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.