Past Newsletters:
  October 2008 - Part I
  September 2008
  May 2008 - Part II
  May 2008 - Part I
  April 2008
  March 2008
  February 2008

October 2008 - Part II

AQIP in Action for October only includes two issues, with Part I in early October providing updates on Security, Assessment, One Northwood Curriculum Review Process, Foundations of Excellence in the First College Year, Omniquest, the Employee Evaluation and Development Process, and AQIP website postings.

Part II addresses information on our adult learners and activities surrounding DeVos, Executive/Continuing Education, and our Adult Degree Program (formerly UC).  I’m sure you’ll be pleased to hear what’s taking place in these units.

DeVos Graduate School of Management (DGSM)

The DGSM is experiencing record enrollment for our Midland, Lansing, and Troy Evening MBA programs, as well as our Full-time MBA option in Midland, MI and Montreux, Switzerland – a total of 398 graduate students in all.

DeVos is formally launching the inaugural Dealership Executive MBA (DEMBA) program this fall with 27 students in the initial cohort.  It is in response to the increased demand for advanced degrees specifically tailored to retail dealership operations and is being offered in conjunction with the Association of Finance & Insurance Professionals (AFIP).  The new MBA program will serve in-store executives employed by dealerships in the franchised new vehicle, independent used vehicle, RV, marine, motorsports, and motorcycle markets.  The Dealership Executive MBA will also benefit executives working for captive and institutional lenders and aftermarket product vendors that support the retail trades.  The 30-month MBA includes five intensive weeklong classroom modules in conjunction with online coursework.

Additionally, DeVos is launching the Aftermarket Executive MBA.  Patterned after the DEMBA, the Aftermarket EMBA will combine online and onsite curriculum delivery to maximize learning and networking opportunities.  This unique program offering is set to be announced at the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week in early November and slated to begin in summer of 2009!

Furthermore, our DeVos colleagues are engaged with The Dow Chemical Company and HantzGroup in planning for the sixth cohort of the DeVos-Dow-Hantz Partnership MBA Program.  Approximately 30-35 candidates from The Dow Chemical Company’s Future Leaders Program and HantzGroup will begin their exclusive MBA programming in April of 2009.

During the last several months, a joint committee was formed to study the feasibility and development of a joint BBA/MBA degree program – a program designed previously, but never launched.  The committee’s recommendation and design was approved and marketing efforts are under way for enrollment beginning in the fall of 2009-2010.  Students will be accepted to the accelerated BBA/MBA program as a freshman and will also receive a provisional acceptance to the DeVos Graduate School MBA program.  The BBA will be completed in three years, followed by a one-year full-time MBA program.

With the adoption of the accelerated BBA/MBA program, DeVos faculty and staff began working on the design of a one-year full-time MBA program.  After review of the curriculum and future changes necessary for the University’s term-to-semester conversion, it was decided to implement the program beginning fall of 2009.  It is believed that by launching this program now, we will be able to capitalize on a competitive advantage as well as maximize the utilization of faculty and physical resources.  The final design is expected to be submitted for approval in late October 2009.

And the big news, of course, is what we heard from President Pretty at the opening Convocations – the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation’s generous $10 million gift will allow us to be able to bring the DeVos MBA program to our Texas Campus beginning fall of 2009.  The first program offering will be our Evening MBA Program which is cohort-based, meeting once a week in the evenings for a duration of 27 months (or seven semesters).  We’ll also be using part of the gift money to gain approval and launch the MBA at our Florida Campus and refurbish the DeVos building on the Michigan Campus.

Executive and Continuing Education/University of the Aftermarket

The past academic year for the University of the Aftermarket (U of A) has been characterized by unparalleled change, new development/direction, strategic planning, deeper integration into the Northwood organizational fabric, and broad industry support.  Our new director, Brian Cruickshank, developed a much needed strategic plan while reinvigorating long-term relationships and developing many new ones.  We are grateful to the University of the Aftermarket Foundation, as it pledged a record level of funds – $236,000 – for a variety of new programs we are planning to launch.  Additional generous support from around the industry continues from a variety of sources, many of which are brand-new contacts for the University.

The U of A’s cornerstone educational program, Leadership 2.0, enjoyed its largest class to date – and sold out two months early!  The program brought a broad spectrum of aftermarket professionals from every level of the aftermarket to the brand-new Sloan Family Building for Aftermarket Studies on our Michigan Campus.  The success of Leadership 2.0 will serve as a model for other such seminars within the motor vehicle aftermarket.

