Students studying in Birchwood facility in the Quad Cities
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Lesanne B. Fliehler

Iowa’s highest-ranked part-time MBA program has a new “home” in the Quad Cities: the Birchwood Fields Learning Center in Davenport.

“Tippie’s Professional MBA Program has been a part of the Quad Cities community for 50 years, and this new facility will strengthen that relationship and add even greater value to professional and economic development in the region,” says David Frasier, associate dean of Tippie’s MBA Programs.

Professional MBA classes began in the new facility on January 11. The college’s facility occupies the 12,000-square-foot lower level of the two-story building. The building is a unique public-private partnership between the Tippie College and Russell Construction, which will provide leasable office space on the upper floor to the local business community. The college will also be offering leadership courses, custom programming and the new Business Analytics Certificate at the new facility.

In addition to three technologically advanced classrooms, the facility houses  five breakout rooms, one conference room, a reception area and a student lounge. Classroom technology allows the program to share classes and guest speakers with the Professional MBA locations in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines, providing students at all three facilities with even more educational opportunities.

The Professional MBA Program is designed for working professionals, with classes offered primarily in the evenings, but also include online, weekend, and study abroad options. The flexible plan of study is designed to be completed in two to 10 years, so students can proceed at their own pace.

At its groundbreaking ceremony, Kurt Anstreicher, senior associate dean, said, “We’ve always had outstanding students in the Quad Cities, but we’ve never had outstanding facilities. This will include some active learning, tiered classroom space that we don’t even have in Iowa City.”

Governor Terry Branstad attended the ribbon cutting and said, “This partnership with education is critically important for the economic development and growth of our state. We talk about how education, workforce development and economic development all have to work together to prepare for the jobs of the future.”

Since 2004, more than 500 students have graduated from the Quad Cities program, and they work at such Quad Cities-area employers as Deere & Co., ALCOA, Montgomery-Kone, Rock Island Arsenal, Riverboat Development Authority, AllSteel and HNI.

The Quad Cities was the Tippie MBA’s first remote site; classes were first offered there in 1966. Most recently, MBA courses were offered in the Quad Cities Graduate Student Studies Center at Augustana College, the Kahl Building in downtown Davenport and most recently on the campus of the Palmer College of Chiropractic.