By Pamela J. Willits
Photo by Jim Baron
Cleveland State University is on the cutting edge of an academic trend, according to the professor who spent three years designing the school’s 100 percent online, one-year MBA program.
Directed by Elad Granot, the Mobile Accelerated MBA program will launch this month. Students enrolled in the program each will receive an iPad, complete with Verizon 4G wireless Internet service, pre-loaded digital textbooks provided by McGraw-Hill, and all course materials.
“The iPad experience allows students to leaf through books much like a textbook,” Granot says. Unlike traditional texts, ebooks are continuously updated online, so the material is never outdated. Students can also highlight text and then pull up only the highlighted sections for review.
A pilot program, which commenced in January, has enabled the university to resolve any technical issues, including the interaction between iPad and online learning management system Blackboard.
“Students are more comfortable with and have come to expect online formats.”
Through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Google AdWords, Granot has cast a worldwide net to attract out-of-state and foreign students as well as U.S. military members. Presently, 60 percent of those enrolled in the program are women.
As for a lack of traditional classroom interaction, Granot contends the online experience affords students a level of involvement beyond the classroom setting. “Students are more comfortable with and have come to expect online formats, which allow them to interact on a continuous basis,” Granot says.
Remote collaboration and group work helps develop practical business experience. Platforms, such as LinkedIn groups, allow students to share ideas, as well as network with other students.
As a program fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Mobile AMBA program follows the guidelines of Quality Matters, the international standard for online courses. “QM adheres to a faculty-centered, peer-review process designed to maintain the highest quality in course curriculum,” Granot says.
“A global economy is now second nature to the business world, so that’s the way we teach international trade and commerce,” Granot says. To keep up with progress in an ever-changing business world, he encourages students to “keep moving and to keep reading” after graduation.
With job placement services offered through the College of Business and the alumni network, 62 percent of CSU’s students are employed in their field of study by the time they graduate. “We are very much a ‘roll up your sleeves’ business school,” Granot says, listing the university’s downtown location as an asset for student involvement in local business.
To the overall benefit of area businesses, a high percentage of MBA graduates are staying in Northeast Ohio. Based on past trends, Granot believes Cleveland will rise out of the recession quicker than many other cities. And if a growing educational institute coupled with downtown development is any indicator, he may be right.
“When you see lots of construction on a university’s campus, that’s a good sign,”
Granot credits the university’s president, Ronald M. Berkman, for recognizing the benefits of a Mobile AMBA program and encouraging entrepreneurship.
The program garnered national recognition recently when The Huffington Post cited CSU for its innovative online format.
For more information: mobileamba.com