Moving forward, the U of A will be announcing a brand-new initiative during Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week – University of the Aftermarket On Demand – an internet-based webcast educational project that will allow professionals from around the world to access U of A courses and earn CEU credit at their convenience.  Custom projects are another area the U of A is highlighting for the next academic year.  Currently, the U of A is finalizing the details of a long-term plan with CARQUEST to develop a series of business conferences called the CARQUEST School of Business.  These five-day seminars will be held at the Sloan Family Building for Aftermarket Studies beginning in mid-November and feature a co-facilitated program with DeVos faculty and CARQUEST corporate trainers.  Building on previous aftermarket-focused research Northwood faculty has performed for the industry, the U of A conducted a research project for ACDelco and plans to offer research capabilities to industry organizations.

Adult Degree Program (ADP)

The ADP Academic Team went out in full force this fall to open classes at numerous locations throughout Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Texas, and throughout Michigan (Livonia, Grand Rapids, Midland, Saginaw, Bay City, Lansing, Troy, Warren, and Flint).  The team was welcomed by faculty and students and the visits proved beneficial as the students provided valuable feedback and insights on their experiences at Northwood.  Enrollment totals 5268 to date and we have several more fall enrollment periods.

During their welcome, the ADP team asked the following questions of each class.

In response to the question, “Why am I here?” students commented:

  • appreciate programs designed to meet the needs of working adults – flexible scheduling with evening and weekend classes;
  • value having faculty with industry experience.  This includes, for example, Livonia’s Tommie Walker who teaches MGT 350, Operations Management.  Tommie is a Global Program Manager for Hewlett-Packard’s Technical Services.  In his role, his only client is General Motors and he is responsible for managing the service delivery to 135,000 PCs in 50 countries.  Wherever the computer is worldwide, he and his managers must be able to support/fix it within a specified time frame – thanks, Tommie, for bringing your knowledge to Northwood students;
  • enjoy the camaraderie with other working adults.  The study groups formed in some classes not only impact their learning, but also provide motivational support as students struggle to balance family, career, and college classes; and
  • appreciate having “one single point-of-contact” and the guidance and support from their Program Center Manager.

In response to, “What would make Northwood an even better place for you to learn?” students commented:

  • more use of Blackboard by instructors;
  • wireless connectivity;
  • enhanced instructional classroom technology equipment;
  • expanded language courses, particularly Spanish;
  • having the Northwood MBA at “my” program center – particularly in the metro areas where drive time makes getting to some locations prohibitive; and
  • student scholarships.

ADP, like the rest of us, endeavors to continuously improve and we use feedback accordingly.  ADP initiatives for 2008-09 include an increase of support of academic initiatives throughout ADP to ensure outcomes and educational excellence are met.  Academic Dean Dr. Linda Henderson is working with the ADP Academic Team (Director of Instructional Support, Jennifer Luzar; Faculty Manager, Brennan Brown; and Lead Online Faculty, Dr. Patrick Callaghan) to develop relationships to support faculty throughout their NU teaching experience and are:

  • implementing systems to better support faculty who currently teach or want to teach online;
  • mentoring and developing part-time faculty through classroom visits, professional development seminars, and one-on-one meetings;
  • refining the hiring process of part-time faculty to improve their engagement with the Northwood system; and
  • deploying personnel throughout the system to provide on-going Blackboard training for new and returning part-time faculty.

Additionally, this fall four ADP sites will pilot technology upgrades to provide wireless connectivity and stronger internet connection and we hope to deploy such at all off-campus sites.  Over the next nine months part-time faculty will have multiple opportunities to attend workshops and conferences on teaching and learning. The Director of Instructional Support along with the ADP academic team will provide opportunities for our part-time faculty to practice various instructional strategies, student engagement techniques, and use of assessment tools.  Over 100 part-time faculty attended Jennifer Luzar’s evening and weekend seminars in 2007-08.  In 2008-09 the goal is to reach over 150 faculty members this academic year.  Finally, we now have three part-time Instructional Designers (Sarah McIntosh in metro-Detroit, Jeanna Cronk in mid-Michigan, and Lea Holland in Texas) whose role is to assist faculty in the development and teaching of online courses.

Yours in teaching and learning,

John J.

John Jasinski, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President/Chief Academic and Operating Officer
Contact me at

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