Online Business Graduate Program Classroom Demo

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Evelyn Liougas: Good day everyone. Thank you for joining us for Northeastern University’s Online Classroom Demonstration Webinar. My name is Evelyn, and I will be your moderator for today.

Evelyn Liougas: Before we begin, I would like to go over the logistics of this presentation. To cut down on background noise, you are in listen only mode. So, you can hear the presenters, but they cannot hear you. If you have any questions during the presentation, just type your question in the chat box in the right window of your screen and hit enter.

Evelyn Liougas: Please feel free to ask your questions as you think of them, but note that all answers will be held until the end of the presentation. As well, a question that is commonly asked is if this presentation will be available online for review. Within the next few weeks you will receive an email letting you know when the recording is available on our website.

Evelyn Liougas: The panelists for this webinar are: Christopher Longtin, Chris has over five years of experience in the area of student support services, exclusively with online students. He is currently the associate director of student support services of Northeastern’s online programs, and works hard with his team to guide and coach students to academic success. He enjoys working in an ever-evolving field.

Evelyn Liougas: Also, we have enrollment advisors who work with prospective students for the Northeastern online MBA, Master’s in Finance, Master’s in Taxation, and Graduate Certificate in Supply Chain Management programs. The advisors are: Hayden Jones, Kira Nguyen and Rishi Sethi. In addition, myself Evelyn, who will be the moderator for the webinar.

Evelyn Liougas: Before I turn it over to Chris to conduct the online classroom demonstration, Hayden would like to share some information with you about Northeastern University.

Hayden Jones: Thank you for the introduction, Evelyn. Once again, my name is Hayden Jason Jones, I’m the lead enrollment advisor for the online programs here at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business. Let’s begin by introducing you to the D’Amore-McKim School of Business. The school has been around since 1922, and boasts the AACSB accreditation, which is the hallmark of excellence in business education.

Hayden Jones: This excellence is supported by scholarly research, high caliber teaching, and innovative curriculum. Moreover, our professors all have Ph.D.’s and world business experience in the discipline they teach, which provides an educational environment that is conducive to achieving success.

Hayden Jones: Our students have access to global networking of over 203,000 Northeastern alumni from many areas of business, thereby giving rise to the opportunity for international networking, and we have an alumni chapter in major cities around the world.

Hayden Jones: Can I get the next slide Evelyn, please?

Hayden Jones: Now, the D’Amore-McKim School of Business offers three online advanced degrees. There is the Master of Business Administration program, that teaches all core competencies of the business, and allows the student to choose from eight specializations. We have marketing, finance, entrepreneurship, technology management, international management, sustainability, healthcare and supply chain management.

Hayden Jones: If your goal is to work in the world of finance, we offer the Master of Science in Finance, and with that we have two concentrations. One in investment and the other in corporate finance. And for those tax specialists and accountants who want to enhance what they do, we have the Master of Science in Taxation.

Hayden Jones: Now, there are nine start dates a year for the MBA program, and six for the MST and MSF programs, so please consult your enrollment advisor for an actual start date.

Hayden Jones: With that, I’d like to turn it over to Evelyn for a poll question.

Evelyn Liougas: Thank you, Hayden. And now, we’d like to conduct our first online poll. The first question is, what concerns you most about starting an online program? A, unknowns about the online classroom environment and technology. B, finding the time, balancing school with other obligations. C, having what it takes to succeed. D, whether I can afford it or qualify for financial aid. Or E, other. Please specify.

Evelyn Liougas: A poll will pop up on the right side of your screen. Please take a moment to select your answer, and I will share the results with you in a few minutes.

Evelyn Liougas: I would like to now turn it back to Hayden, who will discuss the benefits of online learning at Northeastern University.

Hayden Jones: Okay. Thanks, Evelyn. Now, the debate between online learning and traditional classroom continues to date, but with one major difference. The online learning environment seems to be winning. With the rapid movement towards globalization and the advancement in technology, we find that more and more reputable educational institutions are now moving to the online format, realizing that it is a viable market.

Hayden Jones: Looking at the slide that’s in front of you, that’s on the screen, we’ve outlined some of the major differences between the two types of learning environments. I’d like to just highlight a couple of them. First would be student diversity. Now, in the traditional setting, most of the students are from the area, and the school is usually located on large urban campuses. With the online environment however, there is a variety of students from different professional backgrounds and from various geographical locations, which means the opportunity to develop relationships, and as previously mentioned, you can network yourself with business professionals on a national and sometimes an international level.

