Globe and Mail: Beedie to offer an Aboriginal Executive MBA

Oct 31, 2011

by Jennifer Lewington, Globe and Mail

In a 40-year history of executive MBA education at Simon Fraser University, only 10 aboriginal students came to the program. The abysmal record is typical of the under-representation of First Nations, Metis and Inuit students in higher education in Canada.

Seeking to improve its standing, the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University this week announced a new executive MBA in aboriginal business and leadership for September, 2012.

“People see increasingly that the economic success of the region and the country are somewhat dependent on the success of aboriginal as well as non-aboriginal people,” says Mark Selman, director for the new program, who consulted with aboriginal leaders for several years on its development.

Priced at $48,000, the three-year program aims to meet a growing need for senior-level management education for aboriginal managers and entrepreneurs as First Nations communities take greater control of their land and resources and establish new businesses. The program is also open to managers of non-aboriginal businesses increasingly keen to learn how to interact effectively with First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities.

Through in-classroom and online studies, students will learn core management concepts and principles and examine issues from a First Nations perspective.

About 70 people have expressed interest in the program, but the first class will be limited to 30 students, most from the Vancouver area, says Prof. Selman.

Students accepted into the program typically will have an undergraduate degree in a non-business discipline and seven to 10 years of work experience, but there could be exceptions for candidates with significant work experience and no undergraduate degree.

Prof. Selman hopes to attract corporate donors to fund scholarships for the program.

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