New master’s programs to launch at Ivy College of Business
Iowa State University’s Ivy College of Business will be particularly busy this fall with the addition of two highly anticipated master’s programs for working professionals — the new Ivy Executive MBA and the Master of Real Estate Development.
The two programs, along with the Master of Business Analytics program that’s now in its fourth year, will welcome the professional cohorts of students in three separate launch-week events on the ISU campus, the first of which began this week on Wednesday.
Jackie Rees Ulmer, associate dean for professional masters programs, provided the Business Record with an update on the three programs.
About 30 people are enrolled in this year’s Master of Business Analytics program, which was just getting started when Rees-Ulmer joined ISU four years ago. The blended curriculum provides both face-to-face classroom time and online learning modules. To minimize disruption to work schedules, the launch event began on a Wednesday and goes through Sunday.
“We have made a number of changes to the program; we’ve listened to students in terms of curriculum delivery method — what works well online and when working,” she said. “That program continues to be strong, and we have a good cohort coming in.”
On Monday, the Master of Real Estate Development program’s launch week kicks off. The program has drawn an initial cohort of about 20 real estate professionals, which was more than expected for the initial class. “We are getting a terrific response,” Ulmer said. “There is clearly a need for this program.”
She’s particularly excited about the executive advisory council that’s been developed as part of the program. The advisory council consists of leaders from a cross section of the real estate industry who will be individually paired with class members. The match-ups will take place during next week’s launch week.
Most of the class members of the real estate program work in Central Iowa, but in later years it’s likely that a few international students from global companies will be part of the cohort. Already, “we’ve had students apply from all over the world,” Ulmer said. However, the college has not yet received government approval to begin admitting international students to the program, a process that’s still underway.
The third launch week begins Aug. 19, when 23 students in the inaugural Ivy Executive MBA program come to the Ames campus for a week of classroom sessions and a full schedule of networking events, among them a reception hosted by ISU President Wendy Wintersteen at the Knoll.
Although the college had originally planned to have the classroom portions of the program in Des Moines, “we discovered people really wanted to be on the campus,” Ulmer said.
The program’s executive in residence, retired Bankers Trust CEO Suku Radia, has lined up an impressive array of industry leaders for the program’s Leadership Speaker Series. Participants of the program will hear from and interact with executives that include Sheryl Meshke, co-president and CEO of Associated Milk Producers Inc.; Brett Bell, chief operating officer for Landus Cooperative; Jacqueline Applegate, president of global vegetable seeds and environmental science for Bayer Crop Science; Dan Houston, chairman, CEO and president of Principal Financial Group; and Thomas Mahoney, chairman and CEO of ITA Group.
After considerable time on the road pitching the program, Ulmer said she and her team are happy with the initial class size. “We had a lot of people say, for various reasons, that it’s not going to work this time but that they’re interested,” she said. “So our pipeline looks like it’s going to be bursting.”
The practical limit for the Executive MBA is probably 35 to 40 per cohort, she said. “So there’s room to grow, but not a huge amount.”