Celebrating 25 years of the first online MBA program
Athabasca University (AU) has a long history of being a leader and innovator in online learning. In fact, AU’s Faculty of Business pioneered the world’s first online MBA 25 years ago.
To help celebrate this milestone, we’re looking back on important moments in the history of AU’s MBA program.
- The Centre for Innovative Management launched the world’s first fully interactive and online MBA program. In its inaugural year the program had 65 students. Many people criticized the program and said it would fail.
- The program’s first summer and weekend schools are held in Hinton, Alta., as an opportunity for students to meet face-to-face.
- The first 45 of AU MBA students graduate.
- AU builds on its summer and weekend school initiative to offer its first international in-residence elective held in New York City. At the same time summer school classes are offered in Bedfordshire, England.
- MBA program in Information Technology Management is introduced.
- Enrolment in the program reaches 1,000 students in 23 countries from all across the globe.
- AU is ranked in the top 3 for executive MBA programs in Canada by Canadian Business magazine.
- AU launches the Online Research Institute for the study of Supply Chain Management.
- The MBA for Project Managers is approved.
- AU’s MBA program partners with the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada and the Certified Management Accountants of Canada.
- AU’s MBA program partners with the Canadian Armed Forces.
- Athabasca University’s MBA program celebrates its first 10 years of success
- AU’s MBA receives accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, making it the first Canadian public university to receive U.S. accreditation.
- The MBA program collaborates with the Canadian College of Health Services Executives.
- The Centre for Innovative Management becomes what the program is known as today, AU’s Faculty of Business (FB).
- Building on the success of the MBA program, AU’s Faculty of Business introduces the Doctorate in Business Administration.
- AU introduces a new fully course-based completion route, allowing students to complete the program without completing a thesis.
- AU introduces 10-week, 6-credit electives in addition to the existing 8-week, 3-credit electives, allowing students to graduate more quickly and delve more deeply into complex topics.
- Dr. Deborah Hurst is named dean of AU’s Faculty of Business.
- Students with an existing undergraduate business degree can now pursue an accelerated option for obtaining an MBA from AU, enabling them to complete a degree more quickly.
- AU’s FB moves to a new building on St. Albert Trail in Edmonton, Alta.
- AU’s MBA program celebrates its second decade of success.
- Athabasca University creates the world’s first MBA major in Hockey Management and partners with the Business of Hockey Institute, a non-profit think tank, to award the Certified Hockey Professional designation.
- AU’s Faculty of Business partners with the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters.
- Athabasca University’s Faculty of Business, in partnership with The Business of Hockey Institute, announces their first educational partnership with NHL team, the Chicago Blackhawks, for the Certified Hockey Professional (CHP) designation.
- The first class of MBA students with a major in hockey management graduate.
- The Faculty of Business welcomed a new Canada Research Chair in Digital Disruption and Organizational Transformation.
- On Oct. 17, 2019, we celebrated the anniversary of the world’s first online MBA program and inducted 25 outstanding alumni into the inaugural Business Hall of Fame.
Learn more about our MBA program.