W. P. Carey School's online MBA program ranks among Top 15

July 17, 2012

New worldwide rankings are out for online MBA programs, an increasingly popular way to get a graduate degree. The W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University is lauded among the Top 15 globally. The list from QS, a renowned Britain-based company that helps students in more than 35 countries to select MBA programs, names the W. P. Carey online MBA No. 15 worldwide and No. 7 among U.S.-based programs.

“Earlier this year, U.S. News & World Report also ranked our online MBA program among only 14 on its first-ever Honor Roll for online graduate business programs,” says Robert Mittelstaedt, W. P. Carey School of Business dean. “The new QS rankings confirm that our online MBA program is easily among the best worldwide. We established the program in 2003, well before many other real, traditional universities understood this is an incredibly important frontier for business education.” Stacey Whitecotton Download Full Image

QS says there are at least 300 online MBA programs right now. The company also says this type of program has boomed over the last several years, jumping from just 4.4 percent of MBA students interested in 2008, up to 15.6 percent this year.

“The popularity of this form of study is increasing among candidates and MBA employers as they are starting to recognize the value of programs delivered by reputable schools,” says Nunzio Quacquarelli, editor of QS’ TopMBA Career Guide, in a news release. “While these programs provide a very different experience to the traditional full-time MBA, they give access to business education to a wider and growing motivated work force who are seeking a lifestyle education, a way to learn essential management skills, which fits with the reality of their lives.”

In the new rankings, QS looks at the best schools for student employability, program establishment date, student quality, faculty and teaching, and class experience and diversity. All ranked schools have to offer accredited online and distance-learning programs, while also providing other reputable business-education options. The W. P. Carey School is one of only three programs in the entire Top 15 based in the western half of the United States.

“The W. P. Carey School’s online MBA program is known for its exceptional faculty, made up of the same stellar educators teaching in our other MBA programs currently ranked Top 30 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report,” explains professor Stacey Whitecotton, associate dean for W. P. Carey MBA programs. “Our online MBA students get the same highly regarded degree as those in our acclaimed full-time and evening MBA programs.”

The W. P. Carey School’s online MBA program has grown from just 100 to more than 400 students over the last decade. NFL Pro Bowl kicker Billy Cundiff completed the program, even while attending NFL training camp. Lieutenant Colonel Scott Coulson, who was awarded the Bronze Star, a Purple Heart and a Combat Action Badge for his service and actions while leading combat missions in Iraq, also participated in the program while serving in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan. Several professionals who wanted to start their own businesses, such as law firms and medical practices, used the program to add business knowledge to their other fields of expertise.

The W. P. Carey online MBA is a two-year program in which students work in small, personalized teams with peers from other industries. Participants visit the ASU campus just once and then complete the program entirely via the Internet, making it extremely flexible and convenient. Students focus on just one course at a time and can earn their degrees with an area of emphasis, such as finance, international business, marketing or supply chain management, a field in which the W. P. Carey School consistently ranks Top 5 in the nation.

The school’s online MBA program is also recognized as an excellent value. Participants have a dedicated financial aid specialist and a career center to help them with job searches. For more information on the school’s MBA programs, go to wpcarey.asu.edu/mba.

Technology training for teacher candidates earns national award

July 17, 2012

A team from ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College has earned national honors for a research paper describing the college’s evolving approach to teaching technology skills to future teachers.

The International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE) presented its SIGTE (Special Interest Group of Teacher Educators) Research Paper Award to Teachers College faculty members Teresa S. Foulger, Keith Wetzel and Ray Buss, and academic professional LeeAnn Lindsey, for “Preservice Teacher Education: Benchmarking a Stand-Alone Ed Tech Course in Preparation for Change.” The award was presented at the annual ISTE conference in San Diego in June. Teresa Foulger, Keith Wetzel, Ray Buss and LeeAnn Lindsey Download Full Image

The topic for the “Preservice Teacher Education” paper originated from the major curriculum redesign process under way in Teachers College. Among the changes being implemented in the new iTeachAZ curriculum is the elimination of a stand-alone course focusing on the use of technology in PreK-12 classrooms. Instead, technology is infused into a group of content methods courses for teacher candidates.

“The paper benchmarks the best practices from the stand-alone educational technology course that we don’t want to lose as the college moves towards an integrated, programmatic approach,” Foulger said. “Educational technology faculty were charged with leading the process. Our first step was to conduct this benchmarking study of the stand-alone course to determine the best practices that could be incorporated into the new program design.”

“Technologies seem to saturate our lives, but their purposeful use in K-12 teacher preparation classrooms sometimes eludes us,” Wetzel said.

“In Teachers College we strive to prepare K-12 teachers to integrate technology appropriately in their future classrooms, not just take children to the computer lab several periods a week,” he said. “The redesign of the teacher certification curriculum allows us to model and practice technology use in all of our methods courses. This study explains the promise of the new approach and sets the benchmarks for comparing the standalone course to the new approach.”

Results from quantitative and qualitative data in the study indicated students’ confidence and Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) scores increased in the stand-alone course. TPACK is a framework to understand and describe the kinds of knowledge needed by a teacher for effective pedagogical practice in a technology-enhanced learning environment.

Benchmarks that arose from the study included those associated with computer skill development and TPACK development. The authors will share those benchmarks with program developers for adoption or adaptation where appropriate.

ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College offers challenging education programs that prepare highly qualified and successful teachers, leaders, and researchers. Teachers College serves all four ASU campuses in metropolitan Phoenix and students across Arizona.