Midland, MI (February, 2008) In response to the increased demand for advanced degrees specifically tailored to retail dealership operations, Northwood University’s DeVos Graduate School of Management, in conjunction with the Association of Finance & Insurance Professionals (AFIP), is proud to announce the first-of-its-kind Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) program for dealer executives. The new academic offering marks the first Dealership Executive MBA in the world and is delivered exclusively by Northwood University. The accredited program is scheduled to begin in 2008 in Midland, Mich.
The new MBA program will serve in-store executives employed by dealerships in the franchised new vehicle, independent used vehicle, RV, marine, motorsports, and motorcycle markets. The Dealership Executive MBA will also benefit executives working for captive and institutional lenders and aftermarket product vendors that support the retail trades.
Designed with the career demands of upper-echelon executives in mind, the accelerated 30-month MBA capitalizes on the best of distance and on-campus learning environments. While the relevant course-related information can be effectively conveyed online, honing the knowledge into powerful leadership skills requires face-to-face exposure with seasoned professors and fellow student-executives hailing from every facet of the industry. The program structure includes five intensive weeklong classroom modules in conjunction with the online coursework.
The interactive discussion-based model utilizes the signature DeVos Case Study method. According to Keith Pretty, president, Northwood University, “The Dealership Executive MBA program builds on our strong undergraduate tradition of educating thousands of managers and dealer principals that are in leadership positions across the United States and around the world.”
“Northwood is the recognized leader in powered conveyance retailing and fixed operations education,” said David Robertson, AFIP’s executive director. “Our association’s AFIP Certified F&I Professional program has been part of Northwood’s undergraduate curriculum for many years. In candor, the DeVos graduate school was the only venue considered for the graduate-level executive education initiative.”
Robertson added that an academic advisory committee comprised of leaders from every facet of the industry has been formed to ensure that the course material is in sync with the real world needs of in-dealership executives. He also noted that an effort is underway to develop scholarship programs for qualified candidates individuals currently holding an undergraduate degree.
The Dealership Executive MBA Program encompasses core management topics including financial valuation, line of business and corporate strategy, economics, marketing, and organizational behavior and leadership tailored specifically to meet the ever-changing demands of both the local and global automotive marketplace. The curriculum aims to provide students with the tools and skills necessary to effectively lead their organizations in the changing times ahead.
“The Dealership Executive MBA will feature world-class academics and be complemented and supplemented by industry-specific case studies, as well as guest lecturers from industry leaders,” said Dr. Timothy Nash, vice-president of Graduate and Specialty Programs and dean of the DeVos Graduate School of Management.