165- Is the Classroom MBA Becoming Obsolete? Higher Education and the OPM Market

More frequently, companies have been hiring workers who are certificate trained. In fact, it appears that the MBA is becoming more of an option and less of a necessity than it has been in past years.

Fred Coon, CEO, Stewart, Cooper & Coon, interviews Norm Allgood, Founder of Synergis Education, on this fast-changing movement driven by (OPM) market conditions and the demands of today’s corporations.

Podcast 165 - Degree Cap & Gown

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About the Guest:

165- Norm AllgoodNorm Allgood has dedicated nearly two decades of his career to expanding access to quality, affordable programs to underserved populations. As founder and CEO of Synergis Education, Norm’s focus has been to build an organization with a passionate culture dedicated to creating quality, higher education programs that are valuable, delivered efficiently and are accessible to an ever-evolving student base. After serving in the US Army as an active duty non-commissioned officer, Norm earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in his 30’s. It was through his own personal journey that Norm became an advocate for improving higher education and creating a repeatable framework for colleges and universities that expands access to education in high-demand fields.

In 2011, Norm founded Synergis Education, a mission-driven company that partners with colleges and universities to design, launch and grow innovative online and blended programs of distinction. Norm has led Synergis to become an innovator in degree program delivery. This innovation began with a thesis: no longer is an institution or student limited by an imperfect strategy that confines students to a face-to-face classroom environment, or the digital barriers of being completely online.  Instead, institutions can meet the student in the right setting, offering degree programs that are fully online when appropriate, or shift gears to launch the degree program in a blended format.

Today, Synergis Education works with six partner institutions throughout the United States to offer pre-licensure nursing programs at learning centers in Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia, Wisconsin as well as post-licensure programs online; representing 75% of the overall program portfolio.  Additionally, Synergis works with it partners to offer online EdD and MED programs, accounting for 18% of the overall portfolio.  The remainder of the portfolio is rounded out by ancillary programs in business. One thing is clear: the Synergis model has adapted nicely to the change in the marketplace.  In 2015, 65% of the portfolio was in business programs with the remainder coming from EdD, MED, Pre and Post-Licensure programs.

In his role as CEO, Norm focuses on strategy and innovation, stressing strategies that are aligned with Synergis Education’s partner institutions. Norm and his team understand that thought leadership, new technologies and an ever-increasing competitive market have led to a dramatic change in the higher education space.  Returning to the status quo experienced in the last decade is not an option and the future will demand that colleges and universities across the United States significantly expand their missions with a commitment to continually innovate and improve processes, outcomes and the student experience. The Synergis Education Team’s deep knowledge of the industry and their ability to form trusted partnerships with colleges and universities is a key driver in maintaining this sharp focus.

Prior to starting Synergis Education, Norm served as Chief Operating Officer at Orbis Education, a leader in nursing education and as Senior Vice President of Strategic Development at the Institute for Professional Development (IPD), a subsidiary of Apollo Group, where he served for nine years. In his career, Norm has worked and consulted with numerous state and private colleges and universities around the country, becoming well-known for cultivating a strong commitment to maximizing retention, student outcomes and advancing new techniques in educational delivery, as well as his powerful track record of turnaround management and leadership development.

Norm earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Management and a Master of Business Administration with an international focus from Cornerstone University.


Fred Coon, CEO

Stewart, Cooper & Coon offers Human Capital Strategy Serviceto both individuals and corporations. Our staff is dedicated to our clients’ success via innovative job search processes, employment management strategies, and state-of-the-art technologies. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200