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Marlboro’s MBA Scores High

Marlboro’s MBA Scores High on Sustainability & Social Impact

Marlboro LogoMarlboro College’s MBA in Managing for Sustainability rates very high on Sustainability (11th and 4.33 out of 5) and Social Impact (8th and 4.52 out of 5) on Net Impact’s 2014 Business as UNusual Top 50 Schools. Marlboro Graduate & Professional Studies is based in Brattleboro, Vermont and is a part of an unusual small liberal arts college. It managed to come out ahead of big name schools like Duke, UCLA Berkeley, Stanford and Columbia. 

 On each list Marlboro was only bested by two Ivy League Schools: by Yale on Social Impact and by Cornell on Sustainability. Only two B-Schools on the Forbes Top 10 that did better than Marlboro were Michigan’s Ross School (on both lists) and Duke’s Fuqua School (on Social Impact). Not bad for a school with less than 500 students on both undergraduate and graduate campuses.

 I am privileged to teach two courses on the MBA: New Venture Creation (4* rating out of 5) and Sustainable Strategies (4.5* rating out of 5), which Net Impact says is a program for the student who sees business as a tool for good, a vehicle with which they can change the world. Since I have known the MBA program from the inside as an instructor over the last 6 years, I can say that our graduates are doing just that.

 Advantages of the Marlboro Method

The Marlboro MBA has some distinct advantages over many other schools’ offerings, including those of the Ivy League. Undoubtedly one is cost, at less than half the cost of major schools, this advantage is further enhanced in that the MBA course is a blended program, allowing students to continue with their job while studying. What does ‘blended’ mean? The program, normally taken over two years, but with an extension possible, is run on campus in Vermont with Residencies for classes once a month during each Trimester. This is matched with online work, using both a Web-based learning platform and other media for regular contact between students and with their teachers.

 Most of the MBA instructors are practitioners and bring real-life experience into the classroom. With small class sizes, students develop close relationships with their professors. The practice of completing the MBA with a Capstone, supervised by a teacher as adviser, ensures the means of translating learning into practical applications with meaning for the students. Many relationships developed during the Capstone process endure way past graduation.

 While not specifically a curriculum subject, the concept of community building underpins the student/faculty/staff experience on the Marlboro MBA. Formal ‘Community Circles’ take place each day of the on-campus Residencies. There is student and alumni representation on the curriculum development committee. As well as there being an active Net Impact group there are several other forums of student involvement in the program.

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