Faculty Make MBA Courses Interesting, Relatable, and Applicable

Terry Pharaon 2

An electrical engineer for Marathon Petroleum Corporation and a student of Ball State’s online MBA program, Terry Pharaon admits he’s always on the lookout for efficient ways to complete projects, access energy, and limit waste.  

That’s why he chose logistics and supply chain management from the MBA’s eight concentrations. This concentration is a study of ways to improve the flow of materials, supplies, and products from suppliers to clients. 

“Proper management of conventional resources along with renewable energy and the rapid evolution of technology is the future of our world,” says Terry, who expects to graduate in 2024. “In this day and age, everyone shops online. Everything is expected to have a shorter lead time. Engineering must move at the same pace.” 

Launched Career with Marathon 

Born in Miami, Terry says his interest in reliable and sustainable energy production stems from living in Third-world countries Haiti and Dominican Republic where, at the time, electricity was only available on average 14 hours each day. Alternative power sources were used for the remaining hours of the day, he says. 

He returned to the U.S. to earn his B.S. in electrical engineering at Michigan State University and graduated in 2014. 

After serving several internships during his undergrad years, his professional career took off as project engineer I with Marathon Petroleum. With his promotion to project engineer II, he manages more challenging mechanical projects and has overseen the electrical and controls portion of a $26 million capital growth expansion project of approximately 420 pipeline miles.  

Impressed with MBA’s U.S. News Ranking 

Terry enrolled in the online Ball State MBA in 2019. “The BSU program was very affordable, in terms of cost per credit, and had good ratings on usnews.com,” he says, noting the MBA’s Top 20 ranking for Best Online MBA programs by U.S. News and World Report. 

A coworker pursuing the program had “great things to say about the professors,” says Terry. 

“Great things,” he found, were particularly true of Dr. Tung Liu, professor of economics; Dr. Chris Luchs, assistant professor of accounting; and Dr. Brian Webster, associate professor of management. “They have made the courses interesting, relatable, and very applicable to any branch of business administration,” he says. 

How Terry Has Used Class Work on the Job 

Ball State’s online programs are advertised as providing classroom content that students can use immediately on the job.

“The MBA helps me understand how my current company decides to pursue a specific project as opposed to another,” he says. “I am understanding the terminologies used when business development makes a case for a project and asks my team to implement it.”  

Although just a few years into his career, Terry aspires long-term to be the CEO or COO of an organization that makes sustainable energy its focus while managing projects to create opportunities for the underserved. 

Role in International Development is Possibility 

“This may be in the form of building power plants using current technologies and helping build reliable and efficient transportation systems to eliminate the supply chain roadblocks that underdeveloped countries face,” he says. 

In addition to English, Terry is proficient in French, Haitian Creole, and Spanish and sees working with an international development organization such as USAID or World Bank Group as another option.  

“I hope that my project management, construction, supply chain experience, business acumen, and language proficiencies will allow me to reach this goal.” 


Ball State Online Degrees Earn U.S. News “Best Online Programs” Designation

The U.S. News & World Report 2022 “Best Online Programs” rankings were released this morning. The rankings are exclusive to “degree-granting programs that are offered primarily online by regionally accredited institutions,” according to U.S. News. 

It comes as no surprise that Ball State Online performed well yet again. Many of Ball State University’s online degrees have consistently found their way onto the prestigious list since 2013.  

In addition to the main categories of bachelor’s degrees, graduate business degrees, graduate education degrees, graduate information technology degrees, graduate nursing degrees, and online programs for veterans, the University also achieved a few specialty rankings. Specialty rankings are ratings given by peer institutions. 

2022 Best Online Programs 

Bachelor’s Degrees

Ball State’s online bachelor’s degrees have remained in the top 50 since 2013. New to this 2022 list is the bachelor’s in applied behavior analysis (ABA) specialty ranking. 

Graduate Business Degrees

The master’s of business administration (MBA) category is one of the most competitive nationally. Ball State’s online MBA has received its ninth consecutive top-20 designation, which further establishes the program as a contender in the online MBA space, says Jason Webber, director of MBA and certificate programs. 

“There are three things that make the Ball State MBA stand out: affordability, flexibility, and accreditation. We remain highly competitive when it comes to the total cost. Courses are available completely online with multiple offerings. We also remain accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and in the U.S. News top 20,” says Webber.  

“When you consider those three reasons, along with not having a residency requirement and offering several concentrations – we place ourselves at the top of the list for many prospective students.” 

Graduate Education Degrees

Ball State has a long-standing reputation for exceptional educator preparation programs – having first been established as a teachers college – as well as a long history of national recognition for those programs. Ball State’s Teachers College is the largest preparer of educators and principals in Indiana, but it is also one of the largest schools of education in the nation.  

“We are very proud of all our programs in Teachers College, but certainly having nationally ranked online programs in all areas of educator preparation is a point of pride. Our graduate programs are rooted in practical experiences in the classroom, school, and community,” Teachers College faculty states.  

“Between our large number of graduates, the University Schools, and Muncie Community Schools partnership, Teachers College has strong ties in the field and our community. This allows us to keep up to date on issues that students in our undergraduate and graduate programs will be facing and allows them to learn what they need to know to hit the ground running after graduation.” 

