Saturday, March 31, 2012

What Was It That Drove Schools to Develop Online Universities and MBAs?

Online universities were not introduced until the past decade. After all, the Net was not in existence before the 20th century. The actual start of distance learning, though, was about three hundred years ago.

People even centuries in the past were already interested in being educated out of university. For instance, one can look at the development of a lesson plan by a man back then who was teaching shorthand to people through mailed letters. The snailmail that we rarely use nowadays was the channel for his program.

The University of London claims to be the first to incorporate the precursors of online programs into their portfolio in 1858, when they referred to it as the External Programme, which is now known as the University of London International Program. The end of the 1800s saw American schools following suit, starting in Chicago. The University of Queensland in Australia, on the other hand, founded its Department of Correspondence Studies in 1911.

There were some changes in the way the education was provided to distance learners when people invented things like TV. The old correspondence format gave way to new ways of learning at a distance, and more and more institutions joined in. Not long after, Jones International University was established and claimed to be the first regionally accredited online university in 1996.

Meanwhile, the MBA takes its primary root from Dartmouth, which was the establishment that first came out with a true graduate-level school for the degree. At the time, it actually had a different name. Soon after, Harvard was already offering MBA classes for just under a hundred starting pupils.

Initially, there was some criticism regarding the curriculum and relevance of the materials in the courses. The argument included assertions of uselessness in the course. There was thus very little credibility to the degree back then.

It was because of such criticism that most MBA programs would require fundamental courses during their first year. MBAs were suddenly courses amenable to the adoption of a focus of study. The result was a more comprehensive, balanced program.

Still, there was always something to be nitpicked: in this case, it was that the changes had rendered the training too focused on the theory and not enough on the practice. There were allegations of graduates being so theoretically-inclined that they had trouble with the less-than-predictable real world. There were also criticisms about the faculty for the programs.

It was because of this that the demand for MBA graduates declined and faltered. Modifications were obviously the order of the day. This is why the MBA of today is largely different from that of the past.

Colleges have an obligation to see to it that the programs they offer are appropriate for the current state of the industry for each program. Ethics seems to be the next topic of interest to contemporary MBA programs, according to regular as well as
online universities. Thus, you should apply only to colleges that keep up with the times.