Hayden Jones: The other point I’d like to bring your attention to is the flexibility. With the traditional classroom, you have to be in the class at a certain day and time, and there are times where driving to a campus can be time prohibitive. With online class, with the online class, there’s no set time to log into the program. You have the ability to plan your week around the program instead of the other way around.

Hayden Jones: One point that should be noted is that effective time management skill is an asset to doing well in the program, okay? So, I’d like to turn it back over to Evelyn for another poll question.

Evelyn Liougas: Thank you, Hayden. We will actually now turn it over to our main presenter, Christopher, who will walk you through the online classroom.

Christopher L: Next few minutes, I am going to go over sort of three areas tied to the online classroom. The first is course communication, the second is course content, and the third is course assessments. So, at this moment, I am going to share my desktop with you.

Christopher L: The platform that Northeastern uses for the delivery of the online classes is Blackboard. Some of you may already be familiar with Blackboard. On your screen now, you should be able to see the course. We are looking at Marketing 6200, which is a core course in the curriculum, and a course that students who begin the MBA program in Summer II would be beginning with.

Christopher L: When I designed this overview, I looked at three areas. The first is course communication. The online environment, sometimes there’s a little bit of hesitancy, and fears of isolation. How do students communicate, and how do instructors communicate?

Christopher L: The main area of communication is the announcements board. That’s the first page you see when you enter any of our courses, and the faculty member and your instructor would post important announcements to the course in this area as well as distribute them through email. In this example, we see that there’s a posting about the 24/7 technical support line, and we also see that there’s a posting about end of day deadlines being 3:00 am eastern time the following morning to accommodate students on the West Coast.

Christopher L: The second way that individuals communicate is through the discussions forum. So, we’ll open the discussion board here. You’ll see here there is a general discussion board, so if you ever have a question for either your instructor or maybe other colleagues in the course, you would post it into the general discussion board. Right now, there are no discussions, but there’s also, and this is sort of my favorite part of the course, there’s the introductions forum.

Christopher L: The introductions forum is a really great tool, because it shows you on the first day of class the diversity of your classmates, and where they’re from. So, we’ve had students in the past that have actually connected with each other in the discussions forum and found that they lived quite close, and they were able to network in that way.

Christopher L: The third tool that we use for communication is the live sessions. The live sessions occur twice a week, one is held by your lead faculty member, and one by your small section group instructor. They occur on a platform called Blackboard Collaborate. Blackboard Collaborate looks very much like this platform we’re using right now for the webinar. It’s a little bit less formal, and instructors use it in different ways. Some will have a formal presentation, where they’ll walk you through the course content reminders with slides. Others will have a more informal, sort of office hours approach, so students who have questions would show up or maybe discuss different questions. And we’ve had some instances where a lead faculty member has actually invited in a guest speaker into the course, and they’ve attended through Collaborate.

Christopher L: So, this is what Collaborate looks like. On the top left, you have a video box for anyone who chooses to webcam. You’ll be able to see the participants underneath. There’s a chat box for students who opt not to use voice or video, and there’s the main whiteboard page.

Christopher L: Collaborate’s also available to students for group work, so if you do need to Collaborate in real time with your group members, you can do that.

Christopher L: Your Blackboard account is also associated with Blackboard Instant Messenger, which stimulates many of the instant messengers on the market today. So, you will have access to see all of the fellow students in your class that sign up. In this example, we have five fellow students in the class, and you are able to communicate with them either through a chat, or any of the Collaborate tools available. So you could do a voice over internet call, you could start a Collaborate room, you could start a group chat if you wanted to Collaborate with your group mates, and you also have access to a support team that is on Blackboard Instant Messenger, so if you wanted to connect with your student advisor, you would be able to access them via the platform.

Christopher L: The second point I wanted to cover was course content. One week before your course begins, you will have access to a course overview. The course overview provides a high level syllabus of the course and it is presented in a slide format, so you would be able to proceed throughout the course slide by slide. In this case, you’ll see there’s a video of the instructor, the faculty introducing the students to the course, and then it walks you through. You’ll see the course goals, there’s an overview of the course, so you know what your required materials are. This course uses one textbook and a series of business cases. Those are all provided for you in a course pack. And there’s an outline of the grading scheme, and it sort of walks you through what you can expect on your first day of the course.

Christopher L: One really strong point of the course overview is that it does give you an outline of what’s expected of you, so I know, as a student entering this course, that in week one, I have a case discussion due on the Wednesday, I have an assignment that’s due on the Sunday of the first week, so I am able to plan my week accordingly. And if I am really ambitious, I am actually able to get a head start on my week one materials the week before classes begin. So, I could complete all of my readings, and on day one of the class, I’m actually sort of 50% ahead, because I completed all of my readings and now for week one, I just need to focus on my assignments.

