There will be little cavorting for the fifth cohort of Fordham Westchester’s Executive MBA (WEMBA) program. The Class of 2014 began the intensive program just after New Year and will spend the next 22 months hunkering down.

“Part of my job is to keep them sane through the process,” said Francis Petit, Ed.D., associate dean for executive programs at the Graduate School of Business Administration (GBA).

Petit said that the rigorous program is a good fit for the 22 new students, most of whom are already working in business and are seeking to further their careers with a Fordham MBA.

Executive MBA (EMBA) students tend to be a bit older, with this group’s average age coming in at 36. A more senior cohort means a more senior salary, with the average salary for this year’s group coming in at $125,000.

Petit was charged with putting together like-minded execs who will spend one weekend a month together on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 9 to 5.

“The classmates make up a big part of the experience, so we recruit a higher level,” said Petit.  “They survive the process together.”

Petit said that corporate sponsorship, once a given for working executives, has waned in recent years. But, in general, companies still want general managers to have an MBA.

“It is a changing market and one of the things that happens is that since students are paying more out of pocket, their level of commitment is that much stronger,” he said.

As Dean David Gautshi, Ph.D., pointed out in his webinar last month, GBA has been well known for its part-time MBA program for over 40 years.