Last modified: Tuesday, August 19, 2003
New Kelley School program makes business knowledge available to more people
First classes being offered this fall
As Indiana's economy continues to shift its emphasis toward smaller and mid-sized companies, having a workforce of "knowledge workers" becomes even more essential. A new program being offered at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business is striving to help these firms attract, train and retain the best employees.
This fall, the school is publicly launching the Kelley Business Education Network (KBEN), an aggressive initiative to make its faculty and knowledge more accessible to employers of all sizes in Indiana and surrounding states. The new program will offer courses and certificate programs in business administration, finance, management, marketing and supply chain management, which can be completed in days, not months or years.
"Small and mid-sized companies tell us their employees need to become better business people," said Ronald Thomas, director of the new program at Kelley Executive Partners, the executive education arm of the Kelley School of Business. "They're good technicians, good engineers and good scientists, but they need broader business skills. This new program will help these crucial employees to better understand the entire business picture and help employers to attract and retain them."
More than 40 two-day courses, including many taught by faculty in the Kelley School's MBA program, will be offered. Nearly all of them will be taught in the new Graduate and Executive Education Center, which was dedicated last year at IU Bloomington. All of the courses can be taken individually or as part of a package leading to one or more certificates.
Courses have been priced well below executive education programs offered by top tier business schools. To support Indiana companies in economically depressed areas and minority-owned firms, the Kelley School is offering price discounts to a limited number of firms that qualify.
Thomas said the school wants to make its training expertise more accessible. In the past, top schools such as the Kelley School focused more on offering one- to two-week executive education programs for employees identified by their companies as future leaders. By offering the new two-day courses, the school will enable employers to offer professional development to a larger pool of employees.
KBEN will provide those at mid-sized and entrepreneurial firms the opportunity to receive executive education training that the school previously offered to Fortune 500 and other major companies. In the past, the school has been unable to offer more individualized training to small companies.
Many smaller firms face competition from larger and out-of-state companies, which are able to meet increasing employee demands for professional development opportunities. KBEN has been designed to complement a company's internal training and development efforts.
"Companies are responding to learning trends by increasing the variety of learning options available to their employees," said Michael A. Evans, president and chief executive officer of CHORUS Inc. "A program provided through a recognized, accredited and trusted name such as the Kelley School of Business extends these options by leveraging the resources of a world-class business school.
"The wide variety of Kelley's offerings increases the likelihood a course will fit with busy schedules as well as address participants' unique learning needs," Evans added. "Tapping into a larger community increases the opportunity for participants to network and learn from people outside their company and industry, ultimately benefiting the employee and his or her employer."
Monique M. Mackasey, Global Human Resource Development leader at Dow AgroSciences LLC in Indianapolis, added, "At Dow AgroSciences, we believe knowledge and well-trained employees improve our ability to compete in the marketplace. This program allows our employees access to an external source of learning offerings, which can complement our internal programs. Location of the KBEN program also fits well with our large Indianapolis-based population."
The program also offers some students, including members of the Indiana CPA Society, an opportunity to earn continuing professional education credits.
Information about KBEN and other offerings is available online at https://www.kep.indiana.edu/, or by calling 812-855-0229 or 866-KEP-KBEN (800-537-5236).