You Are My Celebrity

EMBA

So this is happening.

Smart.ly’s Executive MBA

Because I’ve always been curious, because I like to start and run businesses, because I’m a woman and feel like an MBA might help in my career, I’ve been toying with the idea of getting an MBA. But school full-time doesn’t make sense—and further, the stubborn side of me wants to reject typically “authority” academia and prove I can make it all on my own.

Then again, that same stubborn little badass is working in a giant corporate organization, subject to the very hierarchy and laws of business that she’d like to eschew. So while I’m working in this world, it behooves me to figure it the eff out, yeah?

Enter smart.ly. It’s the best of both worlds: part old-school MBA-earning, part new-school knowledge-based learning, all mobile and online, global. Boom. Also, elite. Which I didn’t really believe them on until I leapt into it—my peers, who are indeed truly global,  have multiple degrees from multiple elite universities. Impressive.

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I’m two weeks in and loving it so far. Understandable lessons in bite-size chunks. But obviously it’s too early to weigh in now.

The main question I’ve gotten so far is …

Is the EMBA accredited? They say:

We are a licensed, degree-granting institution of higher education regulated by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) of Washington, DC. Under this license, we are legally authorized to award degrees and certificates in line with reviewed curricula. In terms of accreditation, we are in the process of initially seeking recognition from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and then seeking accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Such accreditation and its timing is not something that we can guarantee and it can take several years.

Having said that, we represent a new approach in learning, and we maintain a certain belief that accreditation models will change over time with disruptive technologies that deliver superior outcomes without the same inputs as the accrediting bodies weigh in their evaluations. In addition, we look at the landscape that includes some relatively low quality accredited schools – especially online – and see the need to find alternative ways to judge the validity of a curriculum!

We think our learning experience, convenience, speed, effectiveness, peer and alumni connections and affordability will foster a true disruption of education going forward.

The other main question, of course, is—because the secret to business school is that it’s all about networking—what about the networking? So far, so good, as far as virtual connections go. With two on-sites in the fall & winter, there’s more to come on that too.

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