Rockhurst Partners with KU, UMKC to Form Big 3 MBA AllianceOctober 8, 2013

Less than five percent of the world’s business schools are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, but three of them call Kansas City home.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City, University of Kansas and Rockhurst University have joined together to form the Big 3 MBA Alliance – a first-of-its-kind partnership between the AACSB-accredited schools to better educate prospective students on the value of a Master of Business Administration degree. The new partnership aims to inform Kansas Citians that it matters where you earn your MBA.

“In today’s world, some employers view an MBA degree as simply a box to check when reviewing someone’s job application,” said Cheryl McConnell, dean of Rockhurst University’s Helzberg School of Management. “KU, UMKC and Rockhurst have come together to change this because when you invest in a top MBA program, you’ll graduate with a top degree, connections to alumni networks filled with the world’s leading business professionals, and, most of all, a skill set that can take you anywhere you want to go.”

Despite competing for many of the same MBA candidates, program directors and deans at all three institutions agreed that it was time to form the alliance.

“Area students are fortunate to have three excellent programs in their backyard, and it’s beneficial for these institutions to work together to offer students options for a top-tier education,” said Neeli Bendapudi, dean of the KU School of Business.

What sets the MBA programs at KU, UMKC and Rockhurst apart from others in Kansas City? In short, AACSB accreditation, vast alumni networks that span the globe, and full campus facilities.

“Many types of accreditation sound the same, but they’re not,” said David Donnelly, acting dean, UMKC Bloch School of Management. “The MBA programs at Rockhurst, UMKC and KU are all AACSB-accredited, which is the highest standard of achievement in business education. Our programs promote a level of rigor that adds value to the education an MBA student receives, as well as value to the MBA graduate themselves in the eyes of employers.”

The institutions want students, as well as employers, to look more closely at each program they’re considering.

“Details like accreditation and national rankings are important to consider because education is such a huge investment of time and money,” said Bendapudi. “The importance of attending an AACSB-accredited school is revealed in the programs’ ability to bridge theory with practice, something all three schools excel at.”

Other quality factors shared by these institutions include national rankings, world-class faculty, and the fact that all three boast long histories in Kansas City.

“This partnership is monumental,” said McConnell. “It is changing how Kansas City views MBA programs. An MBA is not just a check box anymore. It’s about top-tier academic programs that lead to fulfilling careers.”

Learn more about the alliance and each of the three MBA programs involved at big3mba.com 

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