Distance Education Master of Industrial Distribution Program welcomes largest class

The Master of Industrial Distribution (MID) Program conducted its yearly Residency Week Aug. 4-9, hosting a total of 96 professionals.

The incoming cohort (Class of 2015) had an enrollment of 58, the largest cohort since the founding of the program in 2001.

The Master of Industrial Distribution Program is a 21-month distance education graduate program specifically designed for working professionals. The program is designed to serve the needs of working professionals who require flexibility in their schedules and location. Courses have been developed specifically to maximize web-based learning advantages. The program dramatically increases the participant’s ability to think globally, integrate trends, acquire knowledge and act strategically. The rigorous and interdisciplinary degree ensures that students are well equipped to handle both the demands of daily business as well as the unique challenges of doing business in a global economy.

Photo of MID Residency Week welcomeResidency Week
As part of the MID Program, students are required to attend one week in residency each year at Texas A&M University in College Station. Residency week is an intensive learning experience designed to teach participants the latest in distribution and to help students form successful working relationships with fellow classmates and the industrial distribution faculty. Students earn three credit hours for the course during Residency Week.

Dr. Scott Miller, associate dean for graduate programs in the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M, said, “The Master of Industrial Distribution Program provides an opportunity for the working professional to pursue a graduate degree without having to leave their jobs. It will serve as a model program for many other professional distance learning degree programs initiated in the near future. I am very impressed — but not surprised — with the growth of the MID Program.”

Jonathan Gaffney, president of the Class of 2014 cohort and a purchase and products manager with Pump Solutions in Dallas, said, “The first year of the MID Program established a base of knowledge for the student based on the results of years of research by Texas A&M. This enabled the student to elevate their thinking about distribution and supply chain to a higher level and communicate with upper management more effectively.”

Gaffney added, “Whether the students are employees of a global manufacturing corporation or a mom-and-pop distributor, the lessons learned from the MID Program can be applied at their companies in one form or another.”

Natalie Boyd, president of the Class of 2015 cohort and inventory planning and training coordinator with NOV Wilson in Houston, said, “Residency Week brought together 58 strangers and challenged them to work as a team and discuss real-world issues. The end result was 58 Aggies working with one another and building off each other’s knowledge and experiences. I am excited about working with such an amazing group of students and look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead. It was hard trying to put such an amazing experience into just a few sentences.”

Dr. Dan Jennings, AndrewPhoto of MID students in classroom Rader Professor and MID director, said that an important aspect of the MID Program is Residency Week. First-year students learn how to navigate the operating platform for the web-based courses and also spend the week working with other first-year students in a class oom setting. During this time, students participate in case studies and experiential exercises pertaining to industrial distribution and are exposed to the traditions and culture of Texas A&M.

During this first Residency Week, the first-year MID students interact with their classmates on a face-to-face basis and learn how to operate the web-based aspects of the MID courses. Such an exposure increases the value and future learning activities for these students, Jennings said. In essence, after Residency Week, MID students aren’t individually floating around in cyberspace but are connected with their classmates and their future instructors.

Second-year students meet as a group during the Residency Week. In doing so, these students are separated from the first year group during the day and learn the methodologies involved in developing and presenting their research projects. This is an intense time for the second-year students.

During the evening, both first-year and second-year students participate in a number of activities that allows the members of both groups to further meet one another and share their work experiences.

Global Growth
The U.S. cohorts of the MID Program is set to grow to a total of 120 students between the two cohorts in the next two years. Relevant content, quality of program, and word-of-mouth from current and former students have been the main drivers of growth in enrollment.

The MID Program will also begin a Middle East cohort starting in Fall 2014. The Residency Week will be conducted at Texas A&M University at Qatar in Doha. Middle East Cohort students will be combined with the U.S. cohort students for the web-based courses, which will provide both programs with exposure to global business challenges and experience working with professionals from around the world. The goal is to begin the Middle-East cohort with 10 professionals. All approvals with the Texas A&M University are in place to start accepting applications for the Middle East cohort.

For more information visit http://mid.tamu.edu or watch MID video at http://vimeo.com/16526280.