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In September 2013, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh will transform the way it delivers master’s level business education to embrace the ever-changing business industry and its need for the next generation of executive leaders. Mid- to senior-level business executives will have the opportunity to enroll in a 16-month learning experience that’s innovative, challenging and energizing.

The UW Oshkosh College of Business is developing an Executive Master of Business Administration program (EMBA) to run alongside the college’s Professional Master of Business Administration track. One program: Two different paths.

The EMBA will be a rigorous program designed from the ground up by UW Oshkosh faculty and partners for executives and emerging business leaders – those with eight years of professional work experience and at least five years of leadership experience.

The program is aimed at developing visionary, business strategists and leaders, program organizers said.

“The Executive MBA path is an exciting addition to the College of Business,” said Kathy Hagens, MBA program director at UW Oshkosh. “It complements the current Professional MBA program, providing seasoned business leaders with an opportunity to collaborate with colleagues who share similar business challenges”

The program will begin with a four-day immersion and continue with Saturday classes, which will be taught from a UW Oshkosh satellite location in Appleton. The program’s design provides students the opportunity to learn on a weekend and immediately apply their education as the workweek begins.

“The UW Oshkosh Executive MBA is truly a program where you learn material that is integral to your business on a Saturday during class and you can apply it to your business the next Monday,” said Dale Feinauer, professor of human resources and part of the team that has designed the program.

Feinauer said the experience of the Executive MBA faculty team is varied and extensive, with a combined more than 200 years of teaching experience and first-hand operating knowledge of more than 100 organizations.

“The goal is to provide immediate- and long-term value to students, the organizations they represent and the entire economic region,” Hagens said.

Classes are taught by a combination of UW Oshkosh faculty and adjunct faculty members who may be entrepreneurs, senior executives, retired CEOs and others with a wealth of knowledge, experience and leadership in the business world.

The EMBA program at UW Oshkosh is also different than traditional MBA programs in how it is organized. Instead of being structured around courses, the EMBA is built upon a series of goals, skills and themes to make learning experiences applicable to real-world business practices, challenges and solutions.

“The Executive path of the MBA program at UW Oshkosh is unique from other MBA programs because it integrates not only advancement of yourself and your functional area, but also the organization’s ability to have an impact on the community and economic region. This program looks outside of the organization and helps participants understand their organization’s relationship to and role in the community,” said Bill Wresch, College of Business associate dean and professor of Management Information Systems.

The program aims to empower students to solve complex challenges via an interactive environment and through coursework that focuses on providing long range perspectives that balance current economics with future expansion.

“Businesses today are challenged with fewer resources, increased expenses, reduced product life cycles and a competitive global business environment,” Hagens said. “They are looking for leaders who can develop and deploy business strategies effectively in order to grow revenue for their organizations.”

Also making the EMBA program different is a component that takes students on a 10 to 12-day international study tour. Students will have the opportunity to travel to companies in different countries and while there, meet with C-suite leaders and investigate real-life business challenges and opportunities.

“Due to the complete integration of an international experience with the Executive MBA curriculum, the ability of participants and their organizations to advance into the international business arena will be profoundly enhanced,” said Barbara Rau, human resources professor. “As the first cohort’s international destination is anticipated to be Turkey, companies that are interested in growing their business in that particular region are strongly encouraged to participate.”

In terms of class structure, the program includes seven modules made up of units varying in topic from decision making, to economics, finance and more. Units vary in length from two to seven half-day sessions. Each module is aimed at continually exposing students to various aspects within business, which are designed to build strong leaders.

Steven Dunn, finance professor in the College of Business and director of UW Oshkosh’s Center for Sustainable Enterprise, said the Executive MBA is designed to be of incredible and instant value to both its students and the organizations relying on their knowledge and leadership.

“This program is designed specifically for the busiest of executives that are looking for an accelerated, yet intense and holistic, approach to learning how to grow themselves, their organizations and our economic region,” Dunn said.

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