New path to graduate studies recognizes professional credentials
Students with professional work experience have a new opportunity at SFU. Thanks to a forward-thinking agreement, many Continuing Studies alumni may be admitted to the Graduate Diploma in Business Administration (GDBA) program at SFU’s Beedie School of Business, even if they lack an undergraduate degree.
The admissions pathway is the first of its kind at SFU. It acknowledges the value of significant career experience and the rigour of a Continuing Studies certificate, and it opens doors to graduate studies for working professionals.
“Professional lives are no longer as linear as they once were,” says Julia Denholm, dean of Lifelong Learning. “Our students seek out education at various stages in their career, or even throughout multiple careers. Not everyone follows the traditional university route, yet our learners bring a wealth of work experience to their studies. With this pathway, we can now formally acknowledge that.”
Continuing Studies and SFU Beedie formalized the ongoing offering of the more accessible GDBA pathway this spring. To qualify, candidates must possess at least eight years of professional experience and a certificate from Continuing Studies in one of six eligible programs:
- Business Analysis
- Business Management
- Executive Leadership
- Human Resources Management
- Non-Profit Management
- Social Innovation
“We thoroughly analyzed the curriculum for these programs to determine whether their alumni would be a good match for our GDBA program,” explains Carolyn Egri, dean pro tem of SFU Beedie. “We were pleased to find that working professionals who complete one of these certificates at Continuing Studies come away with the motivation, confidence and professional skills needed to successfully complete the GDBA.”
SFU Beedie has offered the GDBA online since 1999, making it SFU’s first fully online graduate diploma program. This online delivery combined with the program’s flexibility – students choose the number of courses they take per semester – makes it a popular, accessible option for students who want to continue working full-time or have other commitments to balance.
On its own, the GDBA program delivers a solid grounding in a broad spectrum of business theory and practice. Its transferable course credits can also move students a step closer to earning an MBA from SFU.
Development of the pathway initiative was made possible through funding by the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. Interested candidates can find more details on the Continuing Studies and SFU Beedie websites.