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New program brings Harvard training to Idaho

Gordon Jones talking to Bill Connors before Boise State University announced its new partnership with Harvard Business School. Photo by Patrick Sweeney.

Gordon Jones, the dean of Boise State University’s College of Innovation and Design, speaks with Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce CEO Bill Connors before Boise State University announced its new partnership with Harvard Business School. Photo by Patrick Sweeney.

A new agreement between Boise State and Harvard universities will enable Idaho workers and students to earn a credential from Harvard in one semester at Boise State.

Harvard Business School’s HBX CORe is an online unit of classes that focuses on teaching advanced economic, accounting and business analytic concepts. The program lasts 12 weeks and will now be available at Boise State every semester beginning in September, for students and others.  The program is worth nine credits.

Boise State is the first public university to partner with Harvard Business School and to receive access to the online HBX unit, said Patrick Mullane, executive director of HBX. Mullane graduated from Harvard in 1999 with an MBA and said he never expected Harvard Business School to create an online class because the school traditionally focused exclusively on the students accepted to Harvard.

Patrick Mullane.

Patrick Mullane

School leaders have since adjusted their strategy. Mullane said an online platform will push talented students everywhere to further their study of business concepts, and will enable students to collaborate with a more diverse group than they could if there were limited to a campus.

“There has been a real sea change in thinking;  it is now clear there is talent everywhere,” Mullane said. “Forty percent of our classes are international and the students from here will be thrown into that and will have the chance to work alongside people from all over.”

The program was designed and is taught by Harvard faculty. The classes use case studies to expose students to business ideas and many problems have to be worked out through interactions with classmates. The program requires about 150 hours of time spent directly on the platform and 150 spent outside of it. It will include a local in-person class hosted by the Boise State College of Innovation and Design’s Venture College program.

Boise State University President Bob Kustra speaks to Idaho business people May 26 at a gathering where Boise State announced a new program with Harvard University. Photo by Patrick Sweeney.

Boise State University President Bob Kustra speaks with Idaho business people May 26 at a gathering where Boise State announced a new program with Harvard University. Photo by Patrick Sweeney.

The cost of the program is $2,673 for students and $2,500 for non-students. Its organizers are aiming to attract employers who want their workers trained in accounting, economics and business analytics.

“This will strengthen our students, employees and the whole community,” said Gordon Jones, dean of the College of Innovation and Design. “This is a chance for your organization to send employees to get that additional training.”

The HBX program is not expected to compete with the Boise State College of Business and Economics because it is a limited certification program, Jones said.

“In many ways I think this will complement our own business college,” Jones said.  “I think students might take this course and learn they have an interest in the field and pursue a full MBA.”

 

 

About Benton Alexander Smith

Benton Alexander Smith is a reporter for the Idaho Business Review, covering the Idaho Legislature, new business, technology and financial services.