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Pepperdine Business School Welcomes Mothers


And with Mother's Day approaching fast, we turn to one business school here, in southern California, which aims to help stay-at-home moms rejoin the ranks of business people.

The first class of Pepperdine University's Mommy MBA's will begin this fall. Linda Livingstone is the Dean of the Business School there.

Dean LINDA LIVINGSTONE (Dean, Graziadio School of Business and Management, Pepperdine University): One area that MBA programs have not done as well with is with women. And so we began to think about what is it we could do differently with our programs that might tap into that market more effectively.

MONTAGNE: The school has designed a new program that offers its regular part-time MBA curriculum, but on two mornings a week and a few weekends, to make it convenient for moms.

Dean LIVINGSTONE: They can take kids to school, do the program, pick kids up, and it doesn't really interfere with their time with family in the same way other part-time programs do.

MONTAGNE: The faculty will also help mothers, or even fathers, who take the classes update their resumes, work on interview skills, and prepare for a new, more modern workplace.

John J. Fernandes is President of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. That's a group that accredits business schools. He says while this program is unique, its also part of a trend.

Mr. JOHN J. FERNANDES (President, Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business): Years ago, there was one option--the full-time MBA program that required you to quit your job and go to school for two years. Nearly 80 percent of students today in MBA programs are on part-time flexible programs.

MONTAGNE: John Fernandes says business schools today realize they need to adjust classes to fit their student's lifestyles instead of students adjusting to fit school into their lives.

Mr. FERNANDEZ: We're a hard working, busy group of adults that need flexibility in our education, just as we do in every other aspect of our lives.

MONTAGNE: Mothers who complete Pepperdine's MBA program may be looking for big salaries after graduation, but will it be worth as much as their work at home?

A new survey from found that stay-at-home moms would earn more than $130,000 a year if they were paid for their work. That includes doing such jobs as janitors, cooks, and psychologists, with overtime. And if working moms were paid for their housework, it would be worth $85,000.

Consider that when picking out a present for your mom this Mother's Day.

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MONTAGNE: This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. With Steve Inskeep in Baghdad, I'm Renee Montagne. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Renee Montagne, one of the best-known names in public radio, is a special correspondent and host for NPR News.