How these 6 business leaders are upping their game with executive education now


students in UNA's EDBA program
Students in UNA’s EDBA program at a residency weekend. Photo via Rachel Russell

Back in 2020, we started talking about University of North Alabama (UNA)’s new Executive Doctor of Business Administration (EDBA) program. One of the cool features of this mostly online program is a series of on-campus residency weekends. This is where everyone migrates from Zoom calls to lecture halls, and where students have the chance to build relationships that will last a lifetime. Now that the first cohort has completed two such weekends, we checked in to find out how it’s going. Keep reading to find out what we learned.

UNA’s EDBA program: what it is

participants at UNA EDBA residency weekend
Participants at UNA’s most recent EDBA residency weekend. Photo via Rachel Russell

UNA’s EDBA (Executive Doctor of Business Administration) is an exciting new doctoral program for mid-to-senior-level professionals.

The Executive DBA is unique in that it allows students to apply their knowledge, including extensive research skills, to real-world business problems. Also, it’s the only program of its kind in the state of Alabama.

ICYMI, here’s a quick refresher:

UNA’s EDBA residency weekends: what participants have to say

UNA EDBA residency weekend
COVID-safe discussions at UNA’s EDBA residency weekend. Photo via Rachel Russell

Since this is a new program, we were curious to find out what participants would say to prospective students about their experience with the residency weekends. At the end of their second monthly on-campus, in-person residency weekend, the staff provided the students with a brief survey. Here’s some of what they said:

“This program is the real deal. UNA is a great business school with incredible professors. I highly recommend the program.”

Shawn Jyawook, Managing Director at SaarGummi

“The program is better than I had even expected. Discussions are engaging and diverse. Come join us at UNA!”

Kenneth Delgreco, Senior Manager of Rocket Engine Production at Blue Origin

Students really value the in-person discussions

UNA EDBA residency weekend
UNA EDBA residency weekend. Photo via UNA College of Business

“The class discussions are the best. Our cohort consists of individuals that bring a wide range of experiences and perspectives. It has broadened my understanding of many of the discussions.”

Russell Sanders, President at FactoryMation

“Especially as we head towards the dissertation, I feel like the discussion and differing perspectives will build the knowledge base a lot better than a traditional PhD.

Also, I feel very strongly that having the residencies in person as opposed to some programs having them on Zoom encourages discussion and learning from people with different perspectives.”

Rong Min, Chief Operating Officer at Global Track Manufacturing

The work for the EDBA is challenging + doable

Since the program is aimed at mid- to senior-level professionals, we were also curious about the workload.

“Scheduling time to devote to the work is challenging but doable for a full-time professional. I have really enjoyed meeting the other participants and hearing from their different perspectives. The most interesting is identifying where people are coming from.”

Seth Thompson, Deputy Director of Proposals at Science and Engineering Services

Hearing other people’s struggles helps

Leo the lion, UNA
Leo the lion is UNA’s mascot. Photo via UNA’s Facebook page

“Hearing everyone else’s struggles is extremely valuable. It makes you feel like you aren’t stupid or incapable because all these other smart successful people are struggling too.”

Seth Thompson, Deputy Director of Proposals at Science and Engineering Services

“It’s great to be considered among these high-performing students. I am learning the critical importance of academic process to decision making. It will make each of us a better leader/decision maker.

To someone who’s considering the program, I’d say be prepared to alter your lifestyle in order to perform well.”

Brian Morgan, Director of Sales at UPS

In case the EDBA sounds like your next career step

EDBA stands for Executive Doctor of Business Administration. Graphic via UNA’s College of Business

If you’d like more details on the nuts and bolts of the program, including who it’s for, what you need to apply, what’s involved and so on, hop over here to this piece we wrote back in August.

The University of North Alabama’s EDBA is an applied program that trains and equips people to make a difference in the real world of business. That said, here are some of the things that make UNA stand out: 

  • Cost: At $33,030 per year for 3 years, the program is competitively priced. 
  • Quality: UNA is among the 5% of business schools in the world to hold the prestigious AASCB accreditation.
  • Flexibility: most of the program is online, with monthly in-person weekend sessions on the UNA campus. 

Want more info on UNA’s EDBA program? Request info here or check them out on Facebook,  Instagram and Twitter to learn more!

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Sharron Swain
Sharron Swain

Writer, Interviewer + Adventurer | Telling stories to make a difference

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