Business Schools

Executive Education Rankings


For our rankings of non-degree executive education programs we survey hundreds of companies that send employees to their courses. Both open enrollment and custom programs are ranked

When is the Executive Education ranking published?

The Executive Education ranking is published in November in odd-numbered years, at the same time as the Executive MBA ranking and Part-Time MBA rankings.

How does BusinessWeek determine who is eligible for rankings?

We look at a number of different statistics including, but not limited to, age of the Executive Education program, number of companies served, and revenue.

If a program has never been ranked before, how can it be considered for ranking?

The program's representative should send a note to geoff_gloeckler@businessweek.com in January of the ranking year. We'll request some information about your program and determine eligibility based on that. The information requested is outlined above (see: "How does BusinessWeek determine who is eligible for rankings?") Please do not send requests for inclusion before Jan. 1 of the ranking year.

What sources of data does BusinessWeek use to rank Executive Education programs?

The ranking is based on an online survey of corporate executive education clients.

When does the survey get distributed? How long is it available for completion?

The survey is distributed in early June and is open for about three months.

How is the survey conducted?

The survey of executive education clients is conducted online. Starting with e-mail addresses supplied by the providers being ranked, BusinessWeek creates a list of companies sending participants to those programs and attempts to identify a single high-level executive education contact at each company to be surveyed. If a high-level contact cannot be identified, that company will not be surveyed.

BusinessWeek, with the help of Cambria Consulting, contacts the companies and directs them to a survey site where they can complete the survey. BusinessWeek will send out several reminders to ensure an adequate response rate. The survey asks clients to rank providers they're familiar with in two categories: open enrollment programs and custom programs.

How is the custom ranking determined?

First, we calculate a total score for each provider. Every No. 1 ranking by a survey respondent is worth 10 points, every No. 2 ranking is worth nine points, every No. 3 ranking is worth eight points, and so on. The total score for each provider is multiplied by the number of companies ranking it and divided by the number of companies that indicated familiarity with it. That number then forms the basis for the ranking.

How is the open-enrollment ranking determined?

The same way.

Do schools ever get dropped from the rankings? If so, why?

Yes. If the provider is not mentioned by more than 10 companies it is dropped from consideration for the current ranking year. There is no other minimum response rate for the survey.

Why do you only rank 20 Executive Education programs in each category in the magazine?

Space constraints in the magazine prevent us from listing more than 20 open enrollment programs and 20 custom programs in most years.

In the table that accompanies the ranking story, where do the letter grades for open-enrollment programs come from? And why are no letter grades assigned for custom programs?

In the executive education table we typically include four letter grades -- global business, innovation, leadership, and strategy programs, although this varies from ranking to ranking. They represent the assessment of the executive education clients responding to our survey. Each grade is based on one or more questions in the survey. The top 20% in each category earns A+s. The next 25% receives As, the next 35% receive Bs, and the bottom 20% get Cs. There are no Ds or Fs awarded.

The questions used for the letter grades do not represent the survey in its entirety. Therefore it is possible for a highly ranked program to receive one or more low letter grades, and a poorly ranked program to receive one or more high letter grades. No letter grades are awarded for custom programs because those programs do not focus on a specific set of topics as each program is customized for a client's needs. The survey does not ask clients to rank custom programs in that manner.

What role, if any, do the providers play in the company survey, beyond providing e-mail addresses for clients?

The providers have no other role in the rankings. However, they do complete surveys of their own to provide statistical data. That data is then used to create an online profile for each program that appears on BusinessWeek.com.

Do the providers have any input into the content of the survey? Is the survey ever given to providers?

The surveys are prepared by BusinessWeek. The providers, while they may give input from time to time, do not decide which questions to ask or how to ask them. This is necessary to maintain the integrity and independence of the ranking process. The survey is not made available to providers.

Is the data collected from the schools for the online statistical profiles used in the ranking?

No.

What happens if a school doesn't fill out the survey for the statistical profile by the deadline?

The profile will not be created. If a provider chooses to partially complete the survey those questions left unanswered will be filled in with NAs.


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