Christopher L: So, what happens on your first day of class? On the first day of class, you have access to the full course materials. Once students accept the academic honesty and integrity policy, they will have access to a week by week listing of materials, and each week is designed to walk you through. It’s a similar slide format as we saw in the overview. Again, there’s a video of your lead faculty member introducing you to the course, there’s an overview of what will be expected of you that week. We strongly encourage students to sort of print this out and check it off to keep you on track. The expectations in terms of assessments are provided to you, so the discussion board is referenced, as is the introductions forum.

Christopher L: And then you would jump into the course lecture. So, in this course, the course lecture is delivered via text, so the lead faculty member has very deliberately included a sort of slide by slide overview of the course content and the material they hope to communicate to you. And that is how the material is presented.

Christopher L: The final aspect that I wanted to share with you was the assessment. There’s multiple ways for assessments in the courses. Some courses will have quizzes, some courses will have assignments and some courses will have group work. Marketing 6200 is one course that does have group work. The way the lead faculty has set this course up, students would select their own groups, so you had the opportunity, if you were signing up with a friend and joining the program, you could both maybe go through your first course, your first group together.

Christopher L: If you are joining the program, and you don’t know anyone, that’s okay because one part of our onboarding process is a welcome webinar, and one of the main objectives of that webinar is to allow you to meet three or four or five of your classmates before you actually start the course, so that you can begin that networking and begin building those relationships before the course actually begins. I would just view the sign up sheet, I would identify that my friend Neil, who I just had on Blackboard Instant Messenger, was maybe signed up for group one, so I wanted to sign up with him, so I would sign in.

Christopher L: Again, once you have access to … once you are in your group, you have a number of group communication tools, so you can collaborate, you can exchange files, there’s a group discussion board, and you can also email all members of the group.

Christopher L: The final point I wanted to cover was your grade book. Students will have access to a grade book in the online course, and it will provide you an overview of what your assignments are, and what your grade is, as well as instructor feedback. Your instructors will deliver feedback in two ways. One is to post feedback on the assignment, so it would appear right here in the comments box. The other way they have of providing feedback is directly on your paper through a technology called Grademark. The program engages in TurnItIn, which is a plagiarism detection software, but which also allows instructors to add comments straight on your paper. So you would review your paper, and you would note that there was a comment at the end of paragraph two, and you might find in that paragraph that the instructor has made a comment about whether or not the example you use actually proves the point. So it might say, “Good job on choosing an applicable example.” Or it might just sort of provide their reaction to the argument that you’re making.

Christopher L: So, with that, I believe we have covered the three different areas of the course, and I will turn it back to Evelyn.

Evelyn Liougas: Thank you. Great. So, before we move into our Q and A session, we would like to conduct one final poll. The question is, what types of webinars would you be interested in attending in the future? A, program information. B, application process. C, student alumni spotlight. D, faculty spotlight. E, particular industry topic, please specify. Or F, other sorry, please specify.

Evelyn Liougas: A poll will pop up on the right side of your screen. Please take a moment to select your answer and I will share the results with you in a few minutes.

Evelyn Liougas: Also, just as a reminder, please feel free to type in your questions in the chat box on the right side of your screen.
PART 1 OF 3 ENDS [00:19:04]

Evelyn Liougas: On the right side of your screen, we would now like to begin the question and answer period. Just as a quick reminder, again, simply type in your question in the chat box in the right-hand corner of your screen.

Evelyn Liougas: So, the first question is for the enrollment advisors. How many hours should I invest in course work per week?

Kira: Hi Evelyn, it’s Kira here, one of the enrollment advisors participating in today’s webinar. I have the pleasure also of sharing that I completed our online MBA program last September, so I can actually share with you first-hand experience, being a student and working full-time.

Kira: A typical student in the program spends around 15 to 20 hours per week, per course, and of course, as Chris and Hayden mentioned, our program is synchronous, and this gives you the opportunity to basically pace yourself as you’re going through your studies. So from my experience, I find that usually I spend, maybe, an hour-and-a-half each evening, a little bit more on the weekends, and sometimes sporadically throughout the day. So it really depends on your own preference, how you want to allocate your time, but I would say, generally speaking, 15 or 20 hours is pretty much the norm and a pretty realistic expectation.

Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you, Kira. The next question is for Christopher. Does the Blackboard system work on the iPad?

