Indiana University's Kelley School of Business is partnering with the National Football League Players Association to offer graduate-level programs to current and former players. The school says it will provide customized professional and certificate programs leading to a Master of Business Administration degree. Dean Idie Kesner says courses will focus on topics ranging from personal finance to entrepreneurship. She says the partnership will help prepare players, who often retire at a young age, for life off the field.

September 3, 2014

News Release

Bloomington, Ind. — The National Football League Players Association has announced a partnership with the Indiana University Kelley School of Business to provide customized graduate-level educational programs to current and former NFL players.

The Kelley School will offer NFL players a unique model that will guide them from initial career development through professional and certificate programs and ultimately to a Master of Business Administration degree.

“For more than a quarter century, the Kelley School has provided customized programs that have met the needs of many students within a variety of corporate and educational settings,” said Idalene Kesner, dean of the Kelley School and the Frank P. Popoff Chair of Strategic Management.

“Our leadership and innovation in delivering online programs provides the flexibility to design a winning experience for these accomplished athletes, many of whom will one day transition to new careers away from the football field,” Kesner added.

“We are excited about the new opportunity the Indiana University Kelley School of Business is offering our players,” said NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith. “We pride ourselves in helping our members be knowledgeable about the business of football and putting them on the right path to succeed off the field. This relationship will achieve both.”

Among the tools that will be available to players is the Kelley School's acclaimed Me Inc. program, which enables participants to gain a better understanding of their goals and identifies a structured path toward attaining them. The program includes career coaching and career services.

After completion of the initial career development program, players may continue and enroll in online, noncredit programs on specialty topics such as personal finance, real estate, wealth management and entrepreneurship.

Upon completion of a noncredit professional program, players interested in developing more expertise will be able to enroll in a four-course certificate program. Many players will be able to directly enroll in the credit-bearing certificate programs as well.

Credits earned through the certificate programs will be transferable toward a 30-credit Master of Science degree or a 45-credit MBA. The programs will be delivered in a blended format that includes in-residence and online components.

A key feature of the NFLPA-Kelley MBA program will be the Kelley Capstone Experience, which puts teams of students to work on real-world strategic projects. This will provide students with an opportunity to apply skills and knowledge acquired in the MBA program to actual business problems that directly relate to each person's goals and objectives.

Those in the NFLPA-Kelley MBA program also will have an opportunity to participate in the school's global immersion courses, which present students with opportunities to understand and address problems faced by businesses in an emerging market. Currently the program is undertaking projects in India, Myanmar, Botswana, Ghana and South Africa.

All graduates of the NFLPA-Kelley MBA program who are interested in pursuing corporate careers will receive support from the same career services available to other Kelley graduates. In its most recent survey of MBA programs, Bloomberg Businessweek ranked Kelley No. 1 in terms of student satisfaction, career services and teaching.

Kelley was the first top-15 business school in the United States to develop an online MBA program. Ranked No. 1 earlier this year by U.S. News & World Report, the school has offered online education to corporate-sponsored employees and individuals for 15 years. Clients include Fortune 500 firms such as General Electric, General Motors, Ingersoll-Rand, John Deere and Cummins Engine Co.

The NFLPA-Kelley partnership is one example of customized education at the school. For more information about Executive Degree Programs, call 812-856-5366

Source: Indiana University

Story Continues Below