New Business-Focused Master’s Degree at UNF

UNF expands business degreesUniversity of North FL

The University of North Florida is on the verge of offering a new business-focused master’s degree, with the first class potentially slated to start in August.

The Coggin College of Business is looking to offer a Master’s of Management degree targeted at undergraduates who want to go straight to grad school — rather than getting work experience first — and workers moving into management positions.

The 30-hour program would include the classes that are now taken in the first year of the school’s two-year Master’s of Business Administration program. That includes topics like financial accounting and management, economic analysis and process management and technology.

The school would have room for 40 students in the first cohort to enter the program.

The school’s faculty association approved the plan last week. Tomorrow, the idea will go before the school’s board of trustees and, if approved, be presented to the state board of governors for the university system.

College of Business Dean Mark Dawkins proposed the idea of such a degree when he interviewed at the school, where he was hired last year.

The original idea focused on students who didn’t get an undergraduate business degree but wanted business training before entering the workforce. After talking to companies including EverBank Financial Corp. and CSX Corp., the plan was expanded to include working professionals.

“I’ve talked to 20 to 25 companies who have said this degree program will help their employees,” Dawkins said.

Companies providing letters of support for the Master’s of Management include Center State Bank, Florida Blue and EverBank.

The full-time program is slated to take two to three semesters, while the part-time version of the program could last up to five semesters. Both programs are presented as evening classes.

Students who want to return for an MBA after completing the Master’s in Management would have to earn an additional 24 credits to get the second degree.

Programs like these that help employees transition into management are a vital part of workforce development, said Candace Moody, vice president of communications for CareerSource Northeast Florida.

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