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Interview: Dr. John Anderson, Associate Dean, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Dr. John Anderson, Associate Dean, University of Nebraska - Lincoln joins us today to discuss distance education.

Tell us about the distance learning programs offered at University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

UNL's traditional 48 semester hour MBA curriculum is now available on-line. This totally asynchronous on-line delivery allows you to complete your entire degree without on-campus residence. Our on-line delivery along with modular scheduling allows today's business professionals the opportunity to participate in an internationally-recognized program without putting careers on hold to live in residence on campus. The flexibility of on-line delivery brings the UNL MBA to them - on their schedule.

What is the typical duration of each of your programs?

Our distance students proceed through the program at their own pace. Our MBA curriculum can be completed in as few as two years, but we allow students up to 10 years to complete the program. Most of our students will take three to four years to complete the program.

What would you say makes University of Nebraska-Lincoln programs different and better than other comparable online programs?

Unlike many distance MBA programs which have been specifically developed for the on-line market, this is the UNL MBA. We have accessed the strengths of our campus program and made our time honored curriculum and internationally recognized faculty available to our distance students. Our on-line delivery is totally asynchronous, with no required campus visits and is available at a very affordable cost.

How important would you say accreditation is when choosing an online college?

Both regional and AACSB accreditation are as critical when selecting on on-line MBA as they are when selecting an on-campus MBA. Unaccredited or privately accredited programs have flooded the early on-line MBA market simply because they need not concern themselves with accreditation standards. Fortunately, that trend is changing as more accredited programs are offered on-line.

There is some debate as to whether or not online degrees are as worthwhile as traditional degrees. What steps does University of Nebraska-Lincoln take to ensure that online students are receiving the same education that they'd receive in a classroom?

Our online curriculum and faculty are the same as our on campus program. We require all MBA students to complete a nationally normed standardized assessment "Major Field Test in Business" prior to graduation. Through this assessment, we can not only compare the effectiveness of our on-line delivery with our on-campus delivery, but we can compare our graduates against graduates from other schools.

What would you say are some of the benefits of earning a degree online rather than in a traditional classroom?

The most obvious benefit is that busy working professionals are no longer required to place their career on hold to attend a full time campus MBA program. On-line students can continue the same program through job relocations and temporary reassignments. Additionally, prospective MBAs have a broad selection of quality programs from which to choose, programs which do not require physical proximity to a campus.

If a student enrolled in one of your programs was interested in finding an internship in their field in their area, do you have any means of assisting them in acquiring an internship position?

Yes, our MBA internship and placement coordinator's services are available to both campus and distance students. All students are encouraged to take advantage of an internship during their program. Students without business experience are required to participate in an internship.

Does University of Nebraska-Lincoln offer any job placement services to your students and graduates?

Yes, we have a placement coordinator in the College of Business Administration whose services are specifically provided for both campus and distance MBA students. In addition, the University provides career placement services and job postings via Husker Hire Link and on-campus interviews by corporate employers.

Is financial aid available to students in your programs?

Yes, financial aid services are available to both campus and distance students.

Do you have any advice for students enrolling in online classes for the first time?

For those who have never taken an on-line course, I tell them to visualize the course web site as their classroom. A classroom that is open 24/7. A classroom that should be visited regularly, but need not have other students nor the professor present when visited. A classroom in which lectures are available on demand, and homework assignments and completed exams can be submitted regardless of the time of day. As I work with prospective students during the preadmission process, I emphasize the importance of self discipline and technology comfort. Since our entire preadmission process is base on web information and email communication, absence of these qualities is easily recognized.

What do you enjoy most about your position at University of Nebraska-Lincoln?

The opportunity to provide high quality educational training and mentoring is immensely satisfying on a personal level. Working to accomplish our mission of fostering intellectual curiosity, business insight, and effective leadership is challenging yet highly rewarding.

To Request more information about the distance learning programs available through University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Go here to visit them online.

Thank you Dr. John, for sharing and participating in this piece for Online Degrees 2.0

That concludes our interview!

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