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College of William and Mary Introduces Blended Online MBA Program

The Mason School of Business at the College of William & Mary has big plans for the 2013-2014 school year, with the launch of an online Master of Business Administration program scheduled for January 2014. According to the Williamsburg Yorktown Daily, the MBA school has designed a blended learning experience to allow students to conduct most of their coursework online. The program would require MBA students to visit the campus in Williamsburg, Virginia, a few times a year.

The College of William & Mary aims to join other online MBA schools while maintaining the quality and individuality of the educational experience. The business school hopes that the blended online MBA program appeals to potential students who have not been able to enroll in its full-time MBA, Flex MBA or executive MBA programs. The Flex MBA, designed specifically for working professionals, still requires too much in-class time for some students, including individuals in the military and those whose business responsibilities require them to travel often.

Mason School of Business Dean Larry Pulley cites recent research suggesting that blended degree programs have slightly better outcomes than programs that are strictly online or on campus. Pulley assures that demand for the blended online degree program exists and that William & Mary's program can offer students opportunities for interaction.

"The blended program removes some of the face-to-face time, but it cannot remove experiences," Pulley says, adding that successful programs "are all about relationships."