ASU Launches Online Business Degree –

Tim Desch

Hoping to experience the same success as its online MBA program, Arizona State University Online will begin offering a Bachelor of Arts in Business with communication concentration to students, beginning January 2013.

The 120-credit degree program, which will be offered through the W.P. Carey School of Business, is the school’s first business undergraduate degree program to be offered online.

“This degree is very popular. We see about 500 students enroll every year into this program on campus,” said Tim Desch, assistant dean for undergraduate admissions for the W.P. Carey School of Business at ASU. “We believe we have high-quality, innovative on-the-ground programs, so the opportunity to begin offering this program online makes perfect sense for us.”

Desch said there was a significant interest and demand for the program, and offering it online will allow for a larger capacity of students to pursue it.

“Every business degree, no matter which concentration or major separates it, consists of 85% business core classes such as accounting, economics, and statistics,” Desch said. “This particular program includes seven upper-level communication courses students will take: organizational communication, communication conflict and negotiation, communication in professions, employee participation processes in organizations, leadership in group communication, communication training and development, and small group communications. Students also have their choice of electives.”

ASU Online also offers a Bachelor of Science in Technological Entrepreneurship and Management through the College of Technology and Innovation.

“It bridges the gap between technology and business, providing a foundation for students who want to launch their own technology-based ventures,” said Russ Knocke, chief of staff and director of communications for ASU Online. “Curriculum emphasizes leadership, entrepreneurship and management, with a special focus on project leadership and process innovation and development.”

Knocke said graduates of the program are prepared to enter a wide variety of career possibilities, including technology-based entrepreneurship, product development, consulting, venture capital analysis, business development, market analysis, and technology marketing.

Business students have access to the school’s career center, in which they can speak with career coaches. Students also have full access to academic advisors.

“Our staff of advisors in the career center makes sure that students are following curriculum in a manner that matches up with their career objectives,” Desch said. “It’s advantageous for online students to talk about their specific circumstances and what their goals are.”

A notable form of student connection is through the business school’s numerous Facebook pages, Desch said. He said they prove beneficial because it allows for students to connect with staff, and accelerates the process of students becoming engaged in the school and their classes.

Desch said there is a push, as well as support, for increasing online offerings in the business school, and the decision to offer the undergraduate business degree was predicated partly because of the success with the online MBA program.

“Our brand as a university lends itself to national and international opportunities online. Our comfort level in offering this undergraduate program is partly from the success of our graduate program and visibility of it,” Desch said. “We do find that even though the two programs are quite different, the school’s brand kind of carries the day.”

Desch said he expects to see the online undergraduate business programs evolve in the near future.

“Our long-term goal within the business school is to retain our national and international reputation. The foray into online platforms is just the beginning,” Desch said. “We are pleased and proud of our progress, but certainly not complacent. We will continue to improve the quality of our undergraduate business education while improving our reputation worldwide.”

Arizona State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the W.P. Carey School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

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