Graduate Information Technology Degrees

Last year, in its first year of eligibility, the master’s in information and communication science (ICS) debuted on the U.S. News “Best Online Programs” rankings in the top 25. This year, it broke into the top 20. 

“This degree program will give anyone in any state access to diverse classmates from various industries, generations, levels of experience, and even geography. I don’t know of many master’s degrees that lead in industry credentials, established success, alumni engagement, and can be as affordable as we can,” says Anna Stumpf, online program coordinator for the master’s in ICS.  

“We have the Wall Street Journal’s designation as the ICS master’s with the quickest return on investment over any other in the nation. To have access to that with Ball State Online with such low in-state tuition is unprecedented.” 

Graduate Nursing Degrees

The University’s online master’s in nursing has remained a solid top-25 contender since 2014. 

“We are thrilled to maintain a top-20 ranking in the U.S. News ‘Best Online Programs’ for our exceptional master’s in nursing. This builds on a tradition of excellence in nursing at Ball State. We believe our program continues to earn recognition for its commitment to students by faculty who are excellent instructors and clinical experts. We keep class sizes low to afford personal attention by faculty to our online graduate students,” says Scott Rutledge, dean of the College of Health. 

“Now, more than ever, it is critical to support nursing professional development. The COVID-19 pandemic has created a much more publicly known need for nursing professionals. We welcome inquiries for admission and look forward to continuing to deliver a top-notch program.” 

Programs for Veterans

  • Master’s Degrees in Education Programs – 15th   
  • MBA – 22nd   

U.S. News & World Report also recognizes Ball State as a leader in reducing the cost of education for veterans through online programs. Highly ranked programs have strong traditional academic foundations based on student-instructor access, graduation rates, and instructor credentials. 

Visit Ball State Online’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to help spread the word about the new U.S. News & World Report rankings. 

U.S. News “Best Online Programs” Rankings Revealed: Ball State Places in the Top

U.S. News and World Report released its rankings for the “Best Online Programs” of 2021. A record high of 1,641 online degree programs were assessed this year, and, once again, Ball State Online proved its ability to compete on a national scale.

Academic quality is nothing new to Ball State Online. Many of our online degree programs have consistently ranked among the best since 2013.

Several factors are considered before determining if a degree can claim a “Best Online Program” honor, such as faculty credentials, student engagement (which includes retention and graduation rates), class size, peer reputation, and the quality of the university’s student services and technology.

“Ultimately, the Best Online Programs rankings measure whether online degree programs have academic standards commensurate with quality brick-and-mortar programs, properly adapted toward the unique pedagogy of distance education,” states U.S. News and World Report.

As the first in Indiana to offer online and distance education, our reputation for high-quality academic experiences and commitment to life-long learning are things we don’t take very lightly. Take a look at the rankings below and you’ll see why.

2021 Best Online Programs

Bachelor’s Degrees

Ball State University’s online bachelor degrees have ranked in the top 40 in the nation since 2013.

Graduate Business Degrees

The master’s in business administration (MBA) category is one of the most competitive nationally – with over 300 programs in consideration – however, our online MBA has maintained a top 20 status for the past eight years.

“We are extremely excited and honored to be named a top 20 program again. More than half of our incoming students cite the U.S. News as the reason they applied,” says Jason Webber, director of MBA and certificate programs.

“While our overall score keeps us in the top 20, we typically excel in faculty credentials and student services. In the Miller College of Business, all of our faculty who teach in the MBA program have a PhD and almost all of them are tenured or are tenure-track. This is something our prospective students often ask us about. These prospects are looking for academic experts who have demonstrated research experience in our core courses,” acknowledges Webber.

Graduate Education Degrees

Ball State has reputation for exceptional educator preparation programs – having been first established as a school for educators – as well as a long history of national recognition of those programs. Ball State’s Teachers College is the largest preparers of educators in the state of Indiana and one of the largest schools of education in the nation.

“The reason Teachers College has such a sterling reputation is because we are focused on excellence, making sure we have top-notch resources, and our focus on equity – making sure we serve populations that might be neglected or underserved by other institutions,” says Anand Marri, dean of Teachers College. “The U.S. News rankings contribute to the sustainability of our online programs because it allows us to better allocate resources to make sure we are supporting these programs and continue to improve.”

Graduate Information Technology Degrees

Our online master’s in information and communication sciences (CICS) degree earned a top 25 ranking in its first year being considered in the graduate information technology category. Additionally, it was the only online information technology program in the state to earn this honor.

Having already earned Information and Telecommunications Education and Research Association’s (ITERA) 2020 “Outstanding Program of the Year,” the recent U.S. News designation continues to add to the credibility behind this program.

“CICS has a long history of national and international recognition as a top technology program. The U.S. News and World Report ranking is the most well-known and widely regarded of such recognition and ranking programs,” says Dennis Trinkle, director of the Center for Information and Communication Sciences. “We are especially pleased that the U.S. News ranking will help make our remarkable program more visible to all those who might benefit from its distinctive experience.”

Graduate Nursing Degrees

Our master’s in nursing remains a strong top 25 online program since 2014.

Programs for Veterans

  • 17th – Master’s Degrees in Education Programs
  • 37th – Bachelor’s Degrees

U.S. News and World Report also recognizes the Ball State as a leader in reducing the cost of education for veterans through online programs. Highly ranked programs have strong traditional academic foundations based on student-instructor access, graduation rates and instructor credentials.

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