MCLA To Offer Professional MBA Program


NORTH ADAMS, MASS. - Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is pleased to announce the approval by the Department of Higher Education of a Professional Master of Business Administration (PMBA) program. This new program will offer courses beginning in the fall of 2010 and will formally admit the first class in the spring of 2011.

 "We are proud to launch the Professional MBA program as part of MCLA's graduate program offerings. The residents of our County will be afforded the opportunity to enroll in a program that will prepare them for advanced roles in their professions and community throughout the Berkshires and beyond," said MCLA President Mary K. Grant.

Aundrea Kelley, deputy commissioner of the Department of Higher Education stated, "As part of the program approval process, MCLA demonstrated that the new Professional MBA meets the Board of Higher Education's rigorous quality standards and fills a regional need."

Designed to meet the needs of the working adult learner, the program is part-time and will offer courses that meet in a combination of online and face-to-face instruction. This accelerated program requires a minimum of 30 credits of graduate business courses to be completed in less than two years.

Through a blend of classroom experience and practical, hands-on fieldwork, the program will deliver a high return for the PMBA students, according to Nancy Ovitsky, MCLA business professor. In addition, the program will be a great resource to the Berkshire County business community as it meets the needs of industry and business leaders alike, she added.

"A capstone course in strategic management addresses integration among business functions and connections between internal operations and developments in the external environment, recognizing that management problems in the real world most often require integrative solutions," Ovitsky said.

MCLA's Business Administration and Economics Department also sponsors an undergraduate degree. The department has strong connections to both the local business community and its network of alums.

According to Ovitsky, "MCLA has a number of relationships with local employers and these connections provide field-based learning opportunities for undergraduate students, and will provide similar opportunities for graduate students."

With established overseas business connections, as well as with international academic institutions, such as Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade (SIFT) and Hebei University in China, the College will continue to explore ways to capitalize on these connections and to engage students in learning experiences that expand their understanding of global business challenges and opportunities.

Students will proceed through the program in a cohort model, in which groups of students progress through their courses together, forming a supportive learning community and modeling collaborative and team skills vital to business and organizational success according to Cynthia Brown, vice president of academic affairs.

"The cohort model builds strong relationships as well as provides each student access to the variety of experiences and backgrounds represented in the group. Research shows that the cohort model leads to strong retention and increased program completion for those who participate in it, Brown said."

Those interested in the Professional MBA Program are invited to attend an information session. Through these meetings, potential candidates can learn more about the program, how to apply, as well as get acquainted with MCLA faculty and staff. They are from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on August 10 at the BCC South County Center, 17 at the Intermodal Center, and 24 at MCLA.

In addition to the Professional MBA, MCLA offers a Masters in Education (M.Ed.) and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS).  These graduate programs are founded in academic research, while grounded in field-based practicality. To learn more about MCLA's Professional MBA program, information sessions, or to set up an appointment, contact the office of admissions at 413-662-5410. To learn more about MCLA's graduate programs, course listings, and how you can apply, go to graduate.