John Carroll University recently unveiled the Pre-MBA Scholars program, a new program that grants dual admission to JCU’s undergraduate and Fifth Year Master’s of Business Administration programs at the beginning of a student’s undergraduate career. The program was created through the joint efforts of the Boler School of Business and the Office of Admissions.
“The concept, from the student perspective, is to take our existing four plus one program but let high school students see and experience it as one seamless five-year course,” explained Brian Williams, vice president for enrollment. “We analyzed the students that stay with JCU for both degrees and established the performance measures from high school that proved successful at JCU undergraduate and in the MBA, and that helped to define the admission criteria for this new program.”
According to Joan Coyne, assistant dean for graduate business programs, only a limited number of universities offer dual undergraduate and MBA admission.
The idea for the program was produced during a brainstorming session between Coyne, Williams and a few others about possible opportunities that the University could offer to incoming students.
“The idea about guaranteeing a spot in our MBA for incoming students comes from models of dual admission that many colleges have had in place in other professional areas for a while, such as law school, medical school, physical therapy or nursing to name a few,” said Williams.
Williams said he and Coyne aimed to forge a better partnership between undergraduate and graduate admission, drawing inspiration from Jeanne Colleran, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
At the time, Colleran was also pursuing new partnerships and working to secure seats in area medical schools for JCU students.
“The idea just came organically in our conversation: why not do the same thing for business?” said Williams.
Coyne believes the program will draw more prospective students to JCU.
“Students have the ability to pursue the undergraduate degree of their choice and complete their MBA in one year in the AACSB accredited Boler School of Business. The combination is quite powerful and can be accomplished in a timely basis with additional support from a career perspective. It is a terrific choice for students who see an MBA as part of their future,” Coyne said.
The program is open to students of all majors. High school seniors must meet the requirements of a minimum 3.5 overall GPA and a minimum score of 28 on the ACT or 1240 on the SAT in reading and math.
“The Pre-MBA Scholars program was created for talented high school students who knew their educational goals included an MBA,” said Coyne. “Through this program, students, regardless of their undergraduate major, can achieve an MBA within one year of undergraduate graduation.”
Pre-MBA Scholars will be assigned a faculty advisor who will ensure that they are completing the necessary courses for their undergraduate degree as well as those that will help them prepare for the fifth-year MBA program. Beth Martin, a professor in the psychology department, will serve as the undergraduate liaison for the Pre-MBA Scholars as well as any student interested in the fifth-year MBA program.
Students will also participate in career development sessions on topics such as creating a résumé, preparing for interviews and developing networking skills. The JCU Center for Career Services will provide the career-related development opportunities. Pre-MBA Scholars will be required to complete an internship to gain experience outside of the classroom. They will not be required to take the Graduate Management Admissions Test.
Williams foresees JCU reaping the benefits from the Pre-MBA Scholars program.
“The program will benefit JCU as it allows us to help enroll talented students for the University at the undergraduate and graduate level. What is distinctive in how we can talk about the program is that we are seeing students who are passionate in areas in the liberal arts wanting to pursue an arts and sciences degree and then an MBA. That balance of liberal arts and professional studies has resonated with families in our announcement of the program and will hopefully show in the number of students that will choose John Carroll because of this program in the years ahead,” said Williams.