Campus: CSU Long Beach -- March 26, 2004
The Boeing Company, Cal State Long Beach Team
Up to Offer Master's of Business Administration Program for Boeing Employees
The Boeing Company and California State University, Long Beach have
teamed up to create a program that takes the university to Boeing employees,
giving them an opportunity to earn a master’s degree in business
administration without ever having to leave their own work environment.
The Master of Business Administration Program for Boeing has faculty
from Cal State Long Beach traveling to Boeing’s Long Beach site
to deliver off-hour courses to employees from the company’s Long
Beach, Huntington Beach and El Segundo offices.
A cohort of 13 students is taking one class a week after work. Those
enrolled in the program have met the same requirements as those admitted
to CSULB’s on-campus MBA program, and the Boeing Company covers
the cost of all appropriate tuition, books and fees for its employees.
It is an arrangement that is “mutually beneficial” to both
the university and the aerospace firm, according to CSULB and Boeing
“Through the graduate program in the College of Business Administration
at Cal State Long Beach, we will be able to address the Boeing Company’s
needs as it pertains to developing their future managers as well as
their current managers,” said H. Michael Chung, CSULB director
of graduate programs and executive education. “At the same time,
the faculty members from the business school will get rich interaction
with Boeing employees about practical aspects of decision-making and
the business industry environment.”
This is not the first program the two entities have collaborated on.
Kim Armstrong, project director, Education Outreach Program/Internships
for Boeing, noted that CSULB and Boeing are involved in a manufacturing
technology certificate program and have a joint manufacturing technology
lab, both within the College of Engineering. She also pointed out a
designated subject credential program offered through the CSULB Occupational
“We have a great partnership with the university, and Cal State
Long Beach faculty are delivering courses that are extremely beneficial
to our company,” Armstrong said. An MBA program for Boeing, she
added, was the “next natural step” for the two.
“MBA programs are very popular these days, and that higher level
of knowledge in the business world is necessary, especially for engineers
who may have their engineering degree but don’t have the business,
management and leadership background and all the skills that come with
that,” Armstrong, said. “The fact is organizations such
as ours now need to be fully skilled in business, finance and marketing
as well as engineering.”
There are two unique aspects of the MBA program that add value for Boeing
employees, CSULB’s Chung explained. First, executive management
at the company are collaborating with CSULB faculty to deliver guest
lectures, which helps customize the experience and make if more effective
for employees. Secondly, some of the elective courses will be further
customized to Boeing’s needs to enhance the value of the program.
Students enrolled in the off-hours program are supported through the
company’s “Learning Together Program,” which gives
employees an opportunity to expand their knowledge outside of what is
available at Boeing. Under this program, the company pays for tuition
and many related expenses-- including application fees, entrance exams,
books, and graduate fees--for employees enrolled in properly accredited
colleges, universities or trade schools. Employees who complete degrees
are eligible for Boeing stock awards.
The tuition reimbursement program is one of the most generous in any
industry, and since the “Learning Together” began in 1998,
more than 88,000 Boeing employees have participated, resulting in more
than 4,200 undergraduate and 3,700 advanced degrees. On average, 27,500
employees take courses each year through the program.
“We are a company that is very dedicated to developing our employees.
In fact, I don’t believe you will find any other company that
gives employees the educational benefits that Boeing does,” Armstrong
said. “And the reason Boeing does it is simple--the company wants
to stay competitive.”
Armstrong is very much a product of that dedication. Through “Learning
Together,” she has gone through several certificate programs,
earned two master’s degrees (both at CSULB), a teaching credential
and her Ed.D. from Pepperdine University.
“With this new MBA program, we wanted to increase our partnership
with Cal State Long Beach as well as meet our business needs in terms
of bringing these competitive skills to our employees,” Armstrong
said. “That’s how the MBA program was designed, and it was
designed with a focus of getting our employees to the next level.”
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