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Sonoma State Launches New Part-Time MBA Program

August 21, 2012 8:00 AM

For Immediate Release

Sonoma State Launches New Part-Time MBA Program

(Rohnert Park, CA) - Sonoma State launched its new part-time MBA program this weekend with an immersion experience - the "eMBArk" weekend - that combined academic planning, network development, and practicing case analysis skills.  Twenty professionals from companies like Hamel Family Wines to Raydiance, and industries from construction to retail, and wine to green building and design are in the new program.  Another 30 are already taking steps to join next year's cohort.   

According to Dean William Silver, the re-vamped MBA program has "cutting edge content built from the ground up by working with business leaders to understand the challenges and opportunities they face, and a set of courses and experiences that ensure students have the knowledge and skills to help their businesses succeed."

emba_students.jpg"To live, work, play, and go to school in Sonoma County is a pleasure," said Jonathon Turner, an HR professional now with Cross Check. Turner, who comes from a line of entrepreneurs, noted he is looking to gain the skills and knowledge to run his own business someday.  Troy Nunez, currently in sales for a large retailer, said he has seen companies that are "wildly successful" also make lots of mistakes.  "I want to understand the formulas so I can evaluate what's working and contribute to improvements." 

The new MBA program is organized around a 4-3-2-1 model: four core courses; three theme areas; two electives; and one capstone course.  Inside and outside of the classroom, students gain access to the deep knowledge of our regional business partners, to the activities of the North Bay iHub to cultivate innovation and entrepreneurship, and to career support services. Sonoma State's Wine Business MBA also uses the new model.

kris_wright.jpgThe MBA also incorporates, in a part-time format, some of the best practices in executive and experiential learning like those offered in SSU's Executive MBA.  The core of the eMBArk weekend, for example, was the Insights Discovery evaluator, a lifelong system for optimizing personal and professional effectiveness that is the latest in technological achievement in the psychometric field. Throughout the MBA program, Insights is used in conjunction with classroom learning and teaming opportunities to provide learning that is information-rich, fun, and immediately transferable to work and life. Students conclude their studies with another immersion experience.

sbe_embark_group_mba_alum_1_lowres.jpgOver the course of the eMBArk weekend, students learned from Sonoma State MBA alums Tom Scott of Oliver's Markets, Roy Cecchetti of Cecchetti Wine Company and Corrine Meddaugh of Landmark Winery, and also connected with recent and current students, who shared their experience for managing the life/work/school balance while pursuing an evening MBA and the bottom line everyone is interested in - what impact the MBA program has on their work performance and career.


Dylan Karahalios, Department Technology Coordinator with the City of Santa Rosa and recent MBA alum, spoke on the afternoon panel and then joined the new students and faculty for a networking dinner.   "I'm delighted to see the enhancements to the MBA curriculum that SSU has made. The business world around us is changing more rapidly and it's great to see a program keep up with those changes."

To learn more, contact Kris Wright at or attend the next Information Session on September 11.


For more information, please contact:
Annemarie Brown, 707-664-2221,

About Sonoma State University's School of Business and Economics

Sonoma State University's School of Business and Economics is accredited by AACSB (the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), making it one of 15% of all business schools in the world to meet these standards of excellence. The School's vision is to be the educational nucleus of a thriving North Bay economy.  Its mission is to create extraordinary learning experiences for our students and to advance best business practices in the North Bay and beyond. With undergraduate, graduate, and executive programs serving over 1600 students each year and concentrations in Accounting, Finance, Management, Marketing, Wine Business, and Economics, the School offers the most in-demand degree on the Sonoma State campus. For more information, visit

About the Sonoma State Part-Time MBA Program

Sonoma State's Part-Time MBA is designed to equip students with the business tools and strategies to deliver results in the new transformational economy in which we are operating.  It builds upon the expertise and experience of School of Business and Economics faculty and is enhanced by the strong relationships the School has with regional business partners, in order to make learning focused on results in the workplace.  For example, students learn how to read financial statements, as well as how to understand how that information can help them make decisions to shape strategy.

The curriculum is organized around a 4-3-2-1 model: four core courses that build the MBA foundation with a cohort; three theme area courses - one in each theme; two electives to deepen knowledge in a chosen theme area; and one capstone course.  The theme areas are Leadership and Ethics, International Business and Global Issues, and Contemporary Business Issues.  The four core courses that are completed as a cohort are: Managing Human Capital, Managerial Finance, Cost Control & Analysis, and Business Intelligence.

Sonoma State's industry-leading Wine Business MBA is organized around the same model with specialized wine business courses offered across each of the theme areas.

Key program benefits include:

  • Cutting edge content built from the ground up by working with business leaders to understand the challenges and opportunities they face;
  • Flexible curriculum designed to enable students to build a course of study to advance their careers in their areas of interest;
  • Learning methodologies focused on capturing the expertise of faculty, the work experience of our students, and the deep knowledge of our regional business partners;


sbe_embark_group_mba_alum_1_lowres.jpgSonoma State MBA alum, Tom Scott of Oliver's Markets, told new students he wouldn't be where he is today without the knowledge he gained from his MBA. Download hi-res version.




kris_wright.jpgMBA Director Kris Wright explains the format of the day.
Download hi-res version




emba_students.jpgNew MBA students learn about the Insights Discovery model at Saturday's session. Download hi-res version.

Contact SBE
Contact SSU
Sonoma State University School of Business and Economics. Reach.
1801 East Cotati Avenue, Rohnert Park, CA, 94928 • 707-664-2377 11177