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Tarleton State University: Cultivating Next-Gen Management Professionals

Tarleton State University

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Today, surviving and thriving through the growing competition in business has become important for entrepreneurs and business owners. Thus, they often seek the right management professionals who have the skills and capability of making any business a successful and well-established organization and business venture. With the growing demand for skilled and professional business management experts, management education has become an essential and necessary tool to equip students with the required tools and techniques of handling different business and management challenges successfully.

Through business management programs, students turn into successful managers, CEO, COO, Directors, business analysis experts, marketing leaders, etc. Different programs, particularly MBA from an acclaimed and accredited management school enable students to make a contribution to the global economy by taking their organization or business venture to the next level of success and prosperity. MBA is a broad-based advanced degree within the business that helps individuals gain perspective and develop analytical skills that will help them become successful management professionals.

Among numerous institutions offering the MBA program, the Stephenville, Texas-based Tarleton State University (TSU), a member of the Texas A&M University System, is recognized as one of the eminent MBA institutes in the region. While a degree in-hand from TSU gives students a leg-up in the competition against those without a master’s degree, the skills and competencies developed in its academic programs create an edge. For instance, critical thinking, communication, leadership, etc. are the demonstrable skills that—as students improve—set them to obtain their dream job as well as excel in it and make a prolific career.

A Flexible MBA Program

Established in 1899, Tarleton State University is a growing university with over 14,000 students and a founding member of the Texas A&M System. Housed within the College of Business, the MBA is the university’s largest graduate program. It is currently offered as a traditional program and a fast-track program—both online.

The traditional program allows working students to complete the program at their leisure. This works well for students already in the industry that need to balance the work/life experiences. The fast-track option, on the other hand, consists of the same set of courses but is sequenced in such a way that a student can complete the program within 12 months.

The Learner-Instructor Interaction

Effective communication between the students and instructors is imperative for an institution to grow and attract more students. Compared to larger schools, TSU has a major advantage when it comes to learner-instructor interaction. At TSU, class sizes are relatively small and each class is taught by full-qualified, terminally-degreed instructors.

While such interactions are unique from class to class, interactions include course messages, emails, discussions, Zoom sessions, phone calls, face-to-face interactions, etc. “While the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging, in some ways, it has improved interactions as it has reminded us all of the importance of effective communication in an online environment,” says Dr. Joseph H Schuessler (Associate Dean of Graduate Programs, College of Business).

Leveraging Information Systems

As an Associate Dean of Graduate Programs in the College of Business, Dr. Schuessler specializes in providing academic training in information systems. He teaches a variety of graduate classes, however, for MBA he teaches the Management Information Systems class. It is a broad survey of how organizations leverage the use of information systems for competitive advantage. By learning management information systems, students touch on databases, networking, system analysis, and so on to gain a more thorough perspective of the importance of aligning information technology plans with the organization’s broader strategic plan efforts.

Seeking Integrity and Grit

TSU seeks qualities such as integrity and grit in the incoming students. Dr. Schuessler believes that these characteristics are intrinsic to individuals. Students that come in with these traits have huge potential that—with a little guidance and advanced training they receive in their program—they are able to excel in the workforce and represent Tarleton with honor and distinction. “At the end of the day, each student that passes through my class represents not only the university, the college, and the program, but me as well,” says Dr. Schuessler. Thus, students have to demonstrate a strong work ethic and a high ethical code while admitting to TSU.

The Hyflex Model

TSU’s MBA has migrated over the years from a face-to-face program, to blended, to almost exclusively online to meet the demands of a changing marketplace. However, the pandemic has forced the university to re-evaluate its teaching model and provided it with an opportunity to reimagine its program in a hyflex model—that facilitates a blended face-to-face and simultaneous online program, providing students with flexibility and the best of both worlds depending on their individual needs.

Whereas the general MBA market has been challenged with downward enrollments, the program at TSU has remained strong and continued to grow. Combined with its expansion into its face-to-face market in Fort Worth, Texas, the university is looking to grow the program online as well as face-to-face at that location. Using a hyflex model, classes will be offered that allow both online and face-to-face students to participate in the same class. This allows the university to leverage the experience of students from diverse backgrounds and locations while simultaneously being able to interact with students locally. Additionally, it provides an advantage for TSU to increase its student population as well.

Challenges to Address

The implementation of the innovative hyflex model will be a challenge for TSU as it requires faculty to prepare for face-to-face students, online synchronous students, as well as asynchronous students to participate in an equitable way for the benefit of all. However, the exciting aspect of this approach is that it gives local students the option to attend class face-to-face, online, or to change back and forth depending on their needs and other work/life demands.

“Offering the hyflex program is not an easy task, but we have invested in faculty training to help pull this off,” adds Dr. Schuessler. The university has identified specific courses and faculty within the programs who are up to this challenge and is looking forward to re-engaging with students in this new environment.

Tarleton State University

Read Full Post:- The 10 Best MBA Colleges of 2021

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The Educational landscape is changing dynamically. The new generation of students thus faces the daunting task to choose an institution that would guide them towards a lucrative career.

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