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        Online Graduate Program ranked 12th nationally

        April 15, 2014 By Joe McAdory

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        The Raymond J. Harbert College of Business’ online graduate program earned a No. 12 national ranking from U.S. News & World Report in a survey released Wednesday.It marked the second-consecutive year that the college earned recognition in the magazine’s Best Online Programs ranking. Harbert College Dean and Wells Fargo Professor Dr. Bill Hardgrave said that external rankings “serve as validation of the reputation we have created among our peers.” “Our faculty and staff are dedicated to our mission of producing highly desired graduates and generating knowledge that drives business thought and practice,” Hardgrave said. “This most recent ranking reaffirms our commitment to offering high quality academic programs and instruction to our graduate students and to ensuring that their experiences will be equally rigorous and rewarding whether they join us on-campus or online.” The magazine used a variety of criteria for measuring colleges’ academic strength, including student engagement, admissions selectivity, peer reputation, faculty credentials and training, and student services and technology. Dr. Stanley Harris, Associate Dean for Graduate and International Programs, said that Harbert College has “a history of being an early-provider for distance education of this kind.” “The thing that sets us apart from other schools is that our classes – what our online students get is exactly what campus students get,” Harris said. “Students receive a video recording of the actual on-campus class and our students really like that. They are not getting a watered-down version, or something different. They are getting as close as possible to the on-campus experience of what our on-campus students are getting.” Graduate degrees included in the survey were MBA, Master of Accountancy, Master of Science in Information Systems Management, and Master of Science in Finance. Last fall, 191 students worldwide were enrolled in the program. One of them was Russell Wong, Operational Audits and Consulting Services Manager at Southern California Edison in Los Angeles, Calif. “The faculty is top-notch. All of the material is current and immediately applicable to work. Questions are answered in a very timely manner,” said Wong. “The support structure is very good. The registration process is easy. Getting to class material (notes and lecture videos) is also easy. This aspect of the process has become easier over the last couple of years.” Flexibility is the key, Harris noted. “We have people that are in the real world trying to maintain their careers,” he said. “It’s meant for the working professionals that want the broader business knowledge and the opportunities that an MBA degree can offer them in a way that’s a lot more flexible than our competitors.” High rankings are nothing new to Harbert’s decorated graduate programs. Last spring, the college’s Executive MBA program was named Best Remote Learning Program in North America by European CEO Magazine. Harbert College was ranked 16th nationally by Poets & Quants among business schools with online MBA programs. Also, Harbert’s Masters of Accountancy students set the pace on the CPA exam. First-time participants from Harbert achieved a pass rate of 95 percent on three or more sections and a 74 percent pass rate on all sections. For more information about obtaining an online graduate degree (MBA, MIS, or Master of Accountancy) from the Harbert College of Business, please visit http://harbert.auburn.edu/academics/online-programs/mba-online/.