Meetings + Events

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Lifelong Learning

Use it or lose it applies to our mind health, just as exercise helps to keep us fit. 

By Sandra Eagle

Along with already established designations for event and incentive planners, like the CMP and CMM, there will soon be a master’s degree program that both Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and San Diego State University are in the process of finalizing.

The foundation of the course has been created by San Diego State University professors and faculty in conjunction with the MPI Academy. Misty Helm, manager, global learning operations and academic partnerships at Meeting Professionals International, says, “The content for each course has been vetted by an MPI focus group—an advisory board of meetings and events industry professionals. Their feedback has been instrumental in shaping the content development. In addition to the case studies that characterize real industry experiences, the professors will provide more context to their course design and will have the opportunity to select industry leaders to deliver TED Talk-style guest lectures to enhance the curriculum.”

The target audience consists of working meeting and event professionals, with the ideal student having between five and 10 years (or more) of industry experience. Helms adds, “This is a truly personalized approach to learning, so we look at each student on a case by case basis to determine their suitability for the program.” 

The course includes two one-week classes in San Diego at the beginning and the end of the program, while the remainder of the 18-month course is done online.

Since the degree is tailored to the needs of working professionals, the workload will be commensurate with that. As long as students adhere to the due dates for the online assignments, they have the flexibility to complete them on their own schedule.

To maintain the personalization and customization of the program, each cohort will be capped at 30 students, and so far, 1,100 people are on the interest list, including 28 Canadians.

The inaugural class is scheduled to start in fall 2019, with a tuition cost of $30,000.

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