ROHNERT PARK – As the third cohort of Sonoma State University’s executive MBA kicked off last week, faculty said that they are confident that the nearly 2-year-old program is advancing their goal of becoming a hub for North Bay professionals who are seeking to obtain the degree locally.
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There have been a handful of adjustments to the course since it began in January 2010, and demand has grown. Program Director Robert Eyler said that, before the third group has even begun instruction, nearly half of the seats in the fourth cohort are already spoken for.
The first group from SSU’s executive MBA graduated in May, a cohort of 19 students. Twenty are enrolled in cohort two, and 24 signed up for the third offering.
It is the first executive MBA to be offered by a public university locally in the North Bay.
“As a percentage, it’s a significant boost,” said William Silver, dean of SSU’s School of Business and Economics. “Now that it’s had a couple of years, the word is starting to get out.”
The enrollment is still less than the university’s part-time MBA, which currently includes 59 students.
Yet that smaller size is part of the design, an approach popular in many executive MBA programs around the region and one that Mr. Silver said is unlikely to change. The program, and others like it, caters to professionals that are already established but are looking to add an MBA and the corresponding skills to their resume.
There have been some changes since the first run of the 18-month program, however.
Those include increased usage of a computer-based business simulation that links students to other business schools nationally. In the first cohort, the simulation was implemented toward the end of the program, but student feedback suggested that it have more prominence.