Logo courtesy of 2U
Pepperdine’s Graziadio Business School is partnering with online education platform 2U to create an online MBA program. The partnership makes a Pepperdine education available to students who are unable to attend the physical classroom and comes after the School of Law and Graduate School of Education and Psychology also partnered with 2U in 2017.
“2U’s mission is to expand access and eliminate the back row in education,” 2U President Andrew Hermalyn wrote in an email to the Graphic. “For us, this program is an opportunity to reach so many adult learners who wish to pursue a top-tier MBA but may be unable to pick up their lives and relocate in order to do so.”
Graziadio Dean Deryck Rensburg wrote in an email that he agrees with 2U’s mission and seeks to bring the Pepperdine education to adult learners.
“Typically, [the online program] favors the working adult who values the ability to balance work, family and schooling, giving them the convenience and flexibility to take a course ‘any time and any place,’” Rensburg wrote.
Graziadio faculty chose to partner with 2U because of its academic standard and the resources available for students, including student work spaces provided by WeWork and international opportunities through partnerships with schools like the University College of London, Rensburg wrote.
“2U has a proven track record for success and is the partner of choice for many elite universities,” Rensburg wrote.
The program will carry the same weight as any traditionally obtained degree because it will be of the same difficulty, Hermalyn wrote.
“Graduates will receive the same degree as their on-campus counterparts,” Hermalyn wrote.”The professors, curriculum and rigor are equal to that of the on-campus program and the earned degree will be the same as well.”
Pepperdine has partnered with 2U in the past to create online degrees for both the Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP) and the Pepperdine University School of Law, according to a Graphic article from 2017. Rensburg wrote that 2U meets the Pepperdine standard by fulfilling three criteria.
“The research has shown that an online degree has the same value as a traditional degree when the online degree is accredited, the school/university offering the online degree also has a traditional campus and the school/university offering the online degree has an established brand,” Rensburg wrote.”In our case, these three criteria are easily met and therefore we are confident that our online/2U degrees will have the same merit as our traditional (on-ground) degrees.”
Students of the online MBA program will still be able to actively participate in their classes, but from the location of their choice.
“Online classes on the 2U-powered platform are intimate, engaging learning experiences,” Hermalyn wrote. “Students will attend weekly live classes and access faculty-developed interactive coursework via a platform that can be accessed from nearly anywhere in the world.”
Because it is the same curriculum and rigor, the online MBA degree will be the same price as the traditionally obtained one, Rensburg wrote.
Due to the nature of the classes, students will also be able to socialize with their classmates.
“[2U offers] a synchronous component where they will meet with the professor and their fellow students online – all on-screen at the same time,” Hermalyn wrote. “The 2U learning platform can also be used to break students into smaller groups and to form between-class study groups.”
The new online MBA will be effective in January 2020, according to a 2U press release made in July 2018.
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