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 BA in 4 Weeks

Unauthorized reproduction prohibited


Copyright   Lawrie Miller  1997 - 2004











I read your comments and replies in reference to Hariot-Watt University. You've written that you have bought a "course". Can you tell a bit more of how the course was laid out...say, compared to courses to Excelsior?


Also, when would it not be a good idea to obtain a B.A. degree first, then an MBA. I've thought about obtaining my first degree through Excelsior. However, now I'm thinking maybe going directly to the "top".


What are your thoughts?


Why would I need an MBA? I work for a large Software company and most of my peers have B.A's and/ law degrees. I have nothing. I am fortunate and concerned that I will come to a ceiling one day with limited room to advance within the company.




I cannot make comparisons to Excelsior course materials since I've never taken an Excelsior course.


However, arguably the gold standard in terms of production values is the courseware developed for the DL graduate programs offered by the University of Southern Queensland. The H-W MBA courseware is on a par with that. The main difference is that the USQ products are now delivered via the World Wide Web, and the H-W courseware to which I alluded is old fashioned print material.


H-W now also serves the courseware for the MBA via the Net and CD.


With respect to quality, this is a carefully engineered package. The materials were clearly custom designed to serve the needs of these specific courses. The MBA courseware does not assume prior learning in the subject at hand. Key concepts are introduced to the reader in bite-sized bulleted sections, complimented where appropriate by their (the concepts) use in some practical application (examples). These sections are collected together in distinct areas of study within-subject, forming chapters, each of which is buttressed by an end-of chapter comprehensive exam/tutorial.


The chapters are carefully threaded together to form complete constructs that comprise the major components of the discipline at hand. At the end of the course book/folder there are a series of very complete case studies, the solutions to which, rely on the judicious application of principles that are the core of the course.



Compare the foregoing with, say, the courseware provided in the Northumbria University LLM program (a first class program in many respects), which essentially comprises a bunch of books without accompanying syllabus, a subscription to Lexis Nexis, and a brief primer on writing graduate essays (I quite liked this approach, but you definitely have to be a self-starter).





The rub is perceptions. I think the main problem may be how some will react. “How can you have completed an advanced (graduate) degree without the necessary foundation provided by an undergraduate education?”



Well, you can, and many do. It’s not easy, but it most certainly can be done. However, there’s no convincing some people, and Murphy’s Law suggests that at some point in your career, those you most need convince in order to advance will be of that cohort. 










There is a golden chance At UK EBay. You will bid for a set of complete individual courses (Paper and Electronic) for the Heriot Watt/Edinburgh Business school modular MBA programme.


THREE complete and unregistered courses for Accounting, Strategic Planning and Finance plus the Student handbook. This lot would cost you £2,425 if purchased direct from EBS.


View hours are left!






They seem to have gone. Other offerings, but not, unfortunately, unregistered. Just the course materials.




Note to readers:



Official Heriot Watt MBA course material comes with a registration ticket that entitles the holder entry to the course. If you are offered course materials where the course registration ticket has already been used, you are being sold courseware with no right of entry into the course itself, nor enrollment in the H-W EBS MBA program.


If course materials include an unused registration ticket, the owner/user is entitled to register as a participant in the course and, if they already possess the necessary prerequisites, enroll as a degree-seeking student in the MBA program proper.




By way of example, as I write this, I have on my desk a folder comprising the H-W EBS MBA courseware for the core compulsory course in QUANTITATIVE METHODS.*


This folder also contains an unused blue course/program registration ticket with a unique serial number beginning - QM00xxxx.


Although this material is nine year old (I bought it in 1995) and the courseware may require a little updating, it is still a valuable commodity by virtue of its unused registration ticket.**


With the ticket, maybe it could sell for, say, $600 discounted. Without the ticket, it would be worth around $40, discounted.


So, if you're thinking about this MBA program and you are tempted by the offer of secondhand Heriot Watt EBS MBA courseware materials on ebay or elsewhere, establish in the first instance that they come with the associated valid registration ticket(s).


. . . You may just be looking for used courseware for its own sake, of course, and that's an entirely different kettle of fish.






*Hmm, a look at of the current EBS MBA website reveals the QM course is no longer part of core requirements but has been relegated to an elective.


**Although the time limit to complete the MBA degree is seven years, it is seven years from the date of registration (or test) of your first course, not from the date of purchase. Since the registration ticket of the QM course cited has never been used, the clock has not yet started to tick.









What additional test would I need to take at Excelsior in order to get a BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources?




Actually, three of the main constituents of the major/concentration are already included in the Business degree plan featured in BA in 4 Weeks, - Labor Relations, OB, and HRM. You'll just need another three courses, within the subject areas described in the Business catalog. Off hand, at least two may be filled using other exams (ECE, TECEP), and perhaps all three. I wouldn’t yet say it’s a done-deal, but it’s close. 















Website © Lawrie Miller 2004