UCSB and Pepperdine University struck a partnership last week to connect the two universities in a joint venture offering an accredited MBA program to UCSB students and alumni.

The two colleges agreed on the details of the program — organized by the UCSB Alumni Association in affiliation with the Graziadio School at Pepperdine — on April 8. The Pepperdine-UCSB Alumni sponsorship agreement will involve marketing the evening MBA program at Pepperdine’s Westlake Village Campus near Ventura, Calif. to students and alumni.

Interested alumni and professionals can attend an informational meeting for the MBA program at the UCSB Mosher Alumni House on Thursday, April 29.

John Lofthus, assistant director of the UCSB Alumni Association, said the program provides unique opportunities for a younger demographic of alumni. The venture, he said, aims to provide Gauchos with skills and techniques for success in the professional world.

“The Alumni Association wants to help create awareness for alumni and professionals within the area so that they still have opportunities to acquire an MBA from a well recognized school like Pepperdine,” Lofthus said. “We have almost 20,000 alumni within the county and I want them to see their opportunity to get a fully accredited MBA that Pepperdine is offering, the only MBA program in the area.”

The next step for the Graziadio School and the UCSB alumni office will be to provide classes for alumni looking for MBA classes at other Graziadio campus locations, which include Encino, West Los Angeles and Irvine.

Mindy Le, a third-year business economics major, said the program provides the chance to make useful business connections.

“This is a great opportunity for two schools to network,” Le said. “Getting an MBA is important, but so is making connections in the business world.”

UCSB alumni who enroll in the program also will have the opportunity to participate in E2B projects, a subset of the Education to Business Applied Learning Program that directly connects MBA teams with companies looking for new business ventures.