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  • Low-residency programs blend online, campus classes

    Boston Globe - 05/20/2013

    Joe Lane, juggling a job and family, wanted to get an MBA, but didn’t like the idea of doing a program entirely online.

    Then he found a solution: Babson College’s Fast Track MBA, a program combining online learning with face-to-face classes that meet for 2½ days every seven weeks at the Wellesley campus. Lane, who completed his degree in 2010 and launched his own medical device start-up, said having an MBA on top of engineering degrees made it easier to raise money for his company, giving investors confidence in his ability to lead the business.

    “The payback time [for the program] was less than two years,” said Lane, 48, of Methuen. “I liked that the professors at Babson are practitioners, not just academics, and the average student has 14 years of experience in the work world. Sixty percent of my knowledge came from my peers.”

    Many working professionals like Lane are turning to flexible, part-time programs to advance, retool, or change careers without having to uproot families or quit jobs. Called “hybrid,” “blended,” or “low-residency,” these programs aim to offer the best of both worlds: the flexibility of Internet learning with the face-to-face interaction of the college campus.