During the COVID-19 pandemic, the concept of hybrid work rapidly came to the public eye, as schools and companies evaluated the best, most effective combinations of digital and distance productivity. Even as the need for social distancing diminishes, organizations will still look to improve upon hybrid environments, both from a cost standpoint and for the health and ease of students and employees. Many organizations are struggling to strike the right balance and are implementing a mix of experimentation and successive approximation to try and hit the mark.
However, the Auburn University Executive MBA program has been a leader in hybrid education since before the pandemic, and has the longevity to back this up: the class of 2023 will be the twenty-fourth cohort to graduate from the Auburn EMBA program. While others are looking for how to make the new world work for their students, Auburn University is continuing to implement a highly successful, tried and true program. Here’s how they do it.
Built on a principle of work-school balance.
The Auburn EMBA prides itself on flexibility: the program understands its students’ needs to continue their executive work alongside their education. The curriculum model is a twenty-one month program, blending concentrated university residencies with online distance learning. This works from a safety standpoint as the world works through the COVID-19 pandemic, but also from a logistical standpoint: students can get the necessary campus time with their cohort during the residencies, while spending the majority of their time fulfilling executive obligations alongside distance learning.
The average Auburn EMBA student is an already established executive with years of experience, looking for new knowledge to further their leadership skills. The hybrid model looks to aid ongoing work, not take away from it during the program. The course schedule works in manageable time commitments for required campus time, all while allowing students to immediately apply what they learn in real-time to their current executive positions.
High-quality and high-intention campus residencies
With the majority of your Auburn education done remotely, the course still requires on-campus time with instructors and cohort. These campus residencies respect students’ busy schedules by making sure that the time spent in-person is both high-quality and intentionally curated to provide students with the most valuable experiences that cannot be replicated online. The time commitment is only nineteen days over the length of the program, allowing students to study on their own time, continue their careers, but also gain valuable in-person experience in an academic setting, with team projects and lectures.
The Auburn University EMBA’s hybrid is education at the right balance: courses and workloads are primarily done online, but with enough in-person availability to apply one’s studies with their cohort in real time, to spend time with instructors face to face, and to develop a robust network.
In today’s business world, networking is a balance of in-person connections and digital presence. The Auburn EMBA’s hybrid of online learning and carefully balanced campus work gives students the opportunity to connect with their cohort on these different levels. This allows students to connect on solutions in group studies, but also refreshes an executive’s existing network, adding one’s cohort to their potential business growth and developments after graduation.
A proven track record of online education.
Since Auburn has long implemented its hybrid model, its online learning program gives students all the available tools for distance learning: online lectures, instructor and cohort access, and access to valuable supplemental education materials. Even with longevity established, Auburn continually looks for ways to enhance its online education offerings, making the EMBA experience as natural and complete as a fully in-person education would be. They acknowledge the potential for disconnect from a distance and tailor their offerings to make online learning an extension of the actual classroom.
A Valuable Investment in Your Career
An Auburn Executive MBA is focused on student value, with a tuition cost notably less than other ranked EMBA programs. The school prides itself on making tuition costs reasonable, in addition to expenses for course materials, travel, and various fees. In a time when schools and organizations are coming under scrutiny for increased costs in the wake of the pandemic, the Auburn model goes back years, with a sensible approach to cost effectiveness and a distance learning/in-person balance that is well-established, especially as other institutions quickly learn to navigate their own happy medium in our distance-conscious world.
Instead of hybrid learning being an afterthought, the Auburn program makes it the forefront of its experience.