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Clayton State MBA headed to Rockdale

CONYERS - Area adults interested in enrolling in an MBA program soon will have a nearby opportunity.

In June, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia approved a proposal by Clayton State University in Morrow to partner with the Rockdale Career Academy in Conyers to offer an MBA program beginning in January 2010.

"The impact that an MBA program can have is virtually immeasurable. When you have a work force that has a cutting edge and world-class education you can expect them to be more innovative and cost-conscious, better decision-makers and better business people," said Dr. Jacob Chacko, dean of the university's School of Business. "Moreover, as they network with other MBA students and meet and work with industry experts inside and outside of class, we can expect great things to develop. The students that graduate from our rigorous program will be the future business leaders that drive the economic growth and development of the region."

Clayton State graduated its first MBA students in May and is operating a program out of its main campus in Morrow and at a university instructional site in Peachtree City.

The school chose Rockdale as a site after the Board of Regents Office of Economic Development released a report in June 2005 that indicated that 263,000 workers were currently in core logistics industries in Georgia and would increase to 500,000 by 2012. Additionally, according to U.S. Census Bureau numbers, only 14.5 percent of adults in Rockdale County, 21.3 percent in DeKalb County and 11.6 in Newton County have bachelor's degrees, and only about 7 percent of adults in Rockdale County hold a graduate degree.

This is the first type of advanced adult education offered at RCA, which also partners with Georgia Perimeter College, DeKalb Technical College and Georgia State University to offer undergraduate programs on its Conyers campus located at 1064 Culpepper Drive, off Parker Road, in Conyers.

"This is just an extension of those types of services," said RCA Chief Executive Officer Tim Melvin. "We're excited about the opportunity provide education for adult learners in our community ... that we don't really have locally."

The MBA program is planning for about 30 students when it first opens.

"We are expecting students (to sign up) who have at least a bachelor's degree and who are interested in gaining advanced knowledge of business principles," Chacko said. "We are one of metro Atlanta's most diverse MBA programs so we hope to attract strong candidates from all backgrounds and industries."

Many details of the Rockdale program, such as the types of specific programs it plans to offer, are not decided yet, but more will be finalized when incoming Clayton State MBA Program Director Michael Tidwell officially takes over Aug. 1.

The school plans to hold an open house in Rockdale later this year, but until then, the university holds MBA open houses on its Morrow campus from 5:30 to 7 p.m. the second Tuesday of every month in the Spivey Board Room of the Harry S. Downs Center. The deadline to apply for spring MBA program is Nov. 15.

More information about Clayton State's MBA program is available by calling 678-466-4500 or visiting www.clayton.edu.