A-Z Index

News Release

Feb. 8, 2018

CATapult program prepares students for success in business arena

Northwest Missouri State University’s Melvin D. and Valorie G. Booth School of Business has a program that helps students graduate with bachelor’s and Master of Business Administration degrees in four years.

The CATapult program identifies the most qualified students, enrolls them in groups with other motivated students, and encourages them to take a little heavier course load with a few summer classes. Admissions requirements are similar to those of honor students, and sequencing may be varied, but participants complete the same requirements established by the state and University.

“Eligible students are determined based on the ability to be successful at an accelerated pace and provide the opportunity to mold a program that could impact Bearcats for generations,” Dr. Ben Blackford, associate professor of management, said.

By earning both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in four years, students benefit by foregoing additional years of living expenses and beginning their careers earlier.

Students also build strong connections with faculty more quickly through frequent and unique interactions with faculty. As the program develops, additional educational opportunities will be available to students, including invitations to special activities, networking events, presentations and speakers.

“By encouraging students to increase their course load, we can get students through both the undergraduate and MBA programs in the time that it traditionally takes to complete the undergraduate program,” Dr. Terry Coalter, associate professor of finance, said.

Coalter added, “Research has shown that motivated students who take more credit hours have done as well or better in their classes.”

Not only do these students earn a degree, but they graduate with a portfolio showcasing  skills and networking opportunities gained through the program. Also, when interviewing for jobs, these graduates stand above their peers by showing they are driven, focused and determined – all qualities that employers want to have in their team members.

“The vision is to have students currently in the program come back and serve as a speaker and show students the high-quality results of this program,” Coalter said. “It also takes a special type of university to do this program. The school has to be small enough to give individualized attention, have the right makeup of faculty and receive support from the administration for this type of program to ensure students are successful. Students won’t get that from a really big school, and faculty won’t have the resources or students to do it at smaller schools.”

For more information about the program, visit or email


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215