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Contact: Tim Woodhull

June 16, 2000


California State University, Dominguez Hills, attracts students from around the world to attend graduation from MBA Online

Students from around the globe, from places as far-flung as Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Russia, attended graduation from the MBA Online program at California State University, Dominguez Hills.

The Online Program, which is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs, was begun at Dominguez Hills in 1997. That year, Forbes magazine identified CSUDH as one of the top 20 Cyber Universities in the United States, recognizing its leadership in distance learning.

The 30-unit MBA curriculum can be completed entirely online within 15 months. Comprising text-based presentations and case studies, the highly interactive courses utilize video presentations, video conferencing, NetMeetings, and individual and group discussions. Average class size is 25.

The 125 students currently enrolled in the Online Program come from 24 states and from 13 countries world-wide. Of those, 31 students graduated this semester, and 16 traveled to Carson to participate in commencement exercises. They attended a reception hosted by the School of Management at the Carson Hilton — an opportunity to meet their professors or classmates for the very first time.

For example, Grace Lin journeyed all the way from her home in Hong Kong to attend the reception and commencement. She graduated with honors, receiving her master's degree from MBA Online at California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Lin first logged on from Sydney, Australia, then moved and re-enrolled from her home in Hong Kong. Working by day as an advertising executive, Lin would log on in her free time, scanning the lecture material, chatting with classmates around the world, and turning in assignments on her computer.

"It was easier than traditional education because of the independence I had," Lin said. "It allowed me to do my assignments on my own time. After a long day at work, I did not have to rush to class. I could log on from my home."

Insurance company President Joe Peters also attended commencement, traveling all the way from his home in Singapore. He attended MBA Online, attending class wherever business allowed him to log on, and whenever he felt like it. He could read the lecture material from home in Singapore, or submit an assignment while away on business anywhere in the world.

"I took it for the learning experience," Peters said. "This class was an opportunity to gain more knowledge. I enjoy the life-long learning experience."

And, part of the learning, Peters said, involved the opportunity to chat with other MBA Online students in Florida, in Canada, in California, and in Russia.

More than 100 miles north of Moscow, Andrei Vylegzhanin would hunch over his computer in the house where he lives with his wife and their baby girl. A banker in the town of Vladimir, he came to the campus in Carson to receive his diploma and said that MBA Online meant not only an opportunity for a better job with more pay, but the chance to share conversation via e-mail with classmates he otherwise would not have met.

"We would talk, make comments, get ideas to work on class assignments," Vylegzhanin said. To acquaint himself with his professors who were thousands of miles away, "I suggested they put up a picture of themselves. That helped."

And, so will obtaining his master's degree from MBA Online, he said.

"I look at job opportunities these days that read 'MBA preferred,'" Vylegzhanin said. "Now I have that."

Said Kenneth Poertner, MBA Online Program Director: "Our mission at Cal State Dominguez Hills has long been to reach out to the communities we serve. At MBA Online, we take that responsibility seriously and to new dimensions. We erase time and distance to be partners with people from not only our city or the states, but from around the globe.

"In this age of high tech," Poertner said, "we really are all citizens of the same community. And, it was great to know that they thought enough of the job we do to join us."

Further information can be obtained by contacting Ken Poertner, director, MBA Online programs, CSUDH School of Management, (310) 243-3165.