Todd: Paducah to offer MBA next semester

Chris Wilcox
Staff writer

Murray State’s Paducah Regional Campus will offer an accelerated master of business administration (MBA) degree program this August.

Administrators of the 18-month program hope this program will give students the opportunity to learn the skills of business and expand their education further than previously possible.

The program, offered for the first time in Paducah, Ky., has already been met with success at two of Murray State’s other extended campuses. The accelerated MBA was conducted in Madisonville, Ky., from 2008 to 2010 with 19 participants, in Henderson, Ky., from 2010 until the end of the spring semester with 19 participants and will be conducted in Paducah from the fall of 2012 to 2014. After the completion of the program in Paducah its next stop is planned for Hopkinsville, Ky.

The accelerated MBA is on a rotating plan, it only stays at an extended campus for the life of the program and then moves to the next extended campus.

Tim Todd, dean of the college of business, said if all goes well, the program will keep rotating throughout the next several years.

Todd said the accelerated program is an opportunity for those who did not get an undergraduate degree in business to still get an MBA, and the chance for working professionals to further their education.

“This degree is one of choice for most businesses and industries,” Todd said. “Employers seek out the most educated applicants.”

The accelerated MBA offered in Paducah will teach the foundation classes required, and in 18 months the students will have gained their degree.

“They will start this fall and end in the spring of 2014,” Gerry Muuka, Murray State’s MBA director, said. “It’s really no different than the MBA offered at Murray State (Main Campus). The exception is that the classes are taught on the weekends, so those working will find it easier to attend.”

Todd, Muuka and Brian Vanhorn, dean and assistant professor of Murray State’s Center for Continuing Education and Academic Outreach, designed the accelerated MBA for Murray State’s Paducah Regional Campus.

Kimberly Cyrus, coordinator of marketing and recruiting at Murray State’s Paducah Regional Campus has the tasks of spreading the word about the program and recruiting students.

According to Cyrus, the program has been met with great inquisition.

“We have received interest by almost 50 people,” she said. “One of the reasons is because the program waves some of the prerequisites, since they are built into the program.”

Most of the course content in a traditional program is worked into the content of the accelerated program’s classes, she said.

According to a document provided by the College of Business the Paducah MBA will cost each student approximately $20,000, including textbooks.

Todd said different companies have, in the past, paid for the program for certain applicants.

“We hope as word gets out corporations may help finance students for the program,” he said. “Like Rover Healthcare foundation and General Electric did in Madisonville.”

As for the overall goal of the program, Todd said the purpose was to extend Murray State’s reach into other communities.

“President Dunn’s strategic imperatives, particularly outreach, made this possible,” he said. “He set a vision and we worked hard to carry it out.”

President Dunn said the program has been met with success at other extended campuses and now it’s Paducah’s turn.

“Within the communities we serve there is a need for high quality graduate education,” he said. “This program provides it.”