Christopher L: So, Blackboard does have an app that you can download for your iPad. It would allow you to review the course. You will need to actually login to the computer in order to upload your assignments, but if you were traveling and on … maybe you were commuting to work and you wanted to read through your lecture, you would be able to do that via the Blackboard Mobile app. The other thing to note is that Blackboard Collaborate also has an app, so you could attend your instructor or the faculty live sessions while you were mobile. You would download the app, sign in and you could communicate and interact with them, much in the same way as you would through the web conferencing online.

Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you. Next question is again for the enrollment advisors. Do you have to specialize, or can you get a general MBA?

Rishi Sethi: Hi, this is Rishi Sethi. I’m an enrollment advisor and a student in the program. No, you don’t have to specialize. You can actually pick and choose. You have five elective courses that you need to take, so if you don’t want any particular specialization, you can certainly just choose whichever ones suit you best. Thank you, Andrew.

Evelyn Liougas: Thank you. Next question, how are course materials received? Are books mailed to my home? Is everything web-based? That one is for Chris.

Evelyn Liougas: Yes, how are course materials received, are books mailed to my home, is everything web-based?

Christopher L: Each course is a little bit different from a material standpoint. The majority of our courses will have one or two textbooks. If there is an electronic version of the textbook available, it’ll be offered to you through Northeastern’s Barnes and Noble bookstore and most courses also rely heavily on course packs. A course pack is a collection of materials that a professor draws from a number of sources. The benefit of a course pack is that it allows your instructors to draw from much more recent materials.

Christopher L: Whereas a book might have been published in the last five years, if there was an article or a case that was published last year, maybe it was tied to a recent event, a lot of focus has been made recently on the global financial crisis, so if you wanted to pull materials from there, you would be able to pull that material into a course pack and provide that as a reading. All course packs are electronic. You’re only able to purchase them electronically. And again, you would purchase them through Northeastern’s Barnes and Noble bookstore.

Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you. Next question is for the enrollment advisors. Will the degree received from any of the online programs show that the program was taken online?

Michelle: Hi, Evelyn. This is Michelle. I’m also enrollment advisor for the online programs. No, the actual degree will not say online or e-learning. It’s the exact same degree that you will get as if you were to go on campus. So it’ll say, “online MBA degree, online MSF,” … sorry. It will say, “MBA degree, MSF, MST.” So no mention of online or e-learning.

Kira: It’s Kira here, I’d just like to add in a bit as well. I actually participated in the Walk Ceremony last may, and it’s a very moving experience, being a graduate. We were actually invited to attend graduation ceremony. We were all seated together, with other fellow MBA graduates from campus, wearing the same cap and gown, walking up on stage together. So there was no distinction whether someone is receiving the degree from the campus program or online, so everyone was treated with equal respect and it was just a very wonderful experience with family and friends, coming to witness your achievement. Thank you.

Rishi Sethi: Kira, you make a really good point, there. This is Rishi. It’s really important that we get this point across, that the online program is really developed from the on-campus program. The curriculum is the same, the professors are the same, so it’s very important that when you’re looking for an online MBA program that you get the same experience that you would get on campus, but just the delivery is different.

Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you. Next question is, again, for the enrollment advisors. I do not have a business background, but I do have a B.S. Am I qualified for the program, or do I need to take some classes first?

Hayden Jones: Hi, this is Hayden Jones here. To answer the question, the answer is actually no, you don’t need a prerequisite in business to actually qualify to enroll or apply to the program. Minimum admissions requirements are that you have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale and a minimum of five years of full-time, professional work experience.

Evelyn Liougas: Perfect. Thank you. Next question is for Chris. Do instructors always supply feedback on assignments?

Christopher L: Yes, your instructors would provide feedback on your assignments. The only area I would caution that with is quantitative assignments. So there might be some instances where the number that you arrive at is different from the number that you needed to arrive at. The instructor would look through and possibly identify where you made a miscalculation, but if it’s simply a multiple choice and you’ve provided an incorrect answer, you might need to meet with your instructor online, one-to-one, to discuss what steps you took and what steps you should have taken.

Evelyn Liougas: Perfect. Thank you. Next question is enrollment advisors. How many weeks do the courses run?

Rishi Sethi: The courses range in length. The majority of them are five weeks and will have a one week break in between. There are a couple of shorter ones, which would be … there’s a three credit course and a couple of … sorry, a three week course and a couple of four week courses as well. The majority of them are going to be five weeks in length.

Evelyn Liougas: Okay, thank you. Next question. Right now, I do not know if I qualify for financial aid. What are the costs of the MBA program. This is for the enrollment advisors.

