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Executive business program at Nicholls expands as demand grows

THIBODAUX – The Executive Master of Business Administration program at Nicholls State University is making a significant impact on the south Louisiana business community. Increasing popularity has resulted in capacity classes for the first time, and area businesses that referred employees to the program in the past are now referring more.

“When I became dean of the College of Business Administration, I could not have imagined that the EMBA program would become as successful as it is,” Dr. Shawn Mauldin said. “We’ve recruited a wide variety of students, including one who drives all the way from Sulphur on a bi-weekly basis. Clearly, even with the slow economy, this program is meeting and even surpassing the demands of the consumer.”

The EMBA program was launched in 2007 specifically for professionals who, with their busy work schedules, might otherwise have not sought an advanced business degree. Combining Saturday classes, online study and group projects, the program has proven attractive both to prospective students and their employers.

“The newest cohort, which began Feb. 6, is the first to reach the 15-student capacity,” said Dr. Luke Cashen, EMBA program director and assistant professor of management. “The demand has grown so much, in fact, that we are now running our 17-month cohorts concurrently, rather than sequentially. Plus, we’re considering building a new, on-campus executive classroom to supplement the Barker Family Executive Classroom already in use in Houma.”

The new facility would be located in White Hall, funded primarily via private sources, and would include all the state-of-the-art boardroom features currently offered at the Barker facility.

Area businesses are contributing to the program’s expansion as well, “mainly because they recognize the academic and professional development opportunities for their employees,” Cashen said. Several firms have repeatedly referred employees for enrollment – and many have paid their employees’ tuitions and fees in full. Since 2007, the American Bureau of Shipping has referred three students, two in the newest cohort; DynMcDermott has referred two, one in the newest cohort; and John Deere has referred four, one in the newest cohort.

“It’s definitely a success story,” Cashen said. “The EMBA program has allowed Nicholls to continue providing a quality business education, but in a manner that accommodates the hectic work lives of business professionals in the region. I am very pleased with the program’s continued success, and I invite all prospective students to check out what we have to offer.”

For additional information, go to www.nicholls.edu/emba/ or call (985) 448-4241.

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