The College of Charleston now offers a fast-track master's of business administration degree, a move that allows the school to play in the big leagues, President George Benson says.
The state's Commission on Higher Education gave the program final approval last week, and the first group of about 35 students will begin in July. Students can focus on either finance or marketing.
Alan Shao, dean of the college's School of Business, said the program will offer classes during the day. And students can finish in 13 months, which includes a summer "boot camp" where they learn or brush up on basic business skills.
Students go through the program as a group, he said, and they all will be required to participate in a three-week work-abroad experience.
The international component was one of the things that attracted Kathryn Metscher to the "accelerated MBA" program.
Metscher, will graduate from the college today with a bachelor's degree in business administration, and then jump right back into school in July. She thinks that earning a master's degree so quickly will demonstrate to future employers that she's serious about her career. "They'll see I'm aggressive," she said.
Benson said a full-time, day-time program was something the college was missing. "Now we're whole," he said.
With its brisk pace and international component, the program is the kind that will draw qualified students to Charleston, Benson said.
Shao said he's discussed the program with university leaders in parts of Europe and Asia, and they have expressed interest in sending students to the college. "It will be a very diverse program," he said.
Shao said he can't yet announce how much the program will cost students. There will be a special pricing structure because it is an accelerated program, he said, and the amount must be approved by the college's Board of Trustees.
But the program will be self-supporting and won't use any state money, Shao said. "It will be totally supported by tuition dollars."