While many online MBA programs are set up on regular terms, American Sentinel University is one of the few that allows graduate students to start on a monthly basis. American Sentinel University was formed in February of 2006 with the merging of three existing institutions: the American Graduate School of Management (AGSM), Denver, Colorado; Sentinel University (Sentinel), Denver, Colorado; and the American College of Computer and Information Sciences (ACCIS) located in Birmingham Alabama. The university offers Associate, Bachelor and Master’s degrees in a wide variety of fields, but with only a national accreditation from DETC (Distance Education and Training Council) some students may find that the degree is not as acceptable to some employers as regional accreditation is generally more readily accepted.
Requirements for Online MBA Degree
American Sentinel University’s online MBA program is much like other traditional and online MBA programs. The university uses the semester hour system and all classes are taught via the internet in either an online or e-mail intensive manner. The MBA program consists of 36 semester hours, or 12 courses and each is 3 semester hours. The core courses consist of: Financial and Managerial Accounting, Corporate Finance, Managerial Economics, Organizational Behavior, IT for Business Management, Marketing Management, Human Resource Management, Introduction to Strategic Management, Strategies for Change, Overview of Business Intelligence, Business Performance Management, Strategic Capstone.
Tuition, Military Discount, Other Costs and Benefits
The tuition rate for American Sentinel University is a somewhat higher than other DETC accreditation colleges for online MBA programs. The semester hour cost is $420 per semester hour, which equates to a cost of $15,120 compared to TUI University’s MBA program, which costs $11,000. There are other fees that include an application fee of $65 and a graduation fee of $100 but for those transferring in course work attained elsewhere there is a fee of $400 per course transferred. The student will also need to buy books and at a cost of $125 per course this adds $1500 to the total cost.
Numerous surveys and organizations, including the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), report that the average expected starting annual salary for new professional hires from MBA programs to be in the $80K range in 2006. This makes the price of an MBA a good return on investment (ROI). Additionally, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that the average earnings for a person holding a graduate degree, and between the ages of 45 and 54, is about $94,000. It should be noted that these are averages and that in major metropolitan areas the amounts are generally higher.
American Sentinel University does offer a military discount for its programs. For active duty personnel the cost is only $260 per semester hour and for reservists and retirees the cost is $290 per semester hour. The college does qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Distance learning students will not be entitled to the housing allowance of the Post 9/11 GI Bill because the MBA program is attended online only. For veterans using the Montgomery GI Bill or the Post 9/11 GI Bill, the student will need to take two courses per term to meet the requirement for full time attendance and will only obtain benefits for the normal length of the term.
Overall Assessment of American Sentinel University Online MBA Degree
While this MBA program has enough breadth to be useful to the professional who needs an MBA to meet the next career milestone, the lack of specializations may translate into an inability to meet the needs of most students. With the monthly starts this may make the program more like a “guided study” program that will deprive the student of meaningful interaction with other students. The monthly start times may allow some students with unique schedules to earn the MBA in a reasonable period of time. This degree, like many others, appeals to working adults who become online students in order to obtain the necessary academic credentials to advance their career.
Written by Edward Attwell - the Chief Editor of WME NYC.