NNU’s Switch to iCampus Gives Community Feel to Online Learning

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Ryan Van Beek

Ryan Van Beek earned his MBA in March 2013.

When his work schedule changed, Ryan Van Beek had a decision to make: Quit his MBA studies at Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) or switch from the face-to-face program to the online one.

Quitting was never really a consideration for Van Beek, 24, of Meridian, Idaho. He chose the virtual option instead.

Van Beek earned his B.S. in Business Administration/Management in 2011 from NNU. Although he looked at other MBA programs, he decided to continue his business studies at NNU.

“I was very confident in my professors’ business acumen and their ability to effectively convey their knowledge,” he says. “The majority of the professors also have impressive résumés from the corporate environment, which was reassuring. I knew they would be mainly teaching from experience.”

Switching from the on-ground MBA program to the online one, though, did cause Van Beek some concern. Mainly, he didn’t want to miss out on the community aspect of his NNU education.

“I could not imagine how I would build relationships with classmates while sitting in front of a computer,” he says.

But he did, thanks to NNU’s recent switch to iCampus, a more interactive platform that allows students to create their own profiles using photos and personal and professional information, similar to Facebook and LinkedIn.

“It was nice to be able to put a face to a name, even if the student was located in Africa, which one of my classmates was,” Van Beek says. “The platform also allows us to video chat, Instant Message, and it even has what amounts to a conference call. I appreciate that NNU is willing to stay on the cutting-edge of technology in order to provide the best online experience possible.”

Van Beek earned his MBA in March 2013 and definitely feels he got what he was looking for from NNU’s online program.

“I wanted to leave with a much more expansive knowledge of the business environment, yet also understand specifics in areas such as operations, supply chain management, economics, the financial markets, leadership, and every other aspect of business,” Van Beek says. “NNU delivered.”

He also feels NNU delivered on its promise to prepare him to be an ethical leader.

“The Christian faith is the obvious foundation of every NNU course, both on campus and in the online experience,” he says. “Every business theory or issue is considered through the lens of Christian values. Many classroom discussions concluded with the question, ‘What does this mean for us as Christians?’ NNU equips students to make the right decisions on a consistent basis.”

Ready to begin your journey to become an ethical leader like Van Beek? Contact NNU to learn more about our online MBA.

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