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July 12, 2012
LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) – Meeting a growing demand for graduate level education in central Oregon is a niche Eastern Oregon University is ready to fill.
A recent visit to the region from Les Mueller, professor of business and coordinator of EOU’s master of business administration program, solidified the university’s plans to offer the degree in Prineville beginning this fall.
“We have received inquiries about bringing an MBA program to Prineville for the last three or four years,” Mueller said. “The local community really fought for this program as something they’ve wanted for a long time. Our goal is to have eight to 10 students enrolled in the first cohort at the new remote site in the fall, but there’s enough demand to fill cohorts for years to come.”
Currently no other public universities in the region offer this degree.
Mueller, who spent time meeting with prospective students in Prineville and Bend, said interest is high especially among employees at Pioneer Memorial Hospital and the growing tech industry created by Facebook, Apple and others moving into the area.
EOU’s 45-credit program may be completed in either five or nine terms, depending on the students’ individual needs. The flexible format and low tuition – approximately $15,000 including fees – make it an attractive option when the average cost to complete a master’s in business tops $24,000 at other Oregon schools.
Come fall, students in Prineville will connect via satellite with their professors and peers at EOU from a “smart” classroom at the COCC Crook County Open Campus Building.
The classroom space and equipment are being made available for EOU to use at no cost for at least the first year of the program, saving the university roughly $6,000 in operating expenses, Mueller said.
Prineville will be EOU’s third remote MBA site, with others currently available at the Eastern Oregon Higher Education Center in Hermiston and Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario. EOU also delivers a live MBA program at its center at Mount Hood Community College in Gresham.
“We’re always looking at how we can expand and serve other communities,” Mueller said. “Students from Bend, Redmond, Madras and John Day will benefit from this new location.”
Because of the high demand, program coordinators anticipate space will be limited in the fall cohort. Those interested should complete their applications before August 1, even if they haven’t finished the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test).
There is no fee to apply and forms are available at www.eou.edu/business/mba. For more information contact Lori Baird in EOU’s College of Business at 541-962-3668.
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