WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Dec. 11, 2017 — The inaugural class of West Liberty University’s MBA graduates participated in its first commencement ceremony Saturday, December 9. The online degree was begun in 2016.
“This is our first group of graduates to walk in commencement and we are so proud. Seven of the graduates are from the August class of graduates and eight completed the MBA in December. We wish them luck and happiness as they move on professionally with this master’s degree,” said Dr. Gregory Chase, online MBA program director.
The graduates enjoyed a special reception in the Alumni Room prior to graduation ceremony where they were presented with commemorative gifts to mark their status as the inaugural class.
The inaugural MBA Graduating Class and their hometown includes: Billy M. Apostolon, Karissa N. Duke, Candace Goines, Caitlyn A. Moore, Jason D. Owens, Wheeling; Heath R. Brooks, Samuel J. Falbo, Ryan J. Turner, Shadyside, Ohio; Danielle M. Gunto, Proctor, W.Va.; Jonathan E. Hagan, Geoff D. Lucas, Triadelphia, W.Va.; Stephanie L. Randolph, Weirton, W.Va.; Christopher R. Secore, Columbus, Ohio; Ashley N. Simmons, New Martinsburg, W.Va. and Zachary T. Smith, Moundsville, W.Va.
The MBA represents a milestone for the university, since it is the first program specifically designed to be 100-percent online, though a new online program is in the works and will be announced soon.
The online MBA began as a 30-credit hour degree program with a concentration in management. Students can complete the MBA in one year as a full-time student or in one year eight months as a part-time student. Classes are taught year-round during six, seven-week terms in an academic year.
“We are looking forward to adding another track in August 2018, this one will be an accounting track, with a specialization in fraud examination. Once a student completes this program they will have their MBA and can sit and pass the certified fraud examiner exam, offering them another certification in addition to the MBA. It is in huge demand and we are grateful to accounting instructor Jim Crumbacher for developing the accounting track,” Chase said.
Crumbacher has been with WLU since 2008.
“Our online MBA is appealing to students today who are very busy and employed but still want to earn a MBA from a quality program. Our degree offers all the flexibility of online education and has many applications in the business world,” said Chase, who is an associate professor of economics and finance in the Gary E. West College of Business and joined WLU in 2013.
“With the strong and growing demand for graduate business degrees in the marketplace, this will help meet the needs of our region and beyond,” Chase said.
The first graduating class of the online MBA program recently scored nearly 20 percent higher than 36 other peer online MBA programs on a national outbound assessment exam. In a second national outbound assessment exam, WLU graduates earned high competency marks in student performance, according to Chase.
The online MBA is just one program in the Gary E. West College of Business led by Dean S. Michael Turrentine, J.D.
For those interested in enrolling in the MBA, Chase can be reached at 304-336-8536 or at [email protected]