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Birmingham-Southern joins select group with national business accreditation

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.-Birmingham-Southern College's undergraduate and graduate degree business programs have achieved accreditation by AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The official announcement was made April 7 at the organization's annual meeting in Chicago.

AACSB International is recognized as the premier accrediting agency for business schools, said college President Dr. Neal R. Berte.

"This is an important recognition of the quality of our total academic program in business, and a tremendous reflection on the quality of our students, faculty, and alumni," Berte said. "It's not often that a liberal arts institution of the size of Birmingham-Southern is recognized with accreditation by the world's leading business school accreditation agency."

Birmingham-Southern joins a select group of other national liberal arts colleges in receiving the accreditation. The college is one of only six baccalaureate-liberal arts institutions in the country as classified by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to hold both AACSB International accreditation and the designation of Phi Beta Kappa.

Of the St. Louis-based AACSB International's nearly 900 members, only 437 hold its accreditation, including 410 in the United States and 27 foreign institutions.

Dr. Byron Chew and Dr. Cecilia McInnis-Bowers (center), dean partners of Birmingham-Southern's Division of Business and Graduate Programs, accept accreditation of the college's undergraduate and graduate business programs into AACSB International--The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business during an April 7 ceremony in Chicago. Presenting the honor are Dr. John Kraft (left), AACSB chair and dean of the Warrington College of Business at the University of Florida, and Dr. Jerry Trapnell, AACSB chair-elect and dean of the College of Business and Public Affairs at Clemson University.

To achieve accreditation, business programs must satisfy the expectations of a wide range of quality standards relating to curriculum, faculty resources, admissions, degree requirement, library and computer facilities, financial resources, and intellectual climate that all are mission-linked.

The Peer Review Team for AACSB International—which consisted of business school deans-visited and evaluated Birmingham—Southern for three days in March as part of the accreditation process.

In its accreditation report, AACSB International commended Birmingham-Southern's Division of Business and Graduate Programs for its high level of selectivity in the admission of undergraduate students; Master of Arts in Public and Private Management degree which attracts a diverse population of motivated, high-quality graduate students; faculty reputation for high-quality and student-centered instruction and efforts to continually improve teaching and learning; being an integral part of the mission of the college; required undergraduate business capstone course offered during the January Interim period with options for international study/travel, as well as exposure to an array of business industries; cooperative support provided by its Norton Board of Advisors, the central administration, alumni, and the business community; and attractive campus and well-maintained facility.

"Continuous process improvement was the driving force behind our pursuit of AACSB International accreditation," said Dr. Cecilia McInnis-Bowers, who is dean partner of the college's Division of Business and Graduate Programs, along with Dr. Byron Chew. "The exceptionally motivated and talented students who choose Birmingham-Southern College for their business education have been receiving an outstanding education for a number of years. These students deserve a program with an internationally recognized level of accreditation, and that is what AACSB provides. Our stakeholders united to craft a vision and set a mission, and together, we have achieved our goal."

Birmingham-Southern offers undergraduate majors in accounting, business administration, and economics. Business administration and accounting are the two most popular majors among BSC students. The college also offers the Master of Arts in Public and Private Management graduate degree. The MPPM program, based on the college's liberal arts mission and the Yale University model, is designed for the working management professional.

AACSB International is a not-for-profit organization consisting of educational organizations and corporations devoted to the promotion and improvement of higher education in business administration and management.


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