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Business Program is Online:
UTD's school of management now offers classes through Net

by Steve Quinn & Ieva M. Augstums

The University of Texas at Dallas is making earning a business degree as easy as typing www, as in the World Wide Web.

UTD's School of Management has joined the Online University Consortium, a national alliance of online degree programs.

"This is a great way to let adult learners and working professionals know more about our programs," says Anne Ferrante, director of UTD's Global Leadership Executive MBA Program. "Even though the phenomenon is still relatively new, more and more people are becoming interested in online education opportunities."

The alliance and its Web site (www.onlineuc.net) were launched in April.

"What I saw was a corporate need for quick access to quality education," says consortium executive director Greg Eisenbarth, who based his conclusions on seven years of studies targeting adult students. "All we are doing is matching up the demand for online degree program opportunities with the supply of excellent schools."

UTD, which offers three graduate business programs through the consortium, became a member through its accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business-International, a St. Louis-based group.

So far, UTD is among an even dozen consortium members, including Arizona State University, the University of Colorado at Denver, George Washington University and the University of Southern California. Together, the schools offer more than 220 online degree programs.

More than 500 UTD students already complete all or part of their master of business degrees online. That's out of 1,200 students enrolled in its MBA programs.

"When you are online, there is a little more flexibility regarding where you study and when you choose to learn," says Ms. Ferrante. "This method of learning is only going to grow."

Two new degrees
There are other changes in store at UTD.

When classes begin Thursday, UTD will offer the state's first Chartered Financial Analyst track, built on curriculum created by the Association for Investment and Management Research.

The new track will prepare students for CFA examinations - analogous to the Certified Public Accountant examination in the accounting field - while allowing them to complete the degree requirements for a bachelor of science in economics and finance.

This year, the university also will begin offering a doctorate in economics. The 90-credit hour program is aimed at students who are pursuing research careers in academia and government at the local and national levels.