Graduates and faculty members from the School of Business during the December 2015 Commencement Ceremony. Photo courtesy of Northern State University and Greg Smith.
To change is to improve.
On Jan 31, the NSU School of Business had the honor of welcoming the evaluators from the ACBSP, the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. The ACBSP evaluators assessed the performance of the School of Business and reported back to the commissioners of the agency. This process is used to decide if the School of Business is qualified to receive accreditation.
“What attracted us to the program is the fact that they stress continuity in improvement,” said Dean Willard Broucek of the School of Business. Accreditation not only focuses on the birds-eye view of the programs of the School of Business but also on its details and daily decisions. It concentrates the efforts to look at what the School of Business is doing from a performance measure perspective (for example: outside tests) and on what it can improve, based on the results from the previous semesters.
The reason ACBSP accreditation stands out from other accreditations is that it emphasizes the goal of teaching rather than researching.
Unlike some outside organizations that focus on schools whose primary goal is researching (such as the University of California, Princeton, etc.), ACBSP focuses on the teaching side of the higher education system, which is the compass arrow of Northern’s School of Business.
Many NSU students want to receive their lectures from the professors rather than their teaching assistants, as is the norm at many large research institutions. In addition, Northern’s students desire a world class curriculum, and the accreditation will brand the teaching standard into the curriculum by stating that teaching is the first priority.
What attracted us to the program is the fact that they stress continuity in improvement.
Willard Broucek, Dean of the School of Business
However, there is more than meets the eye.
As the School of Business will continue to look for strengths and weaknesses, which they call “opportunities for improvement,” it also needs to perform a self-studying process. This will make the School of Business continuously better and ready for future accreditation, which takes place every 10 years.
During the visit, which occurred from January 31 to February 3, the evaluators had the chance to examine NSU’s business programs, conduct interviews and dialogue with faculty, and have lunch with Northern students to receive the most comprehensive feedback from all sources. The feedback from the evaluators has been positive, and NSU can hope for a positive result in the following months.
To be perfect is to change often.