Noodle Partners is a young company, but our team has substantial experience. Here are a few details about three programs we’ve managed:
In 2008, the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education began conversations with John Katzman, then the head of The Princeton Review, about developing an online teacher education program. When his Board declined to build the program, he left to start 2U.
The program was launched in 2009. Katzman personally headed the team that brought the program online, which included current Noodle Partners staff members Stephen Green, Julian Farmer, and Jackie Jendras. Together with Dean Melora Sundt of USC, now Noodle Partners’ Chief Academic Officer, they created the first online degree program with the quality of a great on-campus program. While growing enrollment from 80 to 1500 students in forty countries, USC improved its US News ranking from 42 to 14.
In 1986, the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC Chapel Hill launched an Executive MBA program to meet the needs of working professionals. Due to the small size of the Chapel Hill-area market, though, enrollments could never match those of executive MBA programs at NYU’s Stern School, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School and the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, among others. In 2010, John Katzman (on behalf of 2U) reached out to Kenan-Flagler to gauge its interest in building an online MBA program together. The program — the first at a top-20 business school — was launched in 2010, and grew from 19 students in its inaugural cohort to over 900 actively enrolled students in January, 2017. Despite this rapid expansion, success rates remained high. Highlights include:
- 94% of students graduated in two years
- 76% of students reported receiving a job change (either internal promotion or job) before graduating
- Students reported a 29% average salary increase at graduation
- Students began over 100 clubs and organizations
- Donations by alumni set school records
In March of 2016, Noodle Partners entered an agreement with Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management to take its Bachelor of Science in Management (BSM) online. Designed for adult learners who have succeeded in business but lack a degree, the program had existed on the ground for many years, but lacked national reach.
Graziadio is now well-positioned for a fall 2017 start that will exceed its first-year enrollment goal. While it is too early to declare victory, the overall BSM program is becoming the best online and on-campus degree completion program in the country, with dramatically improved technology and instructional design, admissions standards, student: faculty interaction, and graduation rates.