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The College of St. Scholastica

If you’re interested in pursuing a master’s in business administration (MBA), you’ve likely done your fair share of research. You’ve probably read all about the higher employment rates and increased networking prospects available to those with an MBA. And you likely also know about the amplified salary potential and enlarged opportunity for career advancement.

But what you may not know is that The College of St. Scholastica’s (CSS) MBA in Leadership and Change is transforming the way we prepare business leaders to impart real change in their fields. This curriculum was designed based on the notion that today’s leaders need more than just foundational knowledge to guide organizations through times of change and growth.

Read on to learn more about this innovative MBA program – it could be the key that helps unlock your true leadership potential!

5 things you didn’t know about CSS’ MBA in Leadership & Change

1. It’s different than traditional MBA programs

Most traditional MBA programs concentrate almost wholly on foundational knowledge, leaving things like contextual interpretation to the wayside. The faculty at CSS see a need for today’s leaders to maintain a deeper understanding of organization development and a greater appreciation for the social impact of each decision made.

As a student in this program, you will inherit a comprehensive skillset focusing on leadership, organizational change and strategic management. The program elevates ethical decision-making with a focus on inclusion, organizational behavior and socio-economic theory. “We prepare leaders who can think outside the traditional box,” explains Bob Hartl, director of the program.

“There are very few masters programs like this in the country, and none that we’re aware of in the Midwest,” he says. “We see students make tremendous jumps in their abilities to think through complex organizational issues and confidently lead change initiatives. The program is behaviorally-based and was created to help people develop leadership skills that integrate their personal, professional and social lives in a sustainable wholeness.”

Hartl believes that anyone with the aptitude can gain the so-called “hard skills” of business, but those are relatively easy to find in the marketplace. The most effective leaders possess what he refers to as the “complex skills.” These are skills that require an understanding of human behavior and how to align people around strategic objectives. Rather than determining a single solution when attempting to instill change, these more complex skills prepare professionals to determine interconnected networks of solutions that can make a lasting impact.

2. It’s affordable

Going back to school to pursue an MBA can be a big decision. You have to consider the ease of balancing your graduate coursework with your day job. You need to think about the length of time you can realistically commit to a program. And you undoubtedly will ruminate on the financial impact tuition and possible time away from work could have on you and your family.

If these considerations top your list when looking into MBA programs, you can rest assured that CSS had students like you in mind when designing this graduate experience. With two campuses offering interactive, face-to-face courses — Duluth, Minn. and St. Paul, Minn. — and flexible full- or part-time learning opportunities, you can enhance your organizational leadership skills with an MBA in Leadership and Change in as few as 12 months.

It’s an added benefit that earning your advanced degree won’t cost you an arm and a leg. While the average cost of a two-year MBA reaches more than $50,000, you can earn your MBA in Leadership and Change at CSS for a total cost of less than $19,000.*

3. Enrollment is soaring (despite the national decline)

In your research, you may have come across headlines that suggest MBA enrollment is experiencing a nationwide decline. Application numbers for traditional part- and full-time MBA programs dropped at more than 50% of U.S. institutions in 2016 — and this percentage climbs even higher in the Midwest. Experts attribute this decline to improvements in the U.S. job market, maintaining that when people have jobs, they’re less willing to part with their professional responsibilities to go back to school.

But in the midst of this nationwide trend, the MBA in Leadership and Change program at CSS saw record enrollment in 2016, increasing by more than 28 percent. More and more business professionals are recognizing the practical value of the innovative curriculum developed by Hartl and his team. The flexible learning options also make it easier for them to maintain the responsibilities of their full-time jobs while earning this advanced degree.

4. It places great value in diversity & cultural competence

The faculty of the MBA in Leadership and Change program at CSS are committed to preparing business leaders who are adept at leading change in a diverse global economy. The value of diversity in business cannot be understated. In fact, recent studies have revealed several promising statistics that suggest increased diversity often yields positive results regarding business objectives.

For example, one study concluded that diversity in the workplace unlocks innovation and can drive market growth. Another study has yielded promising findings in support of increased gender diversity in the workplace, reporting that having women hold executive positions correlates with increased profitability.

In this MBA program, you’ll encounter an abundance of coursework and discussion relating to diversity and cultural competence, with an entire course dedicated to communication across cultural boundaries. There is even a global capstone option in which students can travel abroad with faculty for an experiential learning opportunity.

5. It’s preparing newsworthy leaders

Graduates of the master’s program are able to take the skills and concepts they learn and immediately put them into action in their respective careers. Consider the story of Duluth’s former Chief of Police, Gordon Ramsay, who earned his master’s at CSS before departing from Minnesota to accept the police chief position in Wichita, Kansas.

Many Duluth locals lamented the loss of Ramsay, as he was a respected officer who has been said to represent the very best in modern policing. His move to Wichita occurred during the height of the recent police protests that have cropped up around the country. While most police departments attempted to control the protests, Ramsay’s department instead committed to using police patrols to protect protesters.

These and other actions led to the viral story of the Wichita Police Department joining together with the local Black Lives Matter group at the latter’s First Steps Community Cookout. It was an important first step in a joint goal: bridging the gap between police and the community.

This is one of many success stories from graduates of St. Scholastica’s graduate programs — could yours be next?

Take your leadership skills to the next level

Are you ready to pursue an MBA, but you’re eager for something different from the run-of-the-mill programs at most institutions? If so, an innovative, comprehensive program that can help prepare you to make a positive impact awaits you at CSS.

“This is an MBA program you can’t get anywhere else,” Hartl ensures.

To learn more about the program, request more information or even apply today, visit St. Scholastica’s MBA in Leadership and Change page.  


*Tuition numbers reflect information from the 2016-17 school year and are subject to change.