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U.S. News rankings place UW MBA Consortium in the top 3.5% of programs

Posted: February 7th, 2024

The University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium is once again ranked among the top online master's degree programs in business administration in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report.

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In the rankings report released Feb. 7, the consortium program, which includes UW-Eau Claire, UW-La Crosse and UW Oshkosh, was named 12th overall for online master's programs, the 12th best program in the nation for veterans and 13th for general management programs. UW-Eau Claire is the managing partner for the UW MBA Consortium.

"We're proud to again be recognized among the best programs in the nation, in the top 3.5% of all schools considered for this distinction," says Jessica Franson, UW MBA Consortium managing director. "Since its inception, the UW MBA Consortium program has been a flexible, affordable and high-value option for students, many of whom tell us that they would not have been able to earn their MBA without the flexibility our program provides."

Franson says that while the program focus on the high-quality general MBA remains central, plans to add certificate pathways are in the works.

"Our first pathway options in health care management launched in fall 2023, giving students the option of pursuing an MBA with a health care management emphasis or a graduate business certificate in health care management. We already have 50 students in the MBA program pursuing the health care management emphasis. Given the initial success of these pathway options, we plan to add additional specialized, stackable options to broaden the appeal of our program," Franson says.

Dr. Lisa Jepsen, who became dean of the UW-Eau Claire College of Business on Feb. 1, is eager to take an active role in working with the MBA Consortium, a program that she says influenced her choice to seek the dean position.

"I have experience directing an MBA program, and the national ranking of the UW MBA Consortium program spoke volumes to me about the level of excellence and innovation found here at UW-Eau Claire and our consortium partner campuses," Jepsen says.

"I look forward to furthering the collaborations in this groundbreaking consortium, which has reached beyond Wisconsin. By design, the online program has made the dream of a master's degree in business a reality for state, regional and national graduates. The UW MBA Consortium shows exactly what can happen when leaders seek new ways to meet the needs of students in the evolving landscape of higher education."

The U.S. News rankings are based on scores/rank in five core program categories. They are:

  • Engagement and accreditation.
  • Faculty credentials and training.
  • Student services and technology.
  • Student excellence.
  • Peer assessment.

A closer look at the category scores shows that the UW MBA Consortium received the top ranking in faculty credentials and training, something that comes as no surprise to Dr. Paula Lentz, academic director of the UW MBA Consortium and faculty member for one of the program's core courses.

"We take great pride that we earned top marks in faculty qualifications," Lentz says. "All our faculty come from distinguished academic and professional backgrounds, creating a rigorous, relevant and contemporary MBA program. We have worked hard to build a community of inquiry and a community of practice among our instructors. Our faculty really are the very best at what they do."

Collaboration between partner campuses has been key to the program's success over the years and is one of the program's values.

"The collaborative culture across our partner campuses along with the collective insights of our faculty elevates each student's intellectual journey and experience," says Dr. Frank Braun, Dean of the UW Oshkosh College of Business.

For more information about the UW MBA Consortium and its placement in the U.S. News online MBA rankings, contact Jessica Franson, UW MBA Consortium managing director, at 715-836-3880 or fransonj@uwec.edu

Article written by Denise Olson, UW-Eau Claire IMC

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