Loyola University has just announced that their Fall 2013 MBA curriculum will not only follow the Baldrige criteria framework, but also incorporates Six Sigma training and certification. Through partnership with the American Society for Quality (ASQ), Loyola students will have the opportunity to work on real performance improvement projects and project management certifications.
“Six Sigma is a quality improvement methodology that is used by most of the top companies in the country for controlling variation and reducing costs. It’s a highly prized, internationally recognized standard,” said Jerry Goolsby, Ph.D., M.B.A., director of graduate programs for the College of Business.
According to a press release from the University, recent Loyola MBA grads have gone on to work in advanced professional positions at companies like General Electric, General Motors, Symetra, and Shell.
Loyola has been incorporating the Baldrige criteria into their curriculum for the past few years, but have been fine-tuning the coursework along the way. To expose students to the realities of the corporate world, the school offers an Executive Mentor Program for MBA students, which matches a small group of students to a successful area business executive. Shadowing business trips, discussing time management, personal finance, goal setting, and communication skills, as well as networking with the local business community are just some of the benefits students can absorb from this program.
In addition to the expansion of the MBA curricula, Loyola students are also presently competing in the New Orleans Entrepreneur Week competition, which pairs teams with local start-up businesses in an effort to establish implementable action plans. These teams act as the executive management for their start-up, working to revitalize New Orleans and increase the viability of these small businesses. This year, Loyola students are up against some tough competition to showcase their entrepreneurial skills from Columbia, Dartmouth, Yale, Duke, and Harvard. At the end of the week, students are asked to present their plan to a panel of top local business executives. Loyola’s MBA team won in 2010.
“When a Six Sigma certification from the American Society for Quality is combined with a Project Management Institute certification, our students obtain very impressive jobs. In fact, I would argue the certifications are worth more than most any MBA degree today,” Goolsby said.
Between the practical training that will push Loyola grads to the forefront of the management world and the entrepreneurial encouragement they receive, it will be no surprise to me to see many more Loyola alumni in Fortune 500 C-suite positions in the near future. As educational models slowly evolve and schools are developing more comprehensive degrees, hopefully we’ll start to see more programs like this crop up.
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