Dr. Marlene Kahla utilizing Zoom video-conference technology

By utilizing Zoom video-conference technology, Dr. Marlene Kahla, professor in Stephen F. Austin State University’s Rusche College of Business, discusses marketing communications with students who are “zoomed” in virtually online and those in the classroom. This new teaching method is part of SFA’s Flex Master of Business Administration program, which allows students to choose how they attend class.

NACOGDOCHES, Texas — A new program in Stephen F. Austin State University’s Rusche College of Business is changing the face of online education.

By using Zoom video-conferencing technology, students pursing a Master of Business Administration can attend class virtually from anywhere in the world. This Flex M.B.A. program with Zoom technology is the first of its kind in Texas and blends technology, readily used in the corporate world, with education.

“This is not an ‘old-school’ online M.B.A. program. It is truly flexible and engaging,” said Dr. Tim Bisping, dean of the Rusche College of Business. “Technology has now caught up with our teaching philosophy in the college. Through the use of Zoom video-conference technology, we are able to fully and synchronously engage students no matter their location in the state, country or world.”

Students can choose how they attend class. For example, students in the program can attend any or all of their classes on campus, none of their classes on campus or they can mix the two methods by “zooming” into classes virtually with Zoom.

“Students don’t have to commit to a delivery mode. They can attend any class however they wish on any class day,” Bisping said. “Some students might never set foot on campus and still be able to experience classes delivered on the SFA campus.”

All of the classes will be recorded, which allows students to review the material, as needed.

Dr. Robert Crocker, associate dean of the Rusche College of Business, has been instrumental in implementing the Flex M.B.A.

“We will be a leader in the area of offering our M.B.A. through this delivery system. We are pilot testing our classrooms, and every day we are finding new and exciting opportunities that are made possible through the use of the technology,” Crocker said. “We are excited to see more innovations in all of our programs as our faculty members employ this new delivery method.”

The M.B.A. is structured with 10 required courses and two electives for a total of 36 credit hours. Course sequencing allows students the opportunity to complete the degree in one calendar year. All M.B.A. courses taught in the classroom will be available via Zoom.

“We did not want to transition to a generic online M.B.A. We had to find a mechanism to take our classroom to the student,” Crocker said. “Zoom technology is the vehicle that enables us to deliver our classroom experience to the office or living room of students who may never enter our building.”

For more information, visit sfasu.edu/mba.