one. In addition to that, maybe if you are or haven’t demonstrated success in some of your quantitative courses in your past, we actually do offer a quantitative bridge that is at no cost offering to you that you can see what the program might be like and develop some of the skills before you really start the program. So, I don’t want to digress too far but my main point is that we’re going to start at a low level and continuously add more rigor at the right pace over time. So, you’re starting with description, which is all about describing information but it’s really not close to making business decisions. It’s about creating dashboards. It’s about summarizing data. We then move into a predictive environment. So what do we do with all the data that we’ve collected? How can we make plans maybe for the next week, next month, next three months, maybe the next two quarters of business? Or how do we take that data and understand our customers better? So, we talking about forecasting. We talking about data mining? Because if we understand our data, we can model our data to a reliable letter level. Now, we can start to pull insights from that information and we can start making business decisions. We can start developing marketing plans. We can start making production plans. We can understand operationally what we might need to do in a service environment. So, there’s a tremendous amount of application. Really, the pinnacle of analytics is prescriptive and that’s all about using quantitative methods that give you a solution. “Here’s my data. Here’s my understanding of my business and here is the solution.” So, we often talk about optimization for dealing with an operations level. How many parts or products each that we can manufacture should we manufacture? You’re talking about maybe a service environment. How many staff people do I need here at any given time to maybe minimize my costs, maximize my profit? From a financial [inaudible 01:25:45], what type of portfolio should I create that lowers my risk but increases my return? So, there’s all types of applications of optimization and that’s sort of the three levels of analytics that we spoke upon, the fourth being managing data. So, we have to be able to manage data. Data is something that’s easy to collect now. Just think about the world of information that’s collected on your cell phone in a daily basis or the internet websites, DRM systems. Whatever we’re talking about, we can collect data. We often don’t know what to do with data but we still keep collecting it and then that leads to big data. So, what are you going to do with the big data? So, we need a different skill set other than the sort of the forecasting and optimization, we need to do it at a higher level which definitely acquires a different skill set. So, again, with whatever sort of domain you’re working in, you can develop a better decision-making practice, in my opinion, with analytics. So, that’s where we are. So, again, we naturally progress by saying, “Well, you might not remember all that probability and stats.” We really focus on building your skill set early and gradually throughout the whole program to where you might first learn things in Excel, for example, that you never knew you could possibly do. All the ways of doing text analysis on the next electoral debate or Yelp reviews or something like that. So, you’ll go thought the gamut. If I had to talk a little bit of just about the differences so we’re all clear here. Analytics is really and especially business analytics is all about the application. So, you’ll learn application and hands on, real world application to problems that exist. If we’re talking about data science, that’s completely different. It’s really not completely different but there’s more of a focus on programming and learning and developing methodology. So, business analytics is more about applying those methodologies for a specific purpose of this. If I had to give you maybe a couple examples of homework, which was asked in the chat, I guess I kind of did by going over some of the experiences, for example, of each’s discipline, but for example in the descriptive analytics environment, we give you just sales records and we give you a plethora of data to summarize. We try to hit on every functional area of this. So, we might give you sales information. We might give you sports problems. We might give you health care problems to summarize. Anything that you can think of. We’re building those reports, we’re building those dashboards, and we’re building the fundamental understanding of probability and stats so you can actually apply it in a predictive sense in another class. In a predictive class, we might give you a data set of maybe grocery store data. We might find certain trends within the data that help us lay out a grocery store, meaning, where do you put maybe a bin of items in the store? Maybe there’s a course association with soft selling or upselling that we want to take advantage of. We’re kind of [inaudible 01:29:19] too, if you send it to, how to you engage with your customers to drive more revenue? How do you take that data set and learn more from it? That is not just necessarily obvious by the naked human eye. So, we’re finding patterns of trends of data that is sort of hidden. So, we give you these data sets to explore in. I make it a point in my process that I don’t give you the same data set twice. So, you’re going to be [inaudible 01:29:54] of application, and we’re going to go through the application of going properly through the three processing stages, the modeling stages, the post-processing. What do you do to get your data set ready? How do you actually model the data with these tools and how do you extract information and validate? These are good models and they’re reliable to use. So, we really go through the whole gamut.
