Online learning is an excellent option for students considering earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA). According to the BestColleges’ 2022 Online Education Trends Report, 95 percent of online program alumni recommend online learning. However, prospective online MBA students can face many challenges when choosing a program, such as finding a school that provides customization options to address unique educational and professional needs.
Fortunately, programs such as Northeastern’s Online MBA can aid in your career growth by providing a flexible education to meet various needs. “Our students have such diverse needs,” explains Jessica Ward, Program and Relationship Manager of Northeastern’s Online MBA program. “We have a lot of veterans in our program, as well as professionals at different levels in their career.”
If you’re considering Northeastern’s online MBA program, here’s an overview of how you can tailor it to your specific educational needs to help you achieve your long-term career goals.
Business education is also among the most popular online course topics—accounting for 46 percent of online learners. With such demand for online MBA programs, it can be difficult to identify which programs still provide quality online education in today’s over-saturated market.
Here’s an overview of how Northeastern University’s online MBA program provides quality education to its learners, and why this program is a good choice for learners who want more flexibility in their advanced education.
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4 Ways You Can Customize Your MBA Education at Northeastern
Since online learning has greatly increased education accessibility to a global student population, Northeastern understands the importance of fostering an online learning environment that promotes diversity and inclusivity.
“Not having one type of student in our program really allows for a greater sense of how we can learn from one another,” explains Ward. “We can always learn things from people that have different life experiences from us.”
However, with a program that teaches such a diverse student population, Northeastern offers four ways to customize your program experience that touch on the most common discrepancies in educational needs among its students.
1. Building Your Own Curriculum
Northeastern’s online MBA program allows you to tailor your curriculum to fit your specific goals. With two-thirds of your classes as electives, you can choose 10 to 13 courses that align with your personal career goals.
“When I think of customization in our program, I think about the amount of credits that students are able to choose from,” explains Ward. “We have nine core courses. Aside from that, the allocation for the rest of the 50 credits are completely up to the student, which are often filled with our electives.”
According to Ward, there are three focus areas Northeastern provides elective options for:
- Business analytics
- Entrepreneurship and Innovation
This customization enables you to learn material that’s specifically relevant to your needs, maximizing the potential benefits of your education.
2. Receiving Personalized Faculty Support
Another way you can personalize your online MBA experience at Northeastern is choosing how to leverage faculty support. “Students have the ability to connect with faculty via Zoom at least once a week, which shows the amount of attention students can receive in this program,” says Ward.
Students also have the option to meet with a success manager who will help them through their educational journey from start to finish. While students aren’t required to meet with success managers, they’ll still receive personalized support from them.
“Students don’t have to meet with the success manager if they do not want to,” explains Ward. “However, our success managers review everybody’s progress—whether they reach out to them or not—just to make sure there’s nothing concerning that we would want to alert the learner to. In those situations, we just want to make sure that students feel taken care of and have what they need.”
3. Creating Your Own Schedule
At Northeastern, online MBA students have the flexibility to create a new schedule each semester, allowing them to learn at a pace that fits their life. “I feel like there’s lots of flexibility in student timelines,” says Ward. “Things happen, especially with people working full-time, having family obligations, etc. So we can really work with students to create a plan that works best with their timeline.”
In addition to reviewing each student’s academic progress, their success manager also acts as a point of contact throughout the program. They help students establish and meet their specific timeline goals, which may differ from one individual to another depending on their unique requirements.
“We’re able to assist our learners with figuring out what they need and how to adapt their plan to fit life changes that happen,” says Ward.
4. Choosing Your Experiential Learning Opportunities
One of the key benefits of Northeastern’s online programs is its emphasis on experiential learning. The online MBA also provides experiential opportunities—also known as EXPO courses—despite being offered 100 percent online.
“Our experiential courses—which are called experiential electives—are courses with different subject matter areas where students get to work on group projects,” explains Ward.
This approach enables learners to tackle practical, real-world problems and determine how they can apply their knowledge in a professional setting. Students receive valuable feedback from both faculty and peers, which they can use to refine and improve their work.
“I think our experiential coursework provides opportunities for our students to problem-solve real-life problems and figure out how they would solve it in the context of work in an environment that encourages feedback,” says Ward. “This type of learning allows students to bring their own perspectives, expertise, and experiences to the table to have their authentic views seen by their peers.”
How Northeastern’s Online MBA Enhances Your Educational Experience
Along with a customized educational experience, there are other key advantages to pursuing Northeastern’s online MBA program that can further enrich your overall learning journey.
The online experience at Northeastern is highly collaborative. Students are afforded the opportunity to engage and work with their peers in multiple ways. “I think this happens in a couple of different spaces,” says Ward. “For one, we use Slack as our communication management tool.”
The Slack channels at Northeastern are used to promote the following:
- Events and social activities
- Review of program materials
- School-specific news and announcements
In addition, each course has its own Slack channel. “Learners often engage with one another in these channels to work on group projects throughout the week,” says Ward. “They also meet in live faculty connect sessions, which is an opportunity to connect with one another, come off the screen, and watch videos within our learning platform.”
Learners can also schedule an appointment with either the program manager or the success manager at any point if they have questions, concerns, or just want to talk about their progress.
“We’re pretty accessible to our students,” explains Ward. “There are multifaceted ways we connect with them, providing multiple channels for people to engage in a form they want to. And I think that’s really important since people want different levels of engagement.”
Offers Equivalent Resources
As an R-1 research institution, Northeastern provides access to an extensive array of unique resources. “Our [online] students have almost the exact same access to Northeastern resources,” says Ward.
Some of these resources include:
- Library: Online students have access to the extensive collection of books, research materials, and other resources provided by the university’s library.
- Veterans services: Veterans can expect the same level of support in their online education as in-person students receive.
- LinkedIn Learning: Northeastern University provides free access to LinkedIn Learning to all of its students—both online and in-person.
- Degree type: While some online programs’ diplomas don’t match its parent institution name (including words like online or virtual), Northeastern’s online MBA students receive an MBA from Northeastern University.
Additionally, there’s an abundance of supplemental learning resources at students’ disposal that online learners can access as well. “Some online programs don’t have that same level of access to resources like career or other support services that we are able to offer our students in our program,” says Ward.
Implements Student Feedback
Northeastern’s online MBA students have the opportunity to have their voice heard through student surveys and focus groups. “We form relationships with our students that make them feel comfortable sharing their honest feedback,” explains Ward. “I think we’re always evaluating where we need to adjust or adapt.”
Student feedback is highly valued and given strong consideration by the university team. “One example of this is we didn’t have a way for students to track their student progress,” recounts Ward. “After some student feedback, we created a couple of program trackers in different formats to fit different learning types.”
Creates Engaging Content
The online MBA is designed with the learner in mind. The course content is highly visual and engaging, which often helps students remain invested in their online education and retain more information.
“We have animators, illustrators, and course designers that work on our courses,” explains Ward. “As a result, the courses really turn out very beautiful. When I think of our program, it’s just so different from the way we leverage technology in terms of producing high quality for our students.”
Jumpstart Your Career with an Online MBA
Wondering whether Northeastern’s online MBA is the right fit for you? The course customization options provided by the program enables you to focus on topics that are most relevant to your personal and professional development, including areas you’re currently working on in your current role.
“Students really love being able to implement what they’re learning in the classroom into their work almost immediately,” says Ward.
If you’re ready to take the next step and apply to Northeastern’s Online MBA, complete the application fee waiver form to save $100 and become one step closer to advancing your career!