Florida Polytechnic University partners with Florida Southern College on new MBA program
Dr. Anne B. Kerr, left, president of Florida Southern College, and Dr. Randy K. Avent, president of Florida Polytechnic University, announced a new partnership to allow students to earn both their Florida Poly bachelor’s degree and FSC Master of Business Administration degree in five years or less. Image via Florida Poly.

Kerr-Avent
Students can obtain an undergraduate STEM degree and an MBA in five years or less.

Florida Polytechnic University is partnering with Florida Southern College to create a program to allow students to obtain an undergraduate degree in STEM fields and a Master of Business Administration from Florida Southern in five years or less.

The partnership is the first of its kind in the region and offers an affordable path from science, technology, engineering and math degrees to an MBA. The program is an extension of Florida Poly’s 4+1 MBA program.

“We welcome this groundbreaking academic partnership with Florida Polytechnic University, which will greatly enhance the career potential of qualifying students as it strengthens our important ties with leading local businesses and our Fortune 100 partners,” said Anne B. Kerr, president of Florida Southern College. “Our outstanding MBA program is recognized on a regular basis in some of the most influential national rankings.”

The collaboration between the two Lakeland institutions is in response to the market’s request for the development of highly skilled professionals who are ready to thrive and lead across a wide range of industries. Students who complete the 4+1 MBA Program are expected to be able to move into management at a fast pace and excel in leadership positions early in their careers, while contributing to the economic development of the region and the state.

“We’re very excited about this partnership with Florida Southern College,” said Florida Poly President Randy K. Avent. “It will give our students a remarkable opportunity to earn two degrees from two nationally ranked institutions in a very short amount of time. The combination of a Florida Poly STEM degree and a Florida Southern MBA will elevate these students’ career trajectories and open the door for limitless possibilities.”

Florida Poly undergraduate students who meet minimum testing qualifications and show a strong record of academic success can apply for the program in their junior year for early acceptance into the 4+1 MBA program. Students in the program are required to complete nine credit hours of graduate work with Florida Southern prior to completing their bachelor’s degree.

After that, students continue to Florida Southern to complete graduate coursework. Under the program, the GMAT and GRE admission testing requirements are waived for incoming Florida Poly freshman who meet SAT or ACT requirements and maintain at least a 3.25 GPA. GPA requirements also apply to students transferring to Florida Poly.

“The prospect of this agreement makes enormous sense for both institutions and demonstrates that our collective global reach starts with strong roots in Polk County,” said Tom Dvorske, vice provost of academic affairs. “Florida Poly students’ technical savvy combined with the business acumen of the nationally recognized FSC MBA will produce students capable of transformative leadership for central Florida and the state.”

In its 2021 Report Card, Poets&Quants highlighted Florida Southern’s No. 1 national ranking in Quality of Teaching in Business Courses, as rated by alumni. The school’s Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise also has been ranked as a Top 100 MBA program by U.S. News & World Report for 2021 and is included for a fourth consecutive year as one of the nation’s best on-campus MBA programs in The Princeton Review’s prestigious annual college guide, Best Business Schools for 2021.

“I am thrilled to see this partnership launch,” said Brad Hollingshead, provost and vice president of academic affairs at Florida Southern College. “Combining the strengths of our two great schools will provide both students and the region with opportunities that could not be realized in any other way. It is a really powerful collaboration.”

After only six years in existence, Florida Poly made its first appearance in the national rankings of the U.S News & World Report as a top 75 engineering college without a doctorate degree, and in the top 40 of those that are public – the only institution in this category in the state of Florida. The school was also recognized as No. 14 in student career outcomes, right behind Harvard and ahead of Stanford University, in WalletHub’s 2021’s Best College and University Rankings report.

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