Executive MBA Program Benefits

Since 1980, Rockhurst has graduated nearly 1000 students from its prestigious Executive MBA program. We have now built onto the proven formula of applied faculty, a cohort structure and leadership focus with a revised program to meet the needs of today’s leaders and improve the capacity of our business community.  Here is what we are changing in 2017 and why:

Elective Options

The challenge of leadership is not only greater today, but the specialized knowledge required has increased into areas such as data analytics, finance and digital marketing.  The Helzberg MBA program since 2011 has expanded its breadth of offerings in these fields and others and our EMBA students can now select two courses in chosen business areas specific to their knowledge needs.

Lifelong Learning

Executive MBA students can continue taking classes tuition free after they graduate with their EMBA.  Graduates can explore in more depth fields like data analytics, healthcare, finance and non-profit or they can choose offerings that merely interest them.  Some may choose to earn other certificates that are offered by the Helzberg School. This benefit means our students do not have to feel limited to the content they get in a defined (by hours and dates) MBA program, but now can think of learning as truly ongoing, enabling our EMBA graduates to update their knowledge post MBA.

12-Month Leadership Core Experience

We are retaining our already successful courses in accounting, marketing, finance, strategy and leadership, but structuring them into a Leadership Core that comprises the Year 1 curriculum, running August to July.  In this core students will learn business acumen in a cohort where teams work together to study, learn and create.  This one-year cohort experience will provide a rich learning platform that grows the skill and confidence of all participants.  While the curriculum is similar to other MBA programs, our approach is tailored to executives.  It is more practical, more leadership focused and at a more strategic level.

Leader Formation

The program now features a deeper dive into leader development.  The leadership learning activities are experiential and reflective.  Management theories are pursued primarily in the service of practical skills and knowledge in areas that our stakeholders say are the most important, such as skills for coping with rapid change and managing complex environments. A variety of self-assessments tools, coupled with professional coaching support, enable students to develop greater self-awareness and higher levels of emotional intelligence. 

International Residency

The Helzberg School is bringing this experience back as an option for students. With a global economy, understanding the global business environment is important, even for many smaller companies. The theme of global literacy is a fundamental learning outcome of the Helzberg School and the experiential nature of a well-planned international trip addresses this goal.

The Same Superb Instruction and Curriculum Focus

The revised Helzberg EMBA retains its same quality that has been the hallmark of the program since its inception in 1978. Full-time faculty qualified by both executive experience and academic credentials and a curriculum committed to applied learning. The revised format will continue to enhance and improve the instruction in the following ways.

What We Will Teach

We will offer many of the same courses that have been the backbone of the Rockhurst Executive MBA for over 35 years. The difference is in how we are now more intentional about making connections among these topics, how we will use groups within the cohort to engage learning processes and how we will fully execute Ignatian pedagogy as the process of learning.  Additionally, the new program will connect EMBA students to our network of Rockhurst EMBA alumni through a structured mentoring program.

Linkages of courses

We will continue to offer discrete courses, but the emphasis will be more on intra- and inter-semester integration. Thus, courses will more explicitly build on each other and themes will be pursued that cross multiple courses.

Using teams

Group structure is a staple of EMBA programs, but we will extend this further by using teams as an integral part of the learning process. While students will continue to have individual accountability for demonstrating learning and knowledge, courses in Year 1 will feature expanded team projects that will require teams to learn how to foster high performance cultures.

Ignatian pedagogy

More than any other academic program the EMBA is ripe for this type of learning, which is consistent with Jesuit Education.  Our students come into the program as successful people who are doers – ones who act, react and act again.  This has served them well in advancing in their specialty, but it is often insufficient for them to grow quickly into leaders who can solve complex challenges. The Helzberg Executive MBA teaches the process of reflection and discernment in the Jesuit tradition. We focus not just on understanding the mechanics of business, but also on the emotional and spiritual foundations of effective leadership.

How We Will Teach

The Helzberg School has over 35 years of experience teaching executives. Our full-time faculty are not only qualified academics, they also have executive experience in a variety of businesses.  They are committed to offering:

Facilitated Discussions

Our faculty will impart knowledge with content lectures, but this will support the central function of facilitating rich discussions among students who already have significant business experience. In our 35+ years we have always done this, but because of technology we can now do it even more as lectures and other information sources can be shifted to online platforms to be viewed asynchronously.

Experiential Activities

Leadership and management are learned, not taught. That is, these skills are learned by doing them, not just talking about them.  Throughout the program students are engaged in simulations, cases, and live projects that allow for this type of learning –learning that is not just cognitive but affective.

Professional Expertise

We employ fewer adjuncts than other programs but use subject-matter experts and professional coaches who align with the structure and pedagogical goals of the program. We avoid adjuncts who come in and teach isolated courses and instead employ experts who come in as a contextual part of our integrated program led by full-time business faculty.