CBE receives accreditation
April 26, 2007
The UW-River Falls College of Business and Economics (CBE) now joins only a small percentage of colleges that have been accredited by one of the most elite accreditation organizations, showing the college’s commitment to a superior higher education.
According to a UWRF Public Affairs news release, CBE was informed on April 12 that they had been successfully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
“Accreditation bodies have developed over the years to establish a seal of approval,” said Barb Nemecek, dean of CBE.
She said CBE was new at UWRF six years ago, and at that point they implemented a self-evaluation to assess the department’s current standing. After gathering information, they developed a plan to make the department better.
The accreditation from AACSB comes after an intensive evaluation of the college by three deans from other universities. Over the course of their evaluation they reviewed the department as a whole, including intensive investigation of faculty, students, programs and anything that has to do with the way the department operates.
“It’s a very long, hard detailed process to get through,” Nemecek said. “A lot of schools don’t make it through the process.”
AACSB has been around since 1916, and has developed strict standards that business programs must meet in order to be accredited.
“They look at really every aspect of offering a business degree,” Nemecek said.
She also said the entire process forced the department to improve and will continue to do so. Every five years the accreditation must be renewed, but progress is checked annually by the organization to ensure that the college is still a candidate.
According to a pamphlet they publish, “AACSB International business and accounting accreditation represents the highest standard of achievement for business schools worldwide.”
Nemecek said this accreditation exerts several positive influences on UWRF and the department.
“If you’re accredited, you have that baseline of the measurement of quality,” Nemecek said. “That degree means more in the corporate world today.”
She said many employers select schools that are accredited as a way to find potential employees.
“It does wonders for my résumé and my job hunting experiences,” said Joel Beadles, a senior in accounting and finance. “It should make it a lot easier for me to find a job when I graduate next May.”
There are three other accrediting bodies, but AACSB is considered the most elite. Only 10-15 percent of business programs have received accreditation by the organization, and UWRF joins only nine that were accepted this year.
Professor of Economics Glen Potts was one faculty member to share his feelings about the leap forward for CBE. He said it would have a very positive influence on students in the program.
“I expect to see an increase in recruiting on campus and to see an increase in the willingness of employers to have a career day for UWRF students,” Potts said. “This happened recently with the Hartford that invited only UWRF and U of M students to a career day.”
He also said the accreditation would enable students to get into more prestigious graduate programs and UWRF to recruit first-rate faculty.