Rishi Sethi: So, the cost of our program is currently $1,345 per credit hour. There is a total of 50 credits. So if you multiply that out, the current tuition is $67,250, plus the cost of books. As far as financial aid information goes, there is federal financial aid available to the program, and I would encourage you to speak to your enrollment advisor and have them send you the link to our financial aid website. If you have specific questions about federal financial aid, again, we encourage you to speak with a financial aid representative personally, and get information regarding federal financial aid, because our information about the federal financial aid is limited. So the best people to speak to would be the representative from the federal financial aid office.

Evelyn Liougas: Thank you. Chris, this one’s for you. Does the Blackboard system work while traveling out of the country?
Christopher L: Yes, so Blackboard is a web-based system, so if you have access to the Internet and the country that you’re in does not have any blocks on certain content, you would be able to access it via the Blackboard web address. You do not have to download anything to your computer in order to access your online courses, you can do so through the web browser.

Evelyn Liougas: Thank you. Next question is for Rishi. This is for the MSF program. For someone from non-finance background, what are the prerequisites?

Rishi Sethi: Well, for someone from a non-finance background, I would really try to assess if they’re current working in finance, and they don’t have an academic background in finance or if they’re working in a totally unrelated field and they’re looking to get into finance.

Rishi Sethi: The online MS Finance program does require you to have some demonstrated quantitative skills and abilities and that might be in a Bachelor’s degree that is quantitative or in your work experience. So, it’s really just a question of having a conversation with an enrollment advisor, and letting them help you to assess whether or not you’d need to take any courses to get you ready for the program.

Evelyn Liougas: Perfect, thank you. There are some questions directed to Chris about live sessions. For example, what time of the day would live sessions be? Could you address that?
Christopher L: Sure, so the program has made a decision that live session are optional, and they are always recorded. There would not be any information introduced in a live session that you would be quizzed or tested on. However, it’s a tool by which you can further your understanding of the material in the course space. Most of the live sessions occur after 6 p.m. Eastern time, and instructors have been known to adjust those times if students so require. Again, they are all recorded, so if you are unable to make it, you can view the recording afterwards.

Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you. Next one is for Chris as well. The first course is Managing Information Systems. Can you explain why this particular course is only three weeks and one-and-a-half credits, versus the standard five to six week courses?

Christopher L: You are correct. The Summer One entry point is Managing Information Systems. I cannot speak to the decisions of the curriculum committee to have a shorter course, but because of the credit amount, it is shorter in length.

Evelyn Liougas: Okay, thank you.

Christopher L: If you do reach out to your enrollment … or your admissions advisor, they’ll be able to provide you an overview of the full curriculum and that will show you the difference in length of different courses.

Evelyn Liougas: Okay, next question is again for Chris. Is there an order to the classes we take, or are certain courses only available at certain times during the year?

Christopher L: The program is designed to be completed over a two-year timeframe, and when you enter the program, you will receive a schedule that optimizes that timeframe for you. There’s also a number of prerequisite courses. For example, prior to completing your finance course, you would want to … you would be required to complete your accounting course. It’s a very deliberate layout, however, you are able to work with your student advisor, once you enter the program, to ensure that the path you take provides you the courses in the order that they need to be taken, and to enable completion in the optimal time period.

Evelyn Liougas: Thank you. Next one is for the enrollment advisors. Are you able to specialize in more than one area? If so, how many?

Kira: Kira, yes absolutely. With the program, there’re 18 courses, 13 are the foundation, five are the electives and you only need to have three of those five electives to opt for a specialization. However, sometimes there may be an elective course that’s common to both specializations, so you may still end up having two specializations or dual specializations, taking only five courses. In cases where there are two specializations that may be of interest to you, but there’s not a overlap course, then you … there is potential to take on one additional elective course, so thereby taking … instead of 18, you’d be taking 19 courses for your MBA and you would end up with your MBA, as well as a separate certificate for each of your specialization. Thank you.

Evelyn Liougas: Thank you, Kira. Next one is for Chris. It’s related to the MST program. Are lectures provided via a YouTube format, or are they all via Blackboard?

Christopher L: The videos that are provided from your lead faculty member would all be hosted on Blackboard. The live sessions, you would be able to view the recordings via your iPad or your mobile device.

Evelyn Liougas: Thank you. Next one is for the enrollment advisors. Do you find that group work or networking online is as easy as live meetings that you would find in a traditional MBA program?

Rishi Sethi: Sorry, do you mind just repeating that, please?

