The first cohort students of who completed online course credits toward a masters degree have started their full master's degree program at MIT last week. The historic group of students are the first to be accepted to MIT after completing the online MicroMasters program in supply chain management (SCM) offered by the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics (CTL) and by MITx through edX.
The students who complete the blended SCM (SCMb) program, will receive the exact master's degree as students who went through traditional admission. So far more than 1,900 people have completed the challenging MicroMasters made up of five courses. 622 of these learners have gone on to pass the comprehensive final exam that allows them to earn the credential and qualify to apply to the SCMb program.
Hybrid courses expand student pool
This new approach to admissions means that more people will be able to access first-class education that otherwise would not have the chance. Although the program is designed to be inclusive, it is an incredibly difficult and rigorous process to ensure that only the most dedicated and capable students eventually end up on the MIT campus. “Each of the five SCx courses in the MicroMasters curriculum is an intensive 13-week program,” says Chris Caplice, director of the SCM MicroMasters program and executive director of the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics. “Completing it takes a lot of grit, personal effort, and determination.”
From South Sudan to MIT
One of the latest students to join the program is Bonaventure Mulama. Mulama, who was born in Kenya has gained experience in the logistics field from decades of work in the humanitarian sector. While Mulama was getting good results at work he felt like he was missing some background knowledge in the area he had ended up in. This led him to search for a possible way to receive more training and education. “I was adding real value, but without a detailed grasp of the concepts I was implementing,” he says. “I decided to spend more time building skills around logistics, to get a really good grasp of the field I was now involved in.”
Murama completed the MicroMasters courses while living in South Sudan and Ethiopia. He studied the courses at night while completing fieldwork for a humanitarian leadership program. “It was pretty intense,” he says. “You work and study, work and study. For a while you put aside a social life. I just decided that this was a priority.”
Industry input is key
Murama joins a diverse group of students who will complete the full Master's course together. The workload will remain high for the students who need to complete That 36 units of coursework and complete a 12-unit research project to graduate in June. Students will learn from industry leaders on the cutting edge of logistics operations. The campus-based study will be augmented by field trips to see the beating heart of huge logistics companies such as Walgreens, AB-InBev, AmazonFresh, and Boston Scientific to gain real-world experience about how these huge operations are run.