Brittani Smith: All right. Thank you, Dr. Bill, again for that insightful information on the master’s of business analytics program and its benefits. So, as you want to address a question here, more of an information actually for our audience. As I mentioned in regards to the scholarship opportunities, there is a scholarship opportunity for the master’s of business analytics program. I would advise that you reach out to your enrollment advisor it is just for the fall to accepted students in the program. So, if you’re interested in applying, the information that we shared thus far matches and aligns with your career goals and what you’re looking for, reach out to your enrollment advisor. They will email you the application to this scholarship and you can get started with that application as well as your application to the program. There is a deadline for this scholarship so, again, if you are interested, reach out to your advisors so that way you can get everything in a timely matter. So, just briefly here as you can see on your screen, again, Dr. Bill kind of went over these as far as the benefits and the goals of the business analytics program. It is a program that will help you create unique data models and databases to support your business solutions. Also, if you’re looking to venture out and move more into the business analytics field, then we do advise that you reach out to your advisor. They can provide you with those materials by email. As we mentioned for the MBA program, the Leadership Development Program workshop, that is also an opportunity given to the business analytics population of students. Same applies, as far as it being a real world application. We want you to come to Athens, Ohio and feel like that Bobcat again and be a part of the environment to meet faculty, student, staff and your cohort as well as alumni. So, now, we’re going to cover the highlights of our online master’s of accountancy program. First, I want to talk about the different tracks of this degree. Depending on your educational background, you can pursue the master’s of accountancy as an accounting path, someone who has an undergrad in accounting or the accounting bridge path, which is our path for those that have a business background. So, for instance, those that have a bachelor’s in business, those who have a bachelor’s in finance or management, anything business-related. More than likely, if you haven’t taken those advanced accounting courses, you will be in the accounting bridge path. Then, we have our non-business track that those who have an undergraduate degree in a non-business field, so for those that have a bachelor’s degree in engineering or political science or music, then you would fall under the non-business path. Again, I’m just giving some examples but if you’re unsure of what path you fall under, I do encourage that you reach out to your enrollment advisors, talk to them about your undergraduate degree, what courses you’ve taken, maybe even send them a copy of your transcript so that way they can escalate it to the program director if there’s any question about which path that you would fall under. There is a scholarship opportunity for this program. Again, just as a business analytics, reach out to your enrollment advisor for that application. This is for fall, again, for the scholarship opportunity. There is an application deadline so you’ll want to apply both to the program as well as to the scholarship opportunity, as well. I’ll go ahead and turn it over to our program director, Dr. Jennifer, to cover the highlights in the master’s of accountancy program.
Jennifer Stevens: Thank you. So, we have designed three paths to get each individual student to meet the requirements to sit for the CPA exam. So, whether you have an undergraduate degree in accounting or you have an undergraduate degree in history or psychology and you’re looking for a solid career path, we will get you to the requirements to sit for the CPA exam.
Jennifer Stevens: Now, why might you be interested in a CPA? Well, again, it is a very prestigious credential and it’s going to open doors for you. So, you may not want to be an auditor or a tax preparer but having that credential is going to signal the potential employers that you understand financial information. You can turn financial data into information usable for decision-making and that you are a trusted, reliable business advisor. With the CPA, you can do a lot of different things. You could be an entrepreneur and have your own CPA practice. You could go work for the FBI or the Secret Service. They employ a lot of forensic accountants, so they would be the ones looking for fraud and investigating money laundering, et cetera. You could go work for consulting firms so consulting firms love CPAs because they know that there’s a financial information specialist on the team to help bring that aspect to the decision-making and to give advice to companies. So, we have designed a program to meet the requirements of the CPA in order to sit for the CPA exam. However, we’re not just teaching to a test. So, we have a lot of higher-level learning objectives. We’re teaching you to become information specialists. We want you to critically think through financial issues, be able to ask the right questions and to be able to interpret data from a financial perspective. So, again, as I said earlier, the black and white, just doing the mechanics of accounting isn’t interesting. We have designed our program to really focus on the application of accounting and to teach those critical thinking skills and we do that through a lot of real-world cases. So, we have designed the program that way and while we have these three paths available to meet the CPA requirements, really our program is designed to build these quantitative and critical thinking skills that are necessary to turn financial information into usable information for decision-making. So, if you already have a CPA, you could still gain a lot from our program because it is going to be, you will take some foundational classes in advanced auditing and advanced tax but you’ll also take some areas you might not be familiar with, so forensic accounting class. You’ll get to take a class in ethics. You’ll get to take a class, a capstone course that’s going to combine all of these different areas into addressing real-world case studies that were faced by actual companies. You’ll take a class in managerial accounting and how companies internally are going to use this financial information to make maybe product-mixed choices or how to improve efficiency within their organization. So, really we do have a path for you. We’ve designed it for the working professional so we are flexible but we do have a component that is going to be live so that we can really discuss and debate these issues because we want you to be ready to take leadership positions directly following our program. Right. Next slide, please. If you are on the advanced track, so if you have an undergraduate degree in business or in accounting or if you are on the business bridge path, if you have an undergraduate degree in business, we’re going to give you a three-course sequence in data analytics to really help you build those skills because turning data into information is something that accountants do and we realize that data analytics is a really important component of the scope that the modern day accountant needs. So, if you are a non-business undergraduate, you are still going to get some data analytics. We still require a data analytics course. It would be the same course that in required in the MBA program but then we’re going to give you some other foundational business courses as well, one in finance, one in operations, et cetera in order to make sure you have the underlying business knowledge you’re going to need in addition to the specific accounting knowledge you’re going to need. You can complete the course in five to eight semesters. Again, that’s going to depend on your educational background and which path you’re on, so please talk to your enrollment advisor and we can give you more specifics on the exact path and coursework that you would need to complete the program.
