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Lessons Learned Offering a Combined B.S. Engineering (with Cooperative Education) and M.B.A.

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Innovative Adult and Technology Enhanced Programs

Tagged Division

Continuing Professional Development

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1011.1 - 22.1011.10



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Paper Authors


Eugene Rutz University of Cincinnati

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Eugene Rutz, M.S., P.E., is an Academic Director in the College of Engineering & Applied Science at the University of Cincinnati. He manages the college's dual degree programs and outreach programs with local high schools. Industry experience includes mechanical design engineering, the nuclear power industry and radiological engineering. Eugene also teaches courses for the college using distance learning and instructional technologies.

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Lessons Learned Offering a Combined BS Engineering (with Cooperative Education) and MBAWith the encouragement of the College’s Industrial Advisory Board and building on the successof combined BS Engineering with MS Engineering programs, the University initiated acombined BS Engineering with Master of Business Administration program in the fall of 2006.Students in the program are required to complete all the requirements of the undergraduatedegree program including the mandatory cooperative education assignments. With themandatory cooperative education requirement, the traditional undergraduate degree spans fiveyears. The combined degree program allows students to earn both the BS and the MBA in a fiveyear time span through three mechanisms: • A vast majority of students now enter the University with advanced standing through participation in AP courses or post secondary education options. Students are expected to start with the equivalent of one academic term completed. • Traditional students participate in six cooperative work assignments. In the combined program students participate in five and use that term for additional coursework • While on cooperative work assignments, students in the combined program take a course through distance learning in order to further accelerate degree completion.A collaborative degree program requires significantly more coordination than a program offeredin a single college. In this paper we report on lessons learned in the development andimplementation of the programs. Specific consideration is given to: • Curriculum development and coordination • Structure and sequencing of courses • Academic advising • Retention in the program • Administrative issues (e.g. are students engineering students or business students) • Financial arrangements between the colleges • Student successFrom our experience it is essential to consider both academic characteristics of the collaboratingcolleges and administrative issues that span the functions of the university (registration, financialaid, athletics, IT support, accreditation, etc.). Other universities considering offeringcollaborative degree programs will benefit from the discussion of lessons learned andadministrative issues that need to be addressed in order to have a successful program.The first cohort of students admitted to the combined BS Engineering and MBA program aregraduating spring of 2011. The paper also reflects challenges and successes faced by thestudents.

Rutz, E. (2011, June), Lessons Learned Offering a Combined B.S. Engineering (with Cooperative Education) and M.B.A. Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18276

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