April 17, 2012

GMAC MET Fund Awards $530,000 Grant to SUNY Empire State College in Second Round of the Ideas to Innovation (i2i) Challenge

College wins for “Credit Where Credit is Due: Veteran and Service Member Pathway to the MBA”

GMAC MET fund logo for the i2i challenge grant for Credit Where Credit is Due: Veteran and Service Member Pathway to the MBA.

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – April 17, 2012) The Graduate Management Admission Council® (GMAC®), owner of the GMAT® exam and the leading membership organization of graduate business and management schools worldwide, today awarded SUNY Empire State College a $536,176 grant to fund implementation of “Credit Where Credit is Due: Veteran and Service Member Pathway to the MBA.”

The GMAC Management Education for Tomorrow (MET) Fund has awarded more than $7.1 million in grants to 12 organizations across six countries in the second round of its Ideas to Innovation (i2i) Challenge.

The college’s program will develop specialized coursework for veterans and service members and integrate armed services leadership experience into the development of business management skills.

"The Graduate Management Admission Council’s recognition and generous support of Empire State College's open, innovative, and flexible approach to education through the i2i Challenge Grant is a testament to the hard work of President Alan Davis and his entire team,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “Empire State College’s program provides a smooth transition and clear path to an MBA for our service members and veterans, and addresses critical needs toward repairing a leaking education pipeline, particular for those who have served honorably for our country."

“The foundation of the MET Fund has been that GMAC—starting with the GMAT exam and culminating in this phase of i2i grants—should be investing in and giving back to management education and its institutions. And not just giving back, but giving back in order to move management education forward,” said David A. Wilson, president and CEO of GMAC. “The power of these grants is in the implementation of ideas that can reshape and revitalize management education worldwide, and that acknowledge the critical role that management education plays in training and developing business leaders who can have global impact.”

“SUNY Empire State College is very grateful to GMAC and its president, David Wilson, for this generous award,” said college President Alan R. Davis. “The i2i Challenge Grant expands education access and opportunity around the world and the college provides a path to earning an MBA for veterans. Since there is military training that already merits awarding college credit, our program saves time and money so service members and veterans do not have to cover the same ground twice.”

“This program leverages the experience and knowledge of service members and veterans through evaluation of training and through a new course, which will help them transform their skills into civilian contexts,” said Robert Clougherty, dean of the college’s School for Graduate Studies. "Empire State College, as the open university of New York, respects that there are multiple ways of learning.  This program shows respect for the ways that people learn skills in service to our country." 

The college will develop a program which will award graduate-level credit toward an MBA for relevant military training. The program will assign American Council on Education credit values for military training specialties that are relevant to civilian business leadership, reducing the time and tuition costs of program completion for many veterans. The program also will replace a traditional introductory MBA course with one specifically designed to serve veterans transitioning to civilian life and business leadership. The program's overall goal is to ease veterans' transition into civilian business leadership.

“With the U.S. veteran population anticipated to grow to two million individuals by next year, the timing of this award could not be better as it meets a critical need,” said Alan Belasen, professor and chairman of the Graduate Business, Management and Leadership Programs at the college. “The college will develop specialized coursework for active duty military and veterans, integrating armed services leadership experience into the development of business management skills and the college takes special pride in helping veterans adjust to civilian life and work environments.”

“We are grateful to the GMAT i2i Challenge Grant for giving us the opportunity to play a role in the support and education of our nation's future business leaders,” said Linda Frank, director of the college’s Office of Veteran and Military Education.  “We look forward to working with service members and veterans to assess and acknowledge their valuable military training, and to help them build upon their knowledge and experience with an education program that will prepare them for a successful business management career.”

The college’s program expands the college’s offerings specifically tailored for the military. In November of 2011, the college began offering a new Graduate Certificate in Veterans Services, which is designed to provide professionals with additional education and skills to meet the needs of veterans in accessing available social services such as health care, education, employment and housing.

Schools and organizations developed their grant proposals in response to an earlier phase of the i2i Challenge, in which individuals were invited to answer the question, “What one idea would improve graduate management education?” In total, 17 of the 20 winning i2i concepts, which were announced in January 2011, will be implemented by the organizations that were awarded today.

The i2i Challenge was created and managed by the GMAC’s MET Fund, a $10 million initiative to advance business education around the world.

Twenty-five proposals from seven countries were submitted in the second round of the challenge, which ran from January to December 2011. The grantees include business schools and organizations in the U.S., Canada, Spain, Italy, India and Botswana.

Additional information about all of the winning entries and the organizations that submitted them is available here. Information about the first-round winners and the ideas they generated is here.

About SUNY Empire State College

SUNY Empire State College was established in 1971 to offer adult learners the opportunity to earn associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the State University of New York.

In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout their college career.  Students engage in guided independent study and coursework onsite, online or a combination of both, which provides the flexibility for students to learn at the time, place and pace of their choosing.

The college serves more than 20,000 students worldwide at more than 35 locations in New York state and online. Its 63,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more.

More information about the college is available here.

About GMAC and the GMAT exam

The Graduate Management Admission Council® (www.gmac.com) is a nonprofit education organization of leading graduate business schools and owner of the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT® exam), used by more than 5,400 graduate business and management programs worldwide. GMAC is based in Reston, Virginia, and has regional offices in London, New Delhi and Hong Kong. The GMAT exam—the only standardized test designed expressly for graduate business and management programs worldwide—is continuously available at nearly 600 test centers in over 110 countries. More information about the GMAT exam is available at mba.com.

Media Contact

David M. Henahan, Director of Communications
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