Wednesday, June 28, 2000

Program offers the basics of business

By Sarah Anne Wright
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Educational publisher South-Western is launching an interactive MBA primer series to give pre-MBA students a chance to learn some of the basics of business before entering graduate school.

        The interactive program, available online or on CD-ROM, is also being targetted to executives who might want to bone up on some of the more quantitative areas of business.

  South-Western began as a publisher of business-related textbooks in 1903. While the bulk of its operations remains in textbook publishing, it is moving toward offering interactive, Web-based distance learning products. South-Western is the Cincinnati-based division of educational publisher Thomson Learning.
        South-Western College Publishing Co. President and CEO Bob Lynch said there was a definite need for the program, especially for executives who were returning to school after working a few years.

        “Many of these people might have good sales skills and do excellent in things like human resource management, but have no finance skills,” Mr. Lynch said.

        There's also a market for the product. The pre-MBA market is estimated at $4.5 billion and executive education is potentially a $30 billion market annually.

        The four courses offered — managerial economics, financial accounting, business statistics, and finance — are considered the mainstay of most MBA curriculums.

        The courses were designed by businessmen and professors who have taught at some of the nation's well-respected business schools such as UCLA's Anderson Graduate School of Management and Baruch College at City University of New York.

        “The authors extracted the key elements that they feel the student should master in preparation for an MBA program,” Mr. Lynch said.

        The MBA primer series is not accredited, but may help students test out of some MBA course work. Each class includes interactive quizzes and lessons, but there is no teacher feedback. Each class costs $49.95, or $143.95 for the entire series.


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