UCCS starting mini-MBA course to boost career prospects in Colorado Springs

By: Debbie Kelley
August 28, 2017

Highlights from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs’ morning commencement ceremonies Friday, May 12, 2017, at the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs. A record 1,532 students received their degrees this Spring. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

Need a booster shot of business acumen?

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs is rolling out the community’s first Mini-MBA, an executive education track of business basics to enhance career prospects for employees working at the managerial level and below.

“We thought it would be a good format in a short time frame that people can do and still balance work and family,” said Shawna Lippert, director of the Office of Professional and Executive Development, in the UCCS College of Business.

Classes will run from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. every Wednesday for 13 weeks. The inaugural class will start Sept. 13 and conclude Dec. 13.

The cost is $3,100. The fee will increase to $3,500 for applicants who sign up after Wednesday. The price includes materials, program manuals and 3.9 continuing education units through UCCS.

One of the program’s highlights and unique features is a tangible return on investment.

“We want everybody to do a hands-on project with their organizations that will lead to a return of at least $75,000 for the organizations,” said Tom Duening, El Pomar chair of Business and Entrepreneurship and one of six faculty who will teach in the program. “We don’t think anyone else in the country is doing something like that.”

Billed as “$75K in 75 Days,” the program is designed to return 25 times the price from new revenue streams, cost savings through efficiencies or both.

The twist “provides us with an opportunity to really have an impact on the companies in our community that send people to this program,” said Duening, who thought of the idea.

Companies and program participants will decide what their projects will be and how they will measure returns gained, he added.

The development and delivery methods taught are based on Lean Six Sigma-certification principles.

“The project component and immediate application of learning is what sets apart our program in being executive education vs. training,” Lippert said. “It pushes people to immediately implement learning.”

Demand led Lippert to create the Mini MBA after studying other programs throughout the nation.

“Companies want to promote people from within, but they need the business acumen to hand that off,” she said.

Likewise, professionals who want to be promoted often realize they need more skills to do a higher-level job, she said.

Skills gained include the ability to understand the “big picture” view of a business – “see how everything in the business is connected,” according to Lippert.

The Mini MBA also can be a “gateway” to the traditional master of business administration degree, providing incentives such as waiving the Graduate Management Admission Test.

For more information, go to www.uccs.edu/business/OPED, or call Lippert at 255-5215.