Roanoke College logo. Courtesy of Roanoke College.

Roanoke College is poised to offer its first graduate program in more than a century, pending approval by the regional higher education accreditor, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, according to a release from the school.

Faculty voted on March 23 to approve a Master of Business Administration degree, and if approved, the college will begin administering the degree in summer 2023. If approved, this would be the first time the college will offer graduate courses since the 1920s, when Roanoke offered masters-level chemistry courses. 

The program will be a four-plus-one program, where students will complete their undergraduate degree in four years and their MBA after a fifth year. It will require summer and regular-term courses and will consist of 11 courses taken by yearly cohorts of 20 students. These cohorts will contain four teams working together on projects that will culminate in a comprehensive team project. The MBA degree provides in-depth knowledge and application in the core areas of business: accounting, leadership, ethics, economics, management, marketing, finance, and data analysis. 

Dr. Richard Grant, interim vice president for academic affairs, spearheaded the movement, as did a variety of faculty and staff members including Prof. Sharon Gibbs, interim associate dean for academic affairs and student engagement; Dr. Michelle Hagadorn, associate professor of business administration and economics; Dr. Gail Steehler, associate dean of academic affairs and administration; Dr. Shannon Anderson, associate professor of sociology and public health; and Dr. Charlene Kalinoski, professor of modern languages.