May 27, 2016
The first students enrolled in Southern New Hampshire University's Master in Business Administration program more than 40 years ago: a class of 44 at then-New Hampshire College in Manchester in 1974.
Classes were offered in the evening to accommodate the needs of busy, working adults, and students could focus on one of five specializations: accounting, business education, business management, management information services and nonprofit institutional management.
The 1975 Commencement program lists the first MBA graduate as Mohd Faud Bin Haji Ahmad.
In 1973, Amhad traveled to New Hampshire on a sabbatical from his employment with the Urban Development Authority in Malaysia, a governmental agency responsible for the redevelopment of dilapidated buildings and the conservation of historical urban properties. With a combination of transfer credits and a singular focus, he earned his undergraduate degree in business and his MBA in two years.
When he returned to his post with the UDA, Ahmad was armed with a skill set that set him apart from his peers, the same outcomes that define the SNHU MBA program today: expertise in a diverse range of business needs, the ability to adapt to challenges and provide solutions to complex problems, and the grace and acumen to connect with people and build teams.
Today, the university boasts one of the most affordable MBA programs in the country, with nearly 30 concentrations, from healthcare management to Six Sigma. The degrees are available on campus and online and can be customized with a graduate certificate or as an international MBA.
With close to 7,000 students and a network of 14,000 alumni, the MBA is one of SNHU's most well-respected and rigorously maintained academic programs.
Peter Chase '85 '92 MBA continues to leverage his SNHU experience and network, often looking to the university to staff his successful small business, Scribe Software. He says that SNHU's reputation for providing innovative, flexible learning models - including the MBA program - has historically attracted a diverse student population and adult learners. Chase trusts this kind of candidate.
"I like scrappy," he said, "and SNHU students have often fought for their education. The people in my classes were spending time away from their families. They were driven and focused. And that's the kind of employee I want, someone with patience, persistence, empathy, creativity and relentless drive."
The university is vigilant about making sure the MBA remains rigorous and relevant for students. The program is evaluated and updated regularly, with the latest revision taking place last fall after consulting with industry experts and prominent businesses.
"We made the program more holistic, leveraged learning science to aid student learning, enhanced the academic quality, and increased the level of soft skills in the MBA to ensure that the program remains of the highest quality and provides the most value for our students," said Dr. Bruce Stetar, executive director of COCE Graduate Business. "We know that our MBA program remains relevant and rigorous based on validation by our subject-matter experts, continued levels of students success, and the positive feedback we have received from students and faculty since the rollout of the revised program."
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For Toni Harris, winning a scholarship to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing next month fits perfectly with her lifelong interest in computing and technology.
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