November 27, 2019 • By Sydney Charles
Beginning in fall 2020, transfer students can complete their undergraduate degree in business administration fully online with The UCI Paul Merage School of Business. Students with a UC IGETC certification will be able to complete their degree and receive a UC-level education while enjoying the traditional benefits of college life—including access to the Career Center, financial aid, eligibility for on-campus events, and on-campus housing.
The online courses will share the same curriculum as traditional courses and will be taught by the same instructors. Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs Maia Young explained that the online courses are an important step in expanding access to students.
“We are leveraging our in-house expertise to deliver outstanding digital content in our courses,” she said. “We have online pedagogical experts in house, and it makes sense to expand our online offerings by bringing together our faculty content expertise and pedagogical expertise.”
Young also emphasized the flexibility of the new programs and the desire to accommodate all types of undergraduate students studying business in a digitally driven world.
“As Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs, I know that more and more students have non-traditional schedules. They’re trying to hold a part-time job, or they have responsibilities at home. We’re hoping to provide the flexibility for more people to have access to a UC education.”
Another goal of the program is to redefine what online learning means and challenge the traditional way of crafting an online curriculum. Students will be immersed in a participatory and social experience.
Director of Digital Learning Natalie Blair said, ““Even though learning online means you are learning at a distance, we want our students to know they don’t have to learn alone. Throughout the course design process, we are focusing on building opportunities for community and aiming to create opportunities for active, experiential learning experiences that prepare students authentically for the business world.”
Dean Eric Spangenberg explained that while the School has had a successful minor that can be completed fully online for five years, he believes the innovative qualities in the new online learning programs will give the Merage School a chance to expand its reach:
“Being online gives us the opportunity to grow and provide more undergraduate students with a strong foundation in key business principles,” he said. “The Merage School is committed to increasing access to our programs for community college transfers and other students who deserve the opportunity to study at the University of California but are place bound or otherwise unable to move to a face-to-face campus.”