Students in the Master of Science in Management and Human Resources program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business will have increased scheduling flexibility, thanks to the program’s new learn-from-anywhere option.
Starting with the fall 2023 entering class, the modality will allow students to join live classes synchronously online if their jobs or other obligations prevent them from being on campus. The MSMHR remains an in-person program with classes held on the UT campus, but the new option will give students the flexibility to join virtually on a class-by-class or day-by-day basis to work around their own schedule.
Program director Jackie Jacobs saw the opportunity to expand the reach of the MS program by capitalizing on advances in technology and growing interest in hybrid modalities. With the help of Dwight Campbell, assistant director of Haslam’s Office of Technical Innovative Solutions, and Sharath Sriman, director of digital marketing and technology in Graduate and Executive Education, Jacobs’ vision of a technology-enabled hybrid modality has become a reality.
“If there is one thing we learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that students’ expectations for learning have changed,” she said. “The learn-from-anywhere format addresses the complexity of today’s students’ busy lives and capitalizes on the availability of better technology tools to engage and involve remote learners in the classroom experience.”
Increased Flexibility Means More Opportunities
Jacobs felt encouraged to develop the new model after receiving positive feedback on one of her first acts as MSMHR director — moving the program’s two summer classes online. “Students were unable to complete internships outside the Knoxville metropolitan area because they had to be in Knoxville over the summer for classes,” she said. “Moving summer classes online literally opened the door to greater professional opportunities for our students and allowed them to stay on track with their degree progress.”
Providing even more flexibility was the next step. The learn-from-anywhere option allows early-career professionals to start their degree program without the commitment of coming to campus for each class. While the new option will be ideal for working professionals who may need added flexibility to accommodate out-of-town travel, it will offer all students more options for class attendance. “Imagine someone who lives in Nashville or the Tri-Cities who would love to pursue their master’s degree at Haslam but is already juggling work, family and other commitments,” Jacobs said. “The learn-from-anywhere option captures the best of both worlds: the opportunity to engage in the classroom when possible but to join class online when necessary.”
The new model retains the program’s full-time (12-month) or part-time (16- or 24-month) completion paths, evening-only classes, access to career events on campus, ability to work directly with award-winning Haslam faculty and an in-person August kickoff event.
Applications for the program’s fall 2023 entering class are now open and will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until the class is full but no later than July 15, 2023.
Stacy Estep, writer/publicist, firstname.lastname@example.org