Welch, the former General Electric CEO, will offer his program in conjunction with Chancellor University, a Cleveland, Ohio based college with an extensive online offering.
The Jack Welch Management Institute will open this week for fall enrollment and offers two accredited programs—a Master of Management and a traditional Master of Business Administration.
The online mba program offers courses in marketing, strategy, management, and finance. Welch won’t personally teach the courses, but faculty will receive input from Welch, and the curriculum will be updated weekly with an online video from Welch addressing current business news and topics.
“We also hope the program … will be an exciting option for entrepreneurs who seek to improve their managerial skills, people reentering the workforce after any length of time, and veterans who hope to translate their battlefield experience to the business world,” said George Kidd, president of Chancellor University, said in a statement.
The Welch MBA program will also offer value for students. While traditional MBA programs often cost more than $100,000, the $600 per credit hour offered by Welch means students can receive an MBA with as little as $20,000.
The 73-year-old Welch led GE from 1981 to 2001 to become a major global conglomerate. He was known as a tough manager who was a pioneer of the benchmark for business productivity and efficiency known as “Six Sigma.”
“Six Sigma” attempted to cut unnecessary costs by improving manufacturing processes and reducing defects in every aspect of the business. Motorola Inc. and Japan’s Toyota Motor were also well-known for adopting the method.
During his tenure at GE, Welch shut down factories, cut payroll, and eliminated massive bureaucracy to streamline the company’s business operations. He believed that a company should be among the leaders in any of the markets that it operates in.
Welch’s tactics won numerous accolades among business circles and on Wall Street as GE’s profitability drastically improved during his tenure as CEO.
He was also known for his brutal candor. He rewarded his top managers with big bonuses and stock options, while firing the bottom 10 percent each year.
Welch was named “Manager of the Century” by Fortune Magazine in 1999.
Online Classroom Gaining Popularity
For-profit only degree-offering universities such as the University of Phoenix and Corinthian Colleges have been gaining popularity among potential students for their flexibility and self-paced study.
Welch’s entrance in the market adds even more allure to the online degree marketplace, despite its critics, who question the quality of an online education.
According to a study by Sloan Consortium, more than 20 percent of all college students took at least one class over the Internet in 2007. That’s double the amount of students from 2003.
Some analysts say that an e-MBA is less appealing to prospective students than traditional brick and mortar MBA, where graduates could benefit from an established alumni base in the business world. (The EpochTimes)