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Battle Creek-based MBA program begins this fall

April 21, 2008

KALAMAZOO--For Battle Creek area residents, earning a master's degree in business administration is about to get a lot more convenient, thanks to a new graduate degree program set to launch at Western Michigan University's downtown Kendall Center campus this fall.

WMU's Haworth College of Business will offer its complete MBA program at WMU-Battle Creek, with the first classes set to kick off in September. The program will be the only MBA program offered in Battle Creek and will include a sequenced set of evening courses that will allow a student cohort to earn their degrees in as few 32 months.

The program will be designed to serve the professional development needs of area business leaders and young professionals by offering learning and networking opportunities that integrate the most advanced thinking on best business practices. The program will bring the resources of one of the nation's largest colleges of business to the Battle Creek community.

"By growing program offerings, we're serving the needs of both employers and employees with the Battle Creek community," says Sharon Seabrook Russell, director of WMU's Battle Creek Campus. "This program will teach students about strategy, problem solving, decision-making and teamwork. This cross-functional approach brings an innovative perspective--one that an employer will appreciate as well."

Dr. Jack Ruhl, director of WMU's MBA programs and professor of accountancy in the Haworth College of Business, says the decision to expand to Battle Creek was an easy one to make, as was the decision to offer the degree in a cohort format that will allow students to have a sense of continuity and develop close class ties.

"We've had several requests from major employers in the Battle Creek area for this kind of program," Ruhl says. "We think that offering it in a cohort format will help build a close-knit core of business professionals whose advanced training and close connections to each other will benefit the community for many years."

The campus is hosting several information sessions offering details about the Battle Creek MBA. Sessions will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Monday, April 21, and Tuesday, May 27, at the Kendall Center. For those who attend one of those information sessions, the University will waive the $40 program application fee.

Russell encourages prospective students to attend a session and apply by the July 1 deadline if they want to begin the program this fall.

"Graduates of WMU's MBA program are leading exciting business careers, and we feel there are plenty of rewarding opportunities for them here in Battle Creek," she says. "We're thrilled to be able to offer a program of this caliber to the community."

Western Michigan University's Haworth College of Business has been offering MBA programs since 1961. The college is one of a select group of U.S. business schools fully accredited at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. The college has been continuously accredited by the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business at the undergraduate level since 1970 and at the graduate level since 1981. The Haworth College main facility is Schneider Hall on WMU's main campus in Kalamazoo. That state-of-the art facility was built in the style of a modern corporate headquarters. The college was named in 1989 for the Haworth family of Holland, Mich., and office furniture manufacturing giant Haworth Inc., which was founded by WMU alumnus G.W. Haworth.

For more information about the new Battle Creek program, contact Sharon Seabrook Russell, at sharon.russell@wmich.edu or (269) 965-5380.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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