Evelyn Liougas: Sure. Do you find that group work or networking online is as easy as live meetings that you would find in a traditional MBA program?

Rishi Sethi: Oh, yeah, to be honest with you, I find it much better. Sorry, this is Rishi speaking, and I’m a student in the program right now.

Rishi Sethi: I look back at my Bachelor’s degree experience and I think about all the group work that I had to do there, I did a Bachelor’s of Commerce, with a major in marketing management. There was a lot of group work in the last two years of that program. I’ve always tended to fall into that role of group manager. It’s just a natural tendency that I have. Rallying the troops online is certainly easier. I really think there’s a couple reasons for that. First of all, because we are all aware that we’re distanced, the expectation is that you’re just not going to fool around. Also, the demographic is a little bit more mature at this point, so they’re very committed to just … you’re in the program, you’re going to do it, you’re going to give it your all, and you’re going to get the most out of it. So really, the experience has been very, very smooth. I’ve never had an issue trying to get a group meeting going.

Rishi Sethi: Usually, when class starts, I’ll try to set up a meeting. If that class has a group requirement, I’ll try to set up a meeting in the beginning of the course, get everybody together and coordinated. We’ll figure out what all the deliverables are for that … if there’s a major assignment that we have to together, and then we’ll just each break from there and we’ll reconvene whenever we have to, going forward. So overall, it’s been a very good experience in that regard.

Rishi Sethi: From a networking standpoint, I’ve remained in contact with a lot people and developed some pretty solid relationships from all over the country. So it’s really been beneficial, just good feedback and getting opinions from people that work in different industries and knew something that’s really important.

Evelyn Liougas: Thank you. Next one is for Chris. Is there a tutorial for using the online platform that we take prior to starting the program?

Christopher L: Sure, so I can walk you through the welcome process. Once the student is accepted into the program, they would be scheduled into a welcome webinar, which uses Blackboard Collaborate. Students, through that webinar, would be provided all of the important information you need to know to start the program. You would meet your new colleagues, your new peers in the program, and you would be provided that live overview of Blackboard Collaborate. One of the advantages to having that webinar is that by day one of course, when your lead faculty or your instructor holds a live session, you’ll know how to use Collaborate and you’ll be familiar with it and you’ll know that it works on your computer and you’ll be ready to go.

Christopher L: After that process, you would be booked into a one-to-one welcome call with your student advisor. And in that welcome call, the student advisor would go through all of your important accounts at Northeastern, sort of where you register, how you register and how you access those resources.

PART 2 OF 3 ENDS [00:38:04]

Christopher L: Sure how you register, and how you access those resources and they do that with you on the phone so you would become familiar with those processes and then after that we do have an online graduate resource center. That resource center consists of a number of modules that walk you through everything you need to know about Blackboard so how to complete a test, how to upload an assignment, everything you need to know as well as providing you a chance to network with students that are in the program. So if you’re joining the program from New York and you’re looking for maybe someone in New York that has some used text books, you can go to the New York discussion thread and post a request for anyone in New York that is looking to sell their textbooks from a previous run of the course.

Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you. Next one is for the enrollment advisors. Can the degree be
completed without visiting campus? Is it recommended that students do visit campus?

Michelle: It’s Michelle here. No, you don’t need to come to campus at any time, it’s not a requirement, everything can be done 100% online but I mean, if you are in Boston area or if you would like to come visit the campus, you’re more than welcome to do so. You can come and speak with your fellow professors, faculty members, use our resources, so if you would like to come, you’re more than welcome too, but no it’s not a requirement.

Speaker 1: And I’d like to just jump in here, back to a couple of points that I had mentioned at the beginning of the presentation about the optional residencies and again, if you choose too, you can complete ne of your general electives, this usually takes place in the second year of the program. You can and you’re welcome to one week on campus as opposed to five week online and then of course there’s the international study trip which, as I mentioned, has been a highlight of many of the students from what I’ve heard.

Evelyn Liougas: Thank you. Our next one is also for the advisor, can you specify what specifically is needed in terms of professional experience?

Kira: Yes, a typical applicant would require minimum five solid years of full time professional work experience. If there’s ever any doubt we would be happy to take a look at your resume to see what your professional background has been over the years. Just to give attendees some perspective, students in the program on average are in their late 30s to mid 40s so it is a more seasoned demographic and so there’s a lot of emphasis on work experience. So the program is competitive but we’ll be happy to take a look at your resume. Thank you.

Evelyn Liougas: Thank you. Next one is also for the advisor. What is the level of working business experience and teaching experience of the instructors?

