July 16, 2013 –A national agency charged with accrediting collegiate business degree programs recently green lighted a Fort Valley State University department to begin its accreditation process. In June, the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs accepted FVSU’s Department of Business Administration and Economics into candidacy for accreditation at its national conference held in Salt Lake City, Utah. The timetable for the department to complete the accreditation process is two years.
The ACBSP is a specialized accreditation association for business schools that began in Overland Park, Kan. in 1988. Its mission is to promote the improvement and accreditation of business education programs around the world.
“Ourpursuit of accreditation reinforces the program’s commitment to continuous improvement, innovation and scholarship,” said Dr. Karl Lawrence, chair of FVSU’sBusiness Administration and Economics Department. “The process of preparing an accreditation self-study enhances our focus on the quality of student learning and renews our commitment to the university’s educational mission. The self-study and required reporting mechanisms provide the impetus for identifying our strengths and weaknesses. Furthermore, accreditation affords a forum to review and analyze our program.”
“FVSU’s Department of Business Administration and Economics prepares students to become effective leaders and practitioners who are capable of positively influencing individuals, groups and organizations,” said Dr. Victor Brown, dean of FVSU’s College of Arts and Sciences. “Business students are taught to develop and understand the characteristics, qualities and behaviors that are essential components of a scholar and an effective leader. Thus, students are groomed to appreciate and respond to the differences in individuals, teams and the large environment to affect positive leadership.”
According to Lawrence, obtaining accreditation indicates that a business program meets the standards of quality set by ACBSP, in terms of faculty, curriculum, administration, libraries, financial vitality and student services. While accreditation does not ensure every graduating student will become a successful professional, it does guarantee that students have demonstrated a certain set of skills and abilities, which are reflected in the accreditation criteria.
“Accreditation of a business program is increasingly becoming a necessity,” Lawrence explained. “Aside from the obvious benefits of attracting employers, more qualified students, and faculty, accreditation establishes credibility to the public. So much so that Louisiana and Pennsylvania require accreditation for all of their public institutions, and a number of other states are considering doing the same.”
FVSU’s business program has made significant strides over the past year. Each of its classrooms was transformed into technology centers that are equipped with SMART boards and podiums, document cameras and a technology-enhanced student workspace. The program is currently engaged in a digital textbook program, which ensures all students have affordable access to course materials.
Additionally, the department has implemented a four-course leadership series within its curriculum to help students develop the requisite skills to fill leadership roles in the business and community arena.
“We are more committed than ever to prepare students to be successful business leaders,” Lawrence stated. “In an age when specialization, market-ready talent and diversity have reached new levels of importance within the marketplace, we believe that our students are prepared to successfully compete. The accreditation of our business program will validate this.”
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