Penn State Online MBA Opens with University Park Campus Residency

Penn State Online MBA

Penn State’s newly-revamped Online MBA at the Smeal College of Business kicked off with a five-day residency at Penn’s University Park campus. Eighty-two students from all over the world gathered to prepare themselves for the significant undertaking of the virtual MBA.

Faculty Director, Janet Duck, views this residency as a preview for the challenges students will face in the program.

“Entering into a master’s program is a big transition, as many students have been in the professional arena for six to eight years,” Duck said, “They begin to realize that this is a commitment, this is a dedication, this is a serious next step in their career. The newly redesigned program provides a great support network so that students are well-prepared and continually connected to the resources available to them as Smeal students.”

Throughout the five days, students received a core course overview as well as an outline of possible concentration options. The students were also trained to navigated Penn State’s learning management system, Canvas. The week also included a team performance class with Glen Kreiner, Faculty Chair.

The re-designed website has been carefully orchestrated to provide a very specific experience for MBAs.

According to Duck, “In our new model, we provide the foundational framework for students at the beginning of the program. What smell has brought to the program through the redesign supports Online MBA students from day one, related to networking, career services, work-life balance, and financial aid, as well as insight into the instructional design process. The transition to a Smeal-led program has really allowed us to provide support on so many levels, which begins with the residency experience as University Park.”

The residency gave students the opportunity to meet professors and faculty members in person and develop relationships with their peers. This is an essential part of the Penn State’s Online MBA, as the importance of building a sense of community is often overlooked by online programs.


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