The following is a guest post by J. Scot Sanders. Sanders relocated in August 2011 to pursue an MMP and holds the position of assistant director of employer relations in the Career Center at CSU. He has a BBA in marketing from the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University and is a part-time student in the MMP program expecting to graduate in 2013.
Tell me if you’ve heard this before: A bachelor’s degree is the new high school diploma. I know I’ve heard it dozens of times and have even said it myself. However, every time that I have heard, it wasn’t in a way that was devaluing a bachelor’s degree, but simply making the point that a bachelor’s degree is quickly becoming the minimum requirement to enter into the job market. Does that make a master’s degree the new bachelor’s degree? It certainly appears as if that is becoming more and more the case. That being so, students are becoming increasingly challenged to continue to grad school after receiving a bachelor’s degree.
Strategically designing and offering an advanced degree option to encourage students to make a second trip to the campus bookstore to buy another diploma frame is going to become essential for colleges and universities around the country. Colorado State University’s College of Business has the perfect program for a student wanting to get an advanced degree without having to invest two additional years. I present to you the Master of Management Practice.
The Master of Management Practice degree is still relatively new for the College of Business. In fact, fall 2012 marks the beginning of only the fifth cohort selected for the MMP program. Tonja Rosales, manager of the MMP program, welcomed 25 students whose undergraduate experience is as diverse as the students themselves. The 2012 cohort boasted students from several states as well as students from China, Greece, Mexico, and Vietnam. The academic diversity includes undergraduate degrees in everything from music to accounting, from interior design to equine science, natural resources recreation and tourism to history, and construction management to apparel and merchandising. What tremendous diversity to experience and learn from as a cohort within this program.
The vast majority of students starting the MMP program earn their degree in only two semesters. A master’s degree from the College of Business… in only two semesters. The MMP program is somewhat designed for students to take a “victory lap” of one academic year to complete the 30 credit hours that are required of the program. Normally, “victory lap” is tongue-in-cheek for a student barely squeezing in four years of college into five years. Or six. But, this is quite the opposite. It’s more like a student is squeezing in the six years of undergrad and grad school into only five years. There’s also a great advantage to students like myself. I’m not fresh out of college, but rather a returning student. The advantage is that I can work full time, be a part-time student, and still finish the MMP program in approximately two years.
So, you might be thinking, “What’s the gimmick?” or, “What’s being left out of the curriculum?” On the contrary, MMP candidates study core classes of accounting, information technology and project management, finance, marketing, management and strategy, management, and strategic management. MMP candidates also have the option of selecting computer information systems or management as a prearranged focus by way of 12 hours of electives or they can create their own focus with appropriate approval. The MMP’s 600-level courses are frequently taught by the same professors teaching CSU’s MBA courses. Additionally, students are required to meet the same admission requirements as Colorado State’s MBA program, with the exception of work experience. Another nod to the substance and relevance of the MMP program is it’s accreditation with the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
For me, a significant advantage is that the classes are taught in the spirit of building students up to become a manager—to become a leader. As stated on the College of Business’ website, the goal of the MMP program is to “(provide)…specialized management and organizational skills so you can participate effectively in the management and growth of an organization.”
I was enrolled and even had my class schedule for an MBA program at a very highly ranked Big XII business school. But the quickness of completion of the program along with the heavily stressed perspective of management and leadership drew me to enroll in the MMP program here at CSU. I enjoy the program, am challenged by the coursework, and have an appreciation for the professors and their experiences. I have no doubt that the MMP program is giving me the education, experience, and a perspective through leadership that employers are hungry for, while providing me with the opportunities I desire for personal and professional development.
The MMP at CSU is certain to become the benchmark by which so many other universities will measure their one-year master’s degree programs against in the future. In an ever-increasingly fast-paced world that’s becoming more and more competitive, everyone is looking for that competitive edge. What about getting that master’s degree a year earlier than other students in your undergraduate class? What about spending less money in tuition to do it? What about getting a strong foundation of stewardship through leadership? How’s that for a competitive edge?
To learn more information about the Master of Management Practice degree program, contact Ms. Tonja Rosales in the College of Business at Colorado State University.