Again, it is a case-based curriculum that does have a live component. So, we don’t require it every week but for the week that we would require a live case discussion, it would be a Tuesday night at 8:00 p.m. So, it depends on the class. Some professor may require five of the seven sessions to be attended live but we think this is a really important part of our program, that sets our program apart because in order to build those deeper level skills you need to understand the challenges you’re going to face and the opinions that other people are going to have regarding the decisions that you are proposing. So, again, we do have a synchronous piece. We have an asynchronous piece, recorded lectures, I mentioned before. Some readings, some assignments but then we also would have a live piece that you would be required to attend some Tuesday nights at 8:00 p.m. and that would vary based on the individual professor teaching that course that term. We do offer the opportunity and we require one leadership development workshop. I think Professor Young gave a great introduction to those programs and how valuable they are, so our master’s of accountancy students also participate in one leadership development workshop although they’re welcome to attend more than one if they would like. Hey! I think that that is all.
Brittani Smith: Awesome. Thank you, Dr. Jennifer. I hope that the information shared with you all today about the master’s in accountancy program was very beneficial and insightful to you. So, we do have one question that I see here from the audience in regards to the master’s of accountancy program. The question is, “Are there any prerequisite courses needed if my degree isn’t in accounting?” So, here is where we were talking about the different bridge options and the different paths. So, students who enter the online MAcc program without the bachelor’s in accounting, you are required to complete an additional foundation course. So, before entering the core curriculum, we will let you know what that looks like before applying, because for each bridge option, there are a number of bridge courses that are required to complete whether you’re on the non-business track or if you’re on the business track. So, we will let you know what that plan looks like but yes, essentially you are required to complete those before the core courses but there aren’t any outside prerequisite courses that you’ll need to complete. Anything to add to that question, Dr. Jennifer?
Jennifer Stevens: No, not at all. I mean, we will give you the prerequisite courses that you need as part of your individually-designed program. So, depending on your path, we will get you the classes you need. There aren’t really any prerequisite classes that you would need coming from a different institution in order to gain admittance into our master’s of accountancy program. The only thing you’d need is a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
Brittani Smith: Thank you. So, ladies and gentlemen, now we’ve come to our Q&A section of the presentation. Again, I do ask that if your questions weren’t answered on today’s presentation, that you reach out to your individual enrollment advisors for insights and questions and additional information regarding your program. So, we have time to cover a few more questions from our audience. The first question is, “When can I begin the program?” So, actually right now, we are accepting applications for our next semester. We have three semester starts per year for every one of our online master’s degree programs. Our spring semester usually starts early January. Our summer semester usually starts early May, and then we have a fall semester start that usually starts around the end of August. So, right now, we are still in taking those applications for our fall start. Our next question is around financial aid. “Does Ohio University offer financial aid?” We do offer financial aid to students who apply and qualify by filling out the FAFSA. If you apply for that and you qualify, then you can use that towards your tuition costs of the program. Also, want to point out a couple other options. If you are paying out of pocket, we do have different payment plans that are unique to your schedule and you can self-opt into those as an accepted student. Also, if you have G.I. Bill or VA benefits, you can utilize the benefits of our Veterans’ Affairs office and reach out to them as a student in our program in regards to using those benefits towards the tuition cost as well.  Also, we have an application fee waiver that you can take advantage of for the fall semester. Yay! Exciting news for you all there. So, please be sure to look out for an email that will be sent to you after the presentation for that app fee waiver, so if you’re interested in applying to any of our online College of Business programs and you started the application or you have not done so already, you can use that app fee waiver and submit your application today. So, that ends our session here for Q&A. Again, I want to thank you all for attending our presentation today and taking the time to learn about your graduate options. You are encouraged to use all of the resources that you see on your screen here to reach out to your enrollment advisors. Again, we are currently accepting applications for the next semester of enrollment. Thank you again and on behalf of all of our program directors and enrollment advisors for Ohio’s online master’s of athletic administration program, business analytics, our MBA and MAcc program, we look forward to assisting you regarding your interests. Go Bobcats.