Newswise — The University of Chicago Booth School of Business Executive Education Program is building up an impressive resume of awards and accolades in 2014.

The program was ranked No. 1 nationally and No. 2 globally by the Financial Times for its Open-Enrollment Programs, and has received awards from the European Foundation for Management Development and CorpU.

Chicago Booth's Executive Education Open Enrollment Program had been moving up in the Financial Times ranking, from No. 6 in 2012 to No. 5 in 2013, before landing at No. 2 overall.

Open Enrollment Programs are university-based offerings designed for participants from different companies and industries. Chicago Booth submitted four programs — the Advanced Management Program and the Chicago Management Institute, and the Executive Development Program: The Transition to General Management and the Chicago Booth Accelerated Development Program — to the Financial Times for the ranking.

"We are grateful to our program participants and corporate partners for this special recognition in the Financial Times Executive Education survey," said Ron Bendersky, Director for Booth's Executive Education. "The No. 1 U.S. and No. 2 global ranking underscores the high quality of our Open Enrollment Programs. Our world-class faculty provide program participants with a unique blend of academic excellence, real-world relevance, and practical application that creates lasting value.

"We are very proud to be a trusted partner to many businesses around the world in helping them in the most important task of developing their current and future leaders."

The Executive Education Program's New Experience Time, or NEXT, has received the 2014 Excellence in Practice Gold Award from the European Foundation for Management Development.

NEXT is a partnership with Promsvyazbank, or PSB, in which PSB sought to change its culture to inspire managers to grow within the organization. Chicago Booth faculty and PSB Corporate University tailored a program to fit PSB's needs as it sought to make gains against its competitors.

"The Excellence in Practice Gold Award is a recognition of our approach to business education," said Eugenia Patriniche, director of corporate development for Booth's Executive Education in Europe. "By offering the conceptual frameworks and challenging participants to think through their own business challenges, we provided a sustainable and impactful way of learning and applying the learning.

"The experience — working with senior executives in Russia and with a very engaged and passionate group that was willing to think critically and collaboratively about their shared leadership challenges — was rewarding for faculty," she added.

This partnership was also important for Booth, Patriniche said. "This award is a recognition of our efforts to expand our presence in Russia and work with Russian corporates, to expand our international footprint, and to enhance our visibility in Europe."

PSB, established in 1995 and a leading privately owned bank in Russia, chose Chicago Booth because of its reputation and highly collaborative, rigorous approach.

"This case clearly lays out the challenges the two partners faced and the link with future strategy," said Excellence in Practice jury member Jan Ginneberge, strategic adviser, EFMD Corporate Services. "From the outset the partners had very well-defined, joint objectives and a unique strategic position for the initiative. Together the partners developed a highly customized and unusual approach that involved two separate, but mutually influenced, programs run in parallel."

Executive Education’s partnership with Aon earned two awards from CorpU, a talent development insight and education provider: Launching Program 2014 Best Practice Award and Leadership Development 2014 Exemplary Practice Award. The CorpU Awards for Learning Excellence and Innovation is the longest-running independent evaluation of corporate learning and talent programs.

Aon is the leading global provider of risk management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resources solutions and outsourcing services. Aon has 66,000 employees in more than 120 countries.

Aon's challenge and goal is to be a united firm-one industry-leading organization offering hundreds of products and services and operating as one firm, rather than individual businesses. In response to this challenge, Aon, in partnership with Chicago Booth, developed Pinnacle — a customized program designed to educate the next generation of Aon's most senior executives with a focus on driving Aon United.

Aon was so pleased with the program designed with Chicago Booth that it submitted an application for the award and wants to offer select clients the chance to use it, as well."Aon used three key metrics — retention, engagement and promotion — to measure the success of Pinnacle and the return on investment in the program," Bendersky said.

Aon cited in its application a lower turnover rate among participants — zero for the first group — as well as improved engagement and increased promotions.

"Pinnacle has been very successful for Aon. Positive change is happening among the executives in the program, participant engagement is very high, and Aon has seen measurable business results because of the program," the company wrote in its application.

"Participants rated the program nearly 100 percent positive in all assessed areas."