Speaker 1: Thank you. The professors in the program are all doctorate, they’re all PhDs. They have varying experience, but the common thread between them is that they’ve all been very active in industry. Many of them are graduates from very reputable schools. I would encourage you to just visit our website to look at the faculty page or you can look in the brochure as well. There’s a lot of detail about what they do and their accomplishments but the team is delivering a very good program, that’s the important thing to understand. Thank you.

Evelyn Liougas: Thank you. Next one’s for Chris, what percentage of the course work is group project based?

Christopher L: So that question is highly variable. There are some courses that do not have group work so the summer one, MGSC6204 Information Resources course, for example, three work course has no group work in it whereas other courses do. So Marketing 6200 summer two course will have group work. The important thing to know about the group work is that the group that you begin the course with is the group that you work with throughout that full course so you don’t have a group project due in a week two, and then a brand new group for week four. So once you figure out your rhythm with your group you’ll continue to work with them and then once you do move to your elective courses, depending on what elective courses you choose, there is a variable amount of group work. One of the advantages of the online program is that you do have a student advisor who you work with and who would be able to provide you insight into whether the course that you’re taking coming up does have group work or not.

Christopher L: And like Rishi said, the group work is really strong because it also you to connect with students that you might otherwise not connect with and learn aspects of their experience that you might not have access too. So we have one student, for example, that is located in Alaska and through group work she met with a student that lives in Boston and they’ve become very close in terms of business and just sort of a friendship and they’ve actually made trips to sort of meet in the middle and have dinner and work on the projects and keep up that relationship and that’s a relationship that they might not otherwise have had access too.

Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you. Next one’s for the advisors. If I didn’t have 3.0 undergrad GPA but I have 24 years of experience in which 17 are at the leadership level and I’m currently heading a global practice, excuse me, what would you recommend in terms of applying?

Speaker 1: Very good question. Now, when the review committee looks at the application portfolio they look at it from a wholistic perspective or point of view. How many years, 17, 24 years, that’s a long time ago and with demonstrated leadership experience that’s good. We would recommend definitely sending in or speaking to your enrollment advisor, speaking to them specifically about your GPA being below the 3.0. If you have additional schooling that also works in your favor but again, sending in the resume and having a discussion with your enrollment advisor is the best advice I could give.

Evelyn Liougas: Perfect, thank you. Next one’s for Chris, if you start the program and decide you cannot continue, are you committed to the full cost of the program?

Christopher L: So tuition is assessed on a per credit basis so you would only be committing to the courses that you begin. So you’re not responsible for the full tuition for the full program up front, you would be paying on a course by course basis.

Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you. Next one’s for the advisors. Do you require a GMAT or GRE for admission?

Kira: When applicants meet the minimum requirements of having the 3.0 GPA in their undergrad and having the five years full time work experience, then that would qualify them to apply without the GMAT. So generally when yes, those requirements are met, there’s no GMAT required.

Speaker 1: I would like to just add to that. So just picking up from what Kyra said, now the GMAT in general, GMAT, GRE, they’re not required per se however should someone not meet the GPA requirement, the advisor may recommend just to help them strengthen their application portfolio that they perhaps submit a GMAT score but on the whole it is not a requirement of the program.

Evelyn Liougas: Perfect, thank you. The next question has come up before but we will address it again because it’s come up again several times. Are there any online lectures that require you to attend a virtual class at a specified time? If so, what percentage? Otherwise can the rest of the lectures be viewed on your own? Chris, that’s for you.

Christopher L: Yeah, so there is no requirement that you are online at a certain time. There may be instances where a certain test is only available for three days, so you would need to log in and complete that test during the three day period, but there is no requirement that you be at a set place at a set time.

Evelyn Liougas: Great. Chris, also for you, is Blackboard the main communication tool?

Christopher L: So yes, Blackboard is your main communication tool. It’s linked to all of the other university systems so if someone emails you through Blackboard it would actually forward to your North Eastern email account and you can set that email account to forward to your personal account if you are like me and find that multiple email addresses can be confusing. But Blackboard is the main communication tool and the main delivery tool for the program.

Evelyn Liougas: Great.

Christopher L: And I just want to sort of emphasize Blackboard isn’t a platform to be afraid of. One of the jokes that a number of the advisors here make was when they started working with the program they were really intimidated by Blackboard but they picked it up really quickly and they don’t have a technical background so they always say that if they can do it, you can do it. And they’re here to walk you through it so there’s never an instance where, if there’s ever a chance where you’re trying to do something on Blackboard and you don’t know how, you can either call your student advisor who will spend the time with you to walk you through it, or you can call 24 seven technical support whether it be 5:00 PM, 5:00 AM, they’re there to help you every step of the way.

