As she prepared to enter her doctoral program at FIU Business, Sharla St. Rose contemplated the work ahead of her.
“A dissertation in three years–that’s going to be a tough challenge,” said St. Rose, who will continue her role as vice president of voluntary benefits at NPF Corporate Services as she studies. “The program won’t be easy, but the opportunities we will get are very valuable.”
On Aug. 23, St. Rose and 25 other members of the first class of FIU Business’ Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program received a warm welcome from academic leaders and faculty of the new program, the first of its kind offered in Miami.
Unlike the traditional Ph.D. degree, the DBA program provides a terminal degree in business to those who cannot forgo their work and family obligations to go back to school for a conventionally-delivered doctorate. It is delivered in a hybrid format, including both in-person weekend residencies and through online coursework.
“This degree is about lifelong learning, and it’s also about strengthening our longtime commitment to serving our local business community,” said President Mark Rosenberg, who addressed the graduates at an evening reception.
The DBA focuses on providing students with real-world, business-oriented critical thinking and problem-solving skills through an applied research perspective, compared with the traditional theoretical research-oriented Ph.D.
“This first cohort represents a significant achievement in doctoral education at FIU,” said George Marakas, director of Ph.D. Programs. “The quality and depth of experience of the students is unparalleled. Our curriculum is one of the strongest of any DBA program in the country and, upon graduation, this cohort will be truly qualified to hold this terminal degree in applied business research.”
Candidates hail from a diverse range of sectors, major companies and well as growth ventures, and include high-level professionals in logistics, media, finance, hospitality, entertainment and retail. During the course of their first day as doctoral students, they received an overview of the program and learned about the systems in place to assist them in their academic journey.
FIU Business dean, Joanne Li, noted that the program was part of a timely response to the need of the market in higher education, “driven by the rapid pace of change, the movement to artificial intelligence, virtual reality and augmented reality—the shrinking of the world.”
“We are proud to be in the forefront of change,” she said. “What was once disruption is now a mainstream opportunity, our new DBA, which gives adults the ability to continue to learn in a way that meets their needs.”