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Home » Women in Business » How One University Is at the Forefront of Online MBA Programs

It’s never a bad idea to further your knowledge and your career with a Master of Business Administration degree. Now it’s easier than ever to enroll in an MBA program, thanks to online universities.

“I think the MBA really sets you up for success in any arena you want to play in,” says Dr. Randee Sanders, the associate dean of faculty and dissertation chair for the School of Business at Northcentral University (NCU), a regionally accredited, nonprofit online university.

Online MBA programs are particularly popular these days. According to a survey by The Graduate Management Admission Council™ (GMAC™), a global association of leading graduate business schools, nearly 80 percent of online MBA programs report relative growth in applications during the pandemic. 

An MBA expands the fundamentals you learned on the job to make you ready to take the next step in your career.

Personalized approach

Dr. Richard Thompson, assistant professor and MBA program lead for Northcentral University’s School of Business, has 22 years working in online education and says this university is well-positioned to deliver online education effectively and efficiently.

Unfortunately, in many cases “online” is becoming synonymous with “technology-supported courses,” not true of remote learning. Since its founding 25 years ago, NCU has refined the virtual learning experience for students worldwide. 

NCU’s personalized program has a one-to-one learning model. Each student works individually with their professor via a robust learning management system created by education technology company D2L. D2L’s platform permits communication and content to be delivered through course pages, email, chat, video, two-way video, telephone, and smart devices, supported by rich media. 

With an MBA from NCU, you will get foundational business knowledge, but you also learn skills that align with what employers are looking for.

Not all online schools are created equal. Dr. Thompson stresses it’s important for students to choose an accredited program. NCU’s MBA program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and helps students learn how businesses operate, providing the skills and experience needed to pursue executive leadership roles in their careers, including working for government agencies, nonprofits, and the general business sector. 

This program, which teaches business strategy, budgeting, and operational functions, also shows students how to evaluate the health of an organization, provide effective solutions, and become an insightful global business leader. The program is flexible, including weekly start dates. Students often finish their MBA programs within 16 months to two years, but others take more time. 

“The courses are all eight-week courses, and so every Monday we’re writing up final grades for students and then we’re also sending out our welcome letters to the new students. Students have a lot of flexibility for their start date,” says Dr. Thompson.

Watch the video to hear NCU president Dr. David Harpool share a little more about how Great Start can support you in taking the next steps in your education journey. View the Great Start module.

NCU also offers MBA students the ability to specialize their degree in one of 12 areas, including entrepreneurship, healthcare administration, criminal justice, information technology, financial management, and project management.


Students in a traditional MBA program at a brick-and-mortar university typically have set class schedules, and they may have to drive to the campus. There may be limitations on the number of students who can enroll. 

NCU was established as an online university and thrives in the virtual format.

“You can do this from the comfort of your own home, which our students are enjoying now, certainly in this winter and certainly over the last year with the restrictions on travel and so forth due to COVID,” says Dr. Thompson.

“Our students, faculty, and staff have all been living in this online realm for a long time,” he continues. “We’re very good at what we do and working with students from a distance.”

The journey sometimes seems tough because of what you sacrifice. But is it worth it? Absolutely. An MBA can offer a wealth of advantage by opening a door that may not have been there before.

In addition, all faculty members have doctoral degrees and extensive training and experience in online education.

The flexible MBA program is especially appealing to women. According to the university, as of July 2020, 60 percent of NCU students in the MBA program are women, 60 percent self-report as Black, Hispanic, Asian, or Native American, and the average age at enrollment is 39. 

“Sometimes women have a little bit of a pause, and a little bit of hesitation, but the MBA behind their name will definitely open up some doors and give them that level of confidence to jump into those conversations and pull a seat up at the table,” says Dr. Sanders.

NCU has built an online community for MBA students called The Commons. The virtual connections often become lifelong friendships and business contacts.

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