Evelyn Liougas: Thank you. For the advisors, how many courses are taken at one time?

Speaker 1: So the way the program is structured there are three semesters: spring, summer, and fall and within each semester you’re taking three courses. However, you’re taking one course at a time and as Rishi previously mentioned, on average the course is about five weeks. The focus is just on the one course at a time. All your attention is given to that one course. You get to integrate the information, the theory, the knowledge, apply it in your job, and then hopefully retain it for the rest of your life. Then there’s a week break, and then you start the next one so three courses per semester. On average five weeks in length, one at a time, with a break between courses.

Evelyn Liougas: And this is a follow up question. Since the program attendance is a synchronous, can a student take more courses at a given time in order to shorten the length of the program?

Christopher L: So that would be a [crosstalk 00:49:17].

Kira: Sorry, go ahead Chris, please go ahead.

Christopher L: So that would be a conversation that you would need to have with your student advisor. I can state that your first year of courses, you can only take one class at a time but if there was any adjustments to that schedule it would be on a case by case basis and would need to be discussed with your student advisor.

Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you. Next question. Where can I find a degree plan and the course schedule? For Chris?

Christopher L: So if you contact our enrollment team they will be able to provide you with the degree plan. If you’re looking for the curriculum, the curriculum is listed on the website. I recognize that that doesn’t have all of the dates of the courses so if you contact our enrollment team they will be able to share that with you.

Evelyn Liougas: Okay, thank you. We may have addressed this partially, but it’s come up a few times. What are the assignments like, are they project or short answer like? Chris?

Christopher L: So it depends, sorry to say this again, it depends on the nature of the course and the objectives that the lead faculty has set out. There are some assignments that are project based. You might complete a different part of the project every week and at the end of the course you’ll roll that up into a final project. I know that the marketing course has a final project that is a marketing plan. In other courses it’s a weekly deliverable or an exam, so there might be one or two courses that you complete that has a midterm and a final whereas other courses will have a weekly case study.

Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you. We have time for about three more questions. Next one is for the advisors. How does a student express interest in the international study trip?

Kira: Yeah, so yearly student services actually sends out invitations or announcements about upcoming international field study opportunities that become available and it is usually on a first come first served basis. You would be allowed to list your top three choices and depending on the availability you’d be moving down the list. So last year, opportunities were open to the BRIC nations, so that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China, and Argentina and I believe it does change each year. Chris might have some more insights on that. Thank you.

Evelyn Liougas: Thank you. Chris, do you have anything to add to that?

Christopher L: Kyra’s exactly right. So you would receive a notification early, depending on where you start, early in your first year of studies. It usually comes out around October for students who would qualify for the trip the following year. There’s an application process to make sure that there isn’t too many students on the trip, there is a limited number of seats, and soon as that goes through that process, we’ll then work to attend.

Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you. Next question, are the online professors for the MS Finance
program the same as the professors on campus?

Christopher L: Yes, they are.

Evelyn Liougas: Okay. Short and sweet, next question is the MSF program regionally and or nationally accredited? For the enrollment advisors.

Speaker 1: The MS Finance program, it’s actually the business school that would have the accreditation, so the most important one you want to consider is AACSB and then it’s also the New England Regional Accreditation as well.

Evelyn Liougas: Thank you. We have time for one final question. Can you comment on how your program, this is related to the MST program, how your program compares to other MS taxation programs? What is it about your program that makes it different from other schools?

Michelle: It really depends on the type of schools that you’re looking at in terms of what you’re looking to do. I mean, specifically for the MST program, it depends on if [inaudible 00:53:59] coming in to take only MST courses, if you’re looking to pursue a CPA license and so forth. A lot of the programs outside of North Eastern, it’s best to compare and take a look at what courses they offer. I know that there are some programs outside of north Eastern that would offer accounting courses or management courses part of the taxation program whereas with North Eastern’s program all the courses are strictly taxation I mean, there’s no accounting courses, there’s no auditing courses, so it’s very specialized. It’s for individuals who want to really be an expert in taxation. But I encourage you, if you would like more information regarding the tax program, speak with your enrollment advisor and they’ll be able to provide you more information.

Evelyn Liougas: Great, thank you everyone. Just some closing remarks before we end this webinar, an enrollment advisor will be following up with you over the next few days to answer any questions that we were not able to answer. If you would like to contact an advisor immediately you may reach them by calling the numbers on the screen there. This concludes out webinar, thank you everyone for-

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