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Fox’s Online MBA program ranked No. 1 in the nation

U.S. News & World Report gave a 5-year-old program top marks.

When U.S. News and World Report gave advance notice to the Fox School of Business that its Online MBA program would tie for No. 1 in the country, the rankings hadn’t yet been released. So the program’s academic director, Darin Kapanjie, had to let it remain a secret for five days until the official announcement.

“It was hard to keep it quiet,” Kapanjie, who started as a statistics professor in 2003, said in a phone interview Thursday.

Temple’s five-year-old program tied with other schools like Indiana University–Bloomington and University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill in the rankings released last Wednesday.

U.S. News annually ranks a variety of programs in higher education, including an overall list for schools. It ranked the entire university No. 121 in the country when its “Best Colleges” list was released in September.

“At Fox, we take rankings really seriously,” Kapanjie said, mentioning previous rankings specific to the business school for things like affordability. “So to be ranked No. 1 for an entire program, it’s huge. … I’m just on Cloud Nine right now.”

The Online MBA rankings focused on five categories: student engagement, admissions selectivity, peer reputation, faculty prestige and student services. 2015 was the first year that on-campus and online MBA programs were ranked separately: in 2014, Temple’s MBA program was ranked ninth.

 Students enrolled in the online MBA program – 173 total at Kapanjie’s last count – learn through a flipped-classroom model, which entails viewing short video segments on the relevant topics before attending once-weekly classes held online that focus heavily on group work.

The video segments are available through the Video Vault, a subset of the Fox School’s site that boasts around 1,400 videos on business subjects and is accessible to anyone with a university username and password. Kapanjie said many of the videos on the site, which he calls a “cross between Lynda, Youtube and Khan Academy,” have been recorded in a studio housed on Main Campus.

The Video Vault is maintained by “instructional designers” who know the curriculum, he said.

“We take the hard part away from the faculty and have them focus on what they’re best at, which is teaching,” Kapanjie said. A featured video on the site shows him discussing the absolute maximum and minimum of an interval on a graph.

Students can enter the program in August, January or May. Tuition to the 48-credit program is about $1,296 per credit with scholarships available to coworkers who attend together and university alumni.

Joe Brandt can be reached at jbrandt@temple.edu, at 215.204.7419 or on Twitter @JBrandt_TU

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