SIU home to best online MBA program in Illinois

By Kitt Fresa, Features Editor

Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s online MBA program has ranked No. 24 on the inaugural Poets & Quants Online MBA Ranking list.

This ranking marks the second national recognition in only a few years since the program’s inception.

In January, the university tied for No. 54 in the country on the U.S. News and World Report Best Online MBA Programs rankings released.


According to both of these rankings, the university has the top program in Illinois.

“There’s a lot of people here who put in a lot of work on this program, so it’s very validating to hear how well we’re being recognized nationally,” Nicholas Hoffman, a career specialist in academic outreach at the College of Business said.

“But to be honest with you we don’t really focus on that stuff,” John Goodale, an associate professor of management and director of MBA programs. “Rankings never come up in a meeting. What we try to do is we try to provide the best experience that we can for our students. We have a great faculty that teaches in the program, staff that tries to administer and service the students, and that’s what we focus on.”

One of the ways the program tries to provide the best experience for their students is by developing new programs students might take an interest in every semester.

An example of this is the oMBA’s new concentration in analytics for managers. Goodale said this is an interesting and important topic for firms today.

According to a university press release, the new concentration will be offered for the first time in summer 2018 and prepares graduates for careers involving the analyzation of data.

Chief Marketing Officer at the College of Business, Christie Mitchell said the ranking is a reflection of the preparation that goes into the program to make it worthwhile and valuable to students.


“I think that it also gives us a good benchmark to where we are in comparison to other programs,” Mitchell said.

Hoffman said the students in the program are surveyed on why they come here, one of the themes they see are definitely rankings.

The program does a number of things well, Hoffman said, but at the top of that list is serving the program’s students proactively and actively responding to their needs as the oMBA learns and grows.

The program can accommodate and help the students enrolled in the program is because the program has the staffing and support to do so Hoffman said.

The program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, Goodale said. It’s 100% online, and also the program is very flexible on when the students can take the courses.

Hoffman said he thinks the program will see a spike in enrollment and he is looking forward to the incoming students. He said he believed a lot of graduates from the program find a lot of success afterward.

An entrepreneurship class is one of the reasons graduates find success, Hoffman said.

Some students in the course exclude themselves from the entire class and work with only one or two other students because they’re building actual business plans that they will use in the real world.

“We do have a number of businesses out there that are there because they were able to go through that program and get a step by step look at how to build business plans and how to make your arguments the strongest they can be,” Hoffman said.

Most of the students enrolled in the program are working professionals.

“These are very busy professionals and most of them are in the program to advance their careers,” Mitchell said.

The program itself takes a total of 23 months to complete.

Features Editor Kitt Fresa can be reached at [email protected].

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