In 2019, the University of Kentucky MBA program at the Gatton College of Business and Economics launched its new Real-Time, Online MBA option in the Professional MBA program, introduced its first concentration in Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation and continued to expand enrollment in the Professional MBA (For Leaders in Healthcare) program. In 2020, the UK MBA anticipates new student enrollment to be mostly impacted in recruiting more high-quality distance online learners in Kentucky (especially in other major nearby regional markets), identifying strong candidates for their entrepreneurship concentration and bringing in more healthcare professionals (clinical and non-clinical) to pursue the healthcare track in the MBA which is the largest growing section in the program currently.
"The MBA is a competitive space, and we have to continuously think about what the market expects from our candidates along with how our students want to engage with our program and each other", says Harvie Wilkinson, MBA Program Director at Gatton. "In response, the Real-Time Online MBA was necessary as more working professionals and leading executives are needing additional flexibility and accountability as they pursue their graduate work while maintaining their full-time professional and personal commitments. Our research clearly shows that healthcare and entrepreneurship are growing areas of interest which lead the UK MBA to expand our entrepreneurship courses, while offering business courses designed specifically for healthcare leaders. In 2020, we anticipate the major growth of our program to be in the online space, healthcare industry and entrepreneurship."
Real-Time, Online MBA:
Unlike standard "asynchronous" MBA programs, candidates in Gatton's new "synchronous" Real-Time, Online MBA can attend classes in person, online from any location, or a combination of both. The technology delivers a live and virtual classroom environment in which students can learn, connect and participate with faculty, classmates and project teams. In 2019, the UK MBA launched a soft marketing campaign to target certain working professionals and industries in Kentucky. In 2020, a more robust marketing campaign will target working professionals in various industries, sectors and companies in Kentucky and beyond, with emphasis on markets such as Louisville, Cincinnati, Paducah, KY, Pikeville, KY, Nashville, Chicago, Indianapolis and Atlanta. UK and Gatton alums who haven't received their MBA to date will also be given serious consideration for spots in the Fall 2020 (and future) classes.
"This is an exciting opportunity for us and our students at the Gatton College of Business and the University of Kentucky's MBA program,” says Dr. Paul Childs, Associate Dean of Graduate Programs at the Gatton College of Business. “In 2020 and beyond, we certainly anticipate the future of our UK MBA program to be in the online space and will continue to deliver a quality, high-touch online experience to our distance learners who are engaging with our program in real-time."
Professional MBA (For Leaders in Healthcare):
The Professional MBA (For Leaders in Healthcare) program provides the business knowledge to meet today's healthcare management challenges. Healthcare professionals such as physicians, residents, nurses, pharmacists, administrators and military will learn from experienced professors and other industry leaders in healthcare-specific class sections alongside core business classes. In 2019, the Professional MBA (For Leaders in Healthcare) program represented over half of the incoming Fall cohort. This program is also offered in the Real-Time, Online MBA option as well.
"I wanted to make sure I had the tools necessary to be an effective leader," says Dr. Phillip Chang, Chief Medical Officer at UK Healthcare. "The Professional MBA (For Leaders in Healthcare) program met my goals through stimulating course work, engaging professors and like-minded peers in healthcare. The program helped me better understand the non-clinical side of healthcare, and it helped me develop additional management and leadership skills."
In 2020, the Professional MBA (For Leaders in Healthcare) plans to expand its recruitment strategy to healthcare systems and professionals both within and beyond Central Kentucky with emphasis on to healthcare leaders at Appalachian Regional Healthcare, Baptist Health, Catholic Health Initiatives, Ephraim McDowell Health, Norton Healthcare, Owensboro Health, St. Claire Regional Medical Center, St. Elizabeth Healthcare, UK HealthCare and the VA Medical Center.
Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation:
The city of Lexington, along with Central Kentucky, is producing a strong and vibrant entrepreneurial community. In response to this demand, the UK MBA introduced its first concentration in Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation, which will deliver on the following core objectives:
- Understand business opportunity identification, concept development and validation
- Practice hands-on development of a business concept, a business plan and perform a business pitch in a new venture competition
- Research in-depth financial principles to both familiarize and discover ways to fund, scale and manage a new venture/small business, including managing intellectual property
- Learn how and when to act, learn, and lead in the ever-changing, global business landscape
- Apply classroom knowledge and theory to real-world business problems in leading organizations of all types and sizes
Students will have the opportunity to take four entrepreneurship courses to obtain the full concentration in Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation I, New Venture Finance, Law & Business of IP Management and Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation II (Capstone). Candidates will learn from experienced faculty that have all been successful entrepreneurs and have obtained the required industry knowledge in their respective careers. The culmination of the capstone course will be a new business plan "pitch" competition, which will bridge the entrepreneurial community with faculty and students on campus.