February 9, 2006

Sacramento State's second EMBA class ready to
study at Intel's campus in Folsom

Dozens of Sacramento working professionals are returning to the classroom in communities where they live and work to learn the skills needed to become top executives through a new graduate business degree program created by Sacramento State's College of Business Administration.

The first of its kind in the Sacramento area, Sacramento State's Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) degree program uses an accelerated pace so students can earn their degrees in 15 months as they move through the program as a group or "cohort." And the University has set up partnerships with several Sacramento businesses to host the classes on site, first in Roseville and now in Folsom.

This month three dozen working professionals in the next cohort start hitting the books at Intel's Folsom campus site for classes on Friday afternoons and Saturdays.

Sacramento State's EMBA program is proving popular among working professionals and students who want to continue to work full time because it provides a flexible way of earning a graduate business degree.

Sacramento State's College of Business Administration launched its first class at PRIDE Industries in Roseville last fall with 35 students selected from more than 60 applicants. The program received a similar number of applications for its second cohort of classes at Intel, where 12 Intel employees are part of the class. The EMBA program is now taking applications for its third cohort, which starts in September at SMUD headquarters on 65th Street. Locations for future cohorts will be added later.

"Sacramento State has done a great job balancing an intensive and challenging graduate study program for professionals who also have demanding jobs," said Dan Dean, director of financial planning and analysis at DST Output in El Dorado Hills and a student in the first cohort meeting at PRIDE Industries in Roseville. "The cohort arrangement has been invaluable to me in our group learning and networking opportunities."

Chiang Wang, interim associate dean for graduate and external programs in the College of Business Administration, said Sacramento State's EMBA program differs from other MBA programs by having students go through the program as a group. "The program provides a better networking environment for students so that they learn together as a group, share their experiences and develop long-term professional relationships," he said.

The classes, which are a mixture of case studies, group discussions, lectures and individual presentations, are geared to help working professionals gain the strategic thinking skills needed to move into executive positions. "Many professionals only have a narrow view of how their company or organization operates," Wang said. "We are giving students the broad view they will need to move into the upper levels of the organization."

The classes are taught both by professors from the College of Business Administration and senior executives from Sacramento area businesses. Guest lecturers visit classes to discuss current business issues.

Students are required to take classes on subjects such as quantitative methods for decision making, technology management and strategic analysis for executives. Elective courses include topics such as corporate performance management, product and brand management, executive decision-making, managing creativity and innovation and competing in the global marketplace.

After completing 12 courses, each student is required to complete an individual research project over a three-month period for a culminating experience.

Applicants to the program must have a bachelor's degree, and several years of professional work experience is preferred. Admission to the program is based on academic qualifications, professional experience, personal interview and other criteria such as community involvement and professional activities.

The cost of Sac State's EMBA program for the 2006-2007 academic year is $30,000, pending University approval. It includes student fees, textbooks, course materials, supplies and meals. Financial aid is available. More information about the EMBA program is available at the College of Business Administration's website at www.emba.csus.edu

"The establishment of the new EMBA program is an exciting step in the transformation of Sacramento into a major international metropolitan center," said Sanjay Varshney, dean of the College of Business Administration. "We are committed to developing the region's next generation of senior executives who will soon take the controls of the region’s economy at its most exciting and dynamic time."

Media assistance is available from the Sacramento State public affairs office at (916) 278-6156.

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California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
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