Master of Science in Management Becomes SUNY Potsdam’s First Fully Online Degree Program
As COVID-19 pushes a fundamental reset in how the global population thinks about work and getting an education, the SUNY Potsdam Department of Business Administration has announced its first fully online degree program — the Master of Science in management.
The program has three tracks: organizational leadership, training and human capital development, and information technology — each branching from a foundation of core courses in management. The initiative is structured around creating learning environments in which students, instructors and real-world clients interact to tackle complex problems and create practical meaning and understanding.
“The hallmark of the program is its diversity, bringing students from a wide range of personal, educational and professional backgrounds together into a common learning space,” said Department of Business Administration Chair Dr. Shalu Wunnava. “The faculty are excited to move these problem-solving activities into a fully online environment, reflecting the ever-evolving nature of how business is done in the 21st century.”
SUNY Potsdam is known for its 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio and tightknit atmosphere. The goal with the new online option for the management program is to translate that close learning experience to digital platforms as well. The option to take courses online provides a level of convenience and access that puts a graduate degree within reach for many students who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity.
In-person coursework will still be offered both at SUNY Potsdam and at the College’s Watertown Extension Center, based at Jefferson Community College. Many of those classes are offered on evenings and weekends, to fit into students’ busy schedules.
The origins of this program date back to the early 1990s, when Dr. Chuck Mlynarczyk, chair of the Department of Education at the time, worked with a new member of the faculty, Dr. Alan Januszewski, to create a business-oriented Master of Science in education program in human performance technology to accompany the K-12 education-oriented instructional technology and media management program. The program evolved and split into three tracks in 2002. The most recent revision was the result of a merger of the Department of Information and Communication Technology and the Department of Business Administration, initiated through a grassroots effort from the faculty in the departments, and supported by the administration.
Once together, faculty worked together to mold the new program, with guidance and leadership from program coordinators Dr. Anthony Betrus and Dr. Gregory Gardner, and then-Department Chair Joe Timmerman, as well as significant assistance from the original creator of the program, Januszewski, just before he retired from SUNY Potsdam in 2019. Januszewski’s former students have seen success in a variety of careers, and you can see their profiles here: https://www.potsdam.edu/academics/SOEPS/BusinessAdmin/graduate-alumni.
“In the last two years, the program has experienced significant growth, not only from our SUNY Potsdam family, but also from staff and faculty from our Associated Colleges — Clarkson University, St. Lawrence University and SUNY Canton,” Wunnava said. “With the move to fully online, we expect the program to grow even further. Positioned as a ‘human-oriented’ program, it represents a very viable and affordable option for those interested in a career in management in variety of sectors, including higher education, for-profit business, the military and non-profits.”