First student enters new international dual-degree program

  Wednesday, April 22, 2015 2:00 AM

Pittsburg, KS

First student enters new international dual-degree program

A few years back, Pittsburg State graduate student Dane Longan traveled to the Bahamas. The experience changed his life.

“It was my first time out of the country, and I just had this overwhelming feeling of excitement and adventure,” said Longan, a Pittsburg native pursuing a master’s degree in business administration. “It opened my eyes to the world outside of the U.S.”

When Longan learned recently about an opportunity for business students to study in France, he felt that same sense of excitement.

“Dr. (Eric) Harris talked to me about the chance to study at La Rochelle University in France, and I immediately felt that feeling of adventure,” he said. “I knew it something I just had to do.”

Longan is the first Pitt State student enrolled in the program formed by the Kelce College of Business’s dual degree agreement with La Rochelle Business School in La Rochelle, France. He will study in France this fall.

The agreement between the two universities gives PSU students the opportunity to earn both a master’s degree in business administration from Pitt State and a master’s degree in management from La Rochelle, ranked by The Financial Times as one of the top 80 business schools in Europe.

To become eligible for the program, Pitt State students must complete 25 required Kelce MBA credits. Of those who are eligible, a maximum of three students will be chosen for the program each year.

Upon selection, the PSU students travel to France to complete a fall semester at La Rochelle. That is followed by a European internship, which is generally arranged by La Rochelle. Once complete, the students will be awarded degrees from both institutions.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to gain international business experience and earn a degree from two of the top business programs in the world,” said Linden Dalecki, associate professor at Pitt State and coordinator of the dual degree program. “We are very excited to work with La Rochelle on this program, and we thank them for being partners in this unique venture.”

Longan said he is excited for the opportunity.

“It’s one thing to take a week vacation in another country, but it’s quite another to become a citizen of that country for a brief time,” he said. “That’s how I see this program. I get to spend a semester in France, and I’m looking forward to the culture shock. I’m excited to meet new people and experience a new way of life.”

More than anything, he’s looking forward to the educational experience.

“To have the chance to earn dual degrees from two prestigious business schools is an opportunity that will benefit me my entire life,” he said.

Another facet of the dual degree agreement is the opportunity for PSU students to take part in summer programs at La Rochelle at a reduced rate. Dalecki said two students, senior Morgan Hudson and freshman Madison Noordhoek, are already scheduled to participate in the program this summer.

“For typical partner school students, the cost would be nearly $3,000,” Dalecki said. “As part of our dual degree agreement, our students can study there for just over $1,000. That’s a tremendous advantage and opportunity for our business students.”

Noordhoek, an international business major, said she’s excited for the experience.

“This will be a wonderful experience for me personally, but it’s also so very valuable for my international business studies,” she said. “This will be a great learning experience, and I’m grateful for the opportunity.”

There is no French language requirement for the program, and all courses at La Rochelle are conducted in English.

"I am excited for our students to have such an interesting and possibly life-changing experience," said Paul Grimes, dean of the Kelce College of Business. "La Rochelle Business School is a fantastic institution of higher education, and we're thrilled to give our Kelce business students this opportunity."



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