Santa Clara University
Breakthrough Online MBA: From Regional to Nationally Ranked in Two Years

Overview: Preparing Ethical Business Leaders to Transform the World

In 2017, Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business saw the MBA market accelerate its shift online and knew it needed to bring its on-ground program online quickly. Leavey, a private, highly ranked regional school in the heart of Silicon Valley, recognized the need for an online program that could compete in a crowded market and secure the program in the consideration set for technology professionals seeking an MBA without leaving their jobs.

Everspring partnered with Santa Clara to build a market-leading program that teaches the skills and competencies students need to succeed in contemporary business.

Challenge: Build and Deliver a Stand-out Online MBA to a Competitive Market

The first step in our engagement was to define Leavey’s market position in a dense regional and national MBA market. In addition to developing a program known for its high-quality academics, our program strategy needed to strike a meaningful balance between innovation and tradition. The program’s location presented an opportunity to leverage the innovation and technology for which Silicon Valley is known while honoring Santa Clara’s tradition of ethics and social responsibility.

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Solution: Leverage market intelligence, best-in-class learning design and high-touch student engagement strategies

Our work together was accomplished across three phases:

Phase 1: Market Research and Portfolio Planning

We conducted extensive market and competitive research into the regional and national MBA market and fielded surveys to gain insight into the university’s brand in-market. This helped inform Leavey’s decision making around launching an online MBA program.

We then used our research insights to identify program concentrations and new stand-alone degree programs that would strengthen Leavey’s portfolio by providing students with relevant focus areas.

Phase 2: Program Development and Faculty Engagement

Rooted in online course design and teaching best practices, Everspring’s learning design experts combined our proprietary design thinking and innovation process to build a differentiated program that leveraged Leavey’s access to tech industry leaders, while building on its commitment to social responsibility.

Through a series of high-touch faculty workshops we forged strong relationships with Leavey’s faculty, built confidence and helped them to bring their academic content to life online. In addition, we provided robust support during the course development phase, on-demand assistance and ongoing access to resources.

Program Highlight: An Innovative Virtual Learning Experience

The "SVP Dashboard" (Silicon Valley Professional) is an innovative and personalized virtual tool that enables students to envision how their coursework aligns with the mastery of crucial leadership skills sought by Silicon Valley employers and provides a roadmap for selecting highly relevant learning experiences.

Phase 3: Marketing, Admissions and Student Services

Everspring blended strong branding and positioning with a full set of online omnichannel tactics to reach new segments of students, all in concert with the university’s existing marketing efforts.

Our commitment to delivering welcoming, high-touch enrollment services and seamlessly integrated experiences throughout the student lifecycle—from first inquiry through application submission, acceptance communication, registration and on-boarding—yielded outstanding student satisfaction and term-to-term retention rates.

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Outcome: Deliver a Market-leading Online MBA Program Designed to Scale

More than half of Leavey’s enrollment growth now comes from online programs. The success of the online MBA sparked the creation of a dynamic portfolio of online graduate business programs. Leavey’s online business programs are projected to generate $50 million in incremental tuition revenue for Santa Clara University by the 2021–22 academic year-end.

Top-Ranked MBA

The quality of Leavey's Online MBA garnered broad market recognition, powering its rise in the rankings. Leavey rose to the top of the national rankings for its outstanding academic quality, student experience and career outcomes.

  • No. 3 by Poets&Quants Best Online MBA Programs of 2022
  • No. 9 by Princeton Review, Top 50 Online MBA Programs 2022
  • Top 100 Best Online MBA Programs by US News and World Report 2022

Outstanding Student Outcomes

As is our goal with all marketing, we have delivered high-quality students to the Santa Clara programs:

  • Term-to-Term Retention Rate: 99%
  • Student Program Satisfaction: 97%
  • Faculty Satisfaction: 96%

Enrollment and Tuition Growth

Since its launch, more than half of the Leavey School’s enrollment growth came from its online programs. Leavey’s online business programs are projected to generate $50 million in incremental tuition revenue for Santa Clara University by the 2021–22 academic year-end.

Program Expansion Catalyst

Everspring helped Leavey build and activate a comprehensive online strategy that yielded outstanding student, faculty and university outcomes in a highly competitive market. Building on the momentum of the Online MBA, Leavey continued to expand its portfolio with new program offerings:

  • Online MS in Marketing
  • Online MS in Finance and Analytics
  • Online in MS in Business Analytics

Everspring is actively expanding our partnership with Santa Clara to broaden their portfolio of specialized master's degree programs.

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Program Facts


Start of Partnership


Programs Supported


Courses Built


Tuition Revenue Generated

Toby McChesney
Vice Provost for Graduate Programs at Santa Clara University
Toby McChesney
We are proud of the online MBA we’ve built with Everspring, which achieves Santa Clara University’s goal of preparing students for careers in industries such as technology, finance, transportation, healthcare and many others.
The Online Learning Experience at SCU