New Community College Business Degree Pipeline

A groundbreaking partnership with Virginia Western Community College has created what may be the state’s most convenient and affordable business degree track

“We wanted to maximize value, efficiency, and flexibility for all students,” said MBU College of Business and Professional Studies founding dean Joe Sprangel. But the offering was crafted to help “returning learners and those from underserved or low-income backgrounds in particular.”

Virginia Western Community College and Mary Baldwin University have partnered to create one of the state’s most affordable and streamlined business degree programs.

To do it Sprangel worked with VWCC business management professor Jeff Strom on innovations to streamline processes and dramatically cut costs compared to other transfer and four-year programs. Their pipeline, for instance, lets students earn 84 credit hours from VWCC (instead of just 61), then finish with 36 at MBU. Synched curriculum ensures all credits transfer. 

VWCC Business, Technology, and Trades Dean Yvonne Campbell calls the latter an “incredible win for our students.” That’s because most lose about 10 credits when transferring to four-year business programs. 

The measures collectively reduce total tuition to $30,842 before grants and scholarships. That’s significant, as U.S. News & World Report estimates the average cost for a similar in-state degree is $56,700. Students would pay $45,050 at Virginia Tech; $71,192 at the University of Virginia

Flexibility, convenience, and further savings come from hybrid and online course options. These allow students to forgo costs related to traditional housing and meal plans. They also make it easier for them to work while studying.

But Sprangel didn’t stop there: Pipeline students can get their MBA cheaper and faster too. Tweaked curriculum enables them to earn up to six credits toward a master’s while working on a BA or BS. That means they can graduate a semester early and save $3,900 in tuition — putting total costs for the pipeline MBA at $19,500 vs. national averages of about $33,500

“This is an amazing value, and we are extremely proud to be able to offer it to our students,” said Campbell. 

Sprangel calls the partnership “indicative of MBU’s commitment to finding innovative solutions to workforce development and serving the educational needs of the nontraditional college student.” 

MBU hopes to bring business pipeline programming to more schools in the Virginia Community College System within the next few years. 

“This partnership is an incredible win for our students.”

VWCC School of Business, Technology, and Trades Dean Yvonne Campbell

INTERESTED IN learning more about Mary Baldwin’s innovative residential, hybrid, and online business programs? Click HERE for undergraduate opportunities. HERE for MBA info.