USF Sarasota-Manatee MBA program adds online classes

Gayathri | Friday, December 30, 2016 10:07 AM IST

The MBA program at the University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee, is adding online instruction.

The program, which started in 2003, is adding online classes that are available at any time to reach a wider audience of students who are seeking more flexibility in their schedules, according to USF.

'We're trying to organize the classes so you don't have to spend all day in the classroom,' said College of Business Dean Dr. James Curran in a statement. 'The idea moving forward is to have one online course available to them.'

The move is expected to occur gradually after two online courses - basic courses in accounting, finance and information systems and a higher-level course in business valuation - were introduced last summer. For the spring semester, a finance course will go online as well.

The changes are the latest steps to accommodate students who are already deep into their careers. Two years ago, the college removed the GMAT/GRE standardized test requirement for some students seeking admittance. Under the change, students who posted a minimum 3.0 grade-point average in their undergraduate work can register for the program, provided they maintain a 3.25 GPA for two semesters.

Many colleges are making similar accommodations for high-achieving students who have demonstrated success in the classroom and workplace.

'What this did was remove a major obstacle,' Curran said. 'It costs money to take the GRE and GMAT and you have to set aside time to prepare for the tests. When we looked at that, we found the requirement was preventing people from entering the program.'

Students can sign up for the General MBA track or an MBA with an accounting track to prepare for the CPA exam. Classes are held on campus at 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

'Like anything of value, the program was not easy (but) the faculty, staff and most importantly, my fellow students were always there to assist,' said Jeff Maultsby, a 2012 alum and director of business and economic development for Sarasota County. 'It was two years well-spent, learning, accomplishing my goal and making lifelong friendships.'

USFSM's MBA program has graduated more than 200 but the program started with borrowed classrooms at New College of Florida and borrowed faculty from USF in Tampa.