As online learning continues to grow in importance, William & Mary’s Raymond A. Mason School of Business launched its new Center for Online Learning in 2018 to bring an engaging learning environment directly to students’ computers.
The center represents a major development in the school’s portfolio of online graduate business degree programs since it first offered an online MBA program six years ago. The school has expanded its online offerings with the addition of a new Master of Science in Business Analytics program in summer 2018, and a newly launched Master of Science in Marketing. The center has also launched a certificate in business analytics and is preparing to launch a Master of Science degree in finance. The center was made possible by a $10-million gift from philanthropist Jane P. Batten L.H.D. ’19, HON ’17.
The gift provided vital capital to get the center off the ground and will also allow for the development of additional business degree programs in the future. According to business school Dean Larry Pulley ’74, the gift’s impact has been profound. By increasing its online presence, the school has the platform and resources to offer an innovative, accessible education that is designed to deliver a close-knit student-teacher experience to students with a variety of backgrounds.
Army Capt. Jamar Jenkins M.B.A. ’18, M.S.B.A. ’20 shared the importance of this flexible, prestigious program to his career. The two-year online MBA requires students to take 12 courses that have the same curricular content offered to full-time and flex MBA students. However, they have the freedom to take classes wherever they may be. Given Jenkins’ busy, unpredictable schedule, the program was a perfect fit for him during his deployment.
“What William & Mary’s online MBA program has given to me more than anything is two things: confidence and competence,” says Jenkins, an enterprise networking product manager with Cisco Systems. Also a reservist, he is currently on active duty. “No matter who I’m working with and where they got their MBA, I am proud of my William & Mary degree and they are going to know who I am.”
The program provides a robust classroom environment wherever students are. “For an online course, I was pleasantly surprised by the level of interaction with fellow classmates and professors,” says Matthew Queripel M.B.A. ’19. “Each course has an element of collaborative work where students are assigned to groups and instructors are on hand to assist when required.”
Batten is passionate about advancing education in many forms and was inspired by President Katherine Rowe to make the pivotal donation to the university.
“Katherine Rowe’s mantra is innovation and mission-driven transformation, so I thought what better way to show my support for the university’s new president than to invest in an innovative endeavor at the business school,” says Batten.
“Through the new Center for Online Learning, we are ensuring that a William & Mary business degree is within reach of so many more professionals, no matter where they live or work in the world.”
—Jane P. Batten L.H.D. ’19, HON ’17