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 officials.

“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 Studies Department.

“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.”

Media Contacts: Rick Gloady, 562/985-5454,
Shayne Schroeder, 562/985-1727,

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