The Kelce College of Business at Pitt State earned the the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (ASSCSB) on its 20th anniversary of earning its first accreditation. The process took five years of extensive evaluation and implementations.
AACSB Accreditations represent the highest standard of achievement for business schools worldwide.
“Getting the AACSB accreditation means a lot for us,” said Paul Grimes, Dean of Kelce College of Business. “It means we are in the top 5% of all business schools worldwide, it means that what we are doing is of the highest quality (and) that our students are receiving the best business education that we can possibly provide. It means that our faculty are topnotch. It means that we are doing the things that we need to do in order to prepare students for great careers and business.”
Grimes said that generally in the United States, AACSB is the gold standard that universities aspire to be while other accrediting bodies in the U.S. are of lower level quality.
Accreditation is when an outside evaluator comes in and reviews a program top to bottom, they look at what the university is doing in terms of hiring faculty and teaching courses, the content of these courses and what is being done in local communities in terms of outreach and engagement.
Grimes said, “On top of that, three deans from other business schools (have) come in and they spend three days with us, and they meet with committees and they talk to administrators and they dig in to our records and they do everything the can… essentially they are auditing us to see if we are doing good job.”
“It’s a process where them come in and they make sure that you are achieving certain quality standards,” he said.
In the executive summary, the Academic programs in the Kelce College of Business are regularly recognized in both regional and national rankings. In 2018, the PSU MBA program achieved a number three ranking by The Princeton Review for “Most Family Friendly Business School.” The Accounting Degree Review ranked the college number six in the nation for schools offering programs in forensic accounting.
Bienvenido S. Cortes, associate dean for the Kelce Graduate School of Business and University Professor of Economics, said, “This is our third time/cycle of reaffirmation since the Kelce College of Business was granted accreditation by AACSB.”
Cortes said, “I’m happy and honored but not surprised… given all the hard work and dedication by everyone at the college… The excellent leadership of our business dean, Dr. Paul Grimes, and the strong support of PSU administration facilitated the process and resulted in this award.”
Cortes said that since only five percent of all business schools in the world are accredited by AACSB, the Kelce College of Business belongs in a special class.
“Passing AACSB accreditation standards means that the Kelce College represents the highest quality and value of business education for our students.” Said Cortes.
Cortes said that having the ACCSB accreditation provides PSU with the reputation and image to attract high-quality faculty and students as well as makes our graduates more attractive to employers, other universities and organizations.
The Kelce College faculty impact students not only in Pittsburg, Kansas, but across the globe through the production of widely adopted college textbooks and learning materials. Alumni of the Kelce College degree programs impact the primary service region and the global economy through a 93 percent placement rate immediately after graduation.
“Alumni, companies and donors are more apt to provide the Kelce College with scholarships and other funding to finance current and new programs, a new business building, student financial aid, faculty development programs, grants, and consulting work,” Cortes said.
He said that in terms of new programs this spring semester, Pitt State started a new 100 percent online professional MBA program. It is a new version of the on-campus program except that the format is seven-week sessions of online courses.
Cortes also said, “An example of faculty development programs is the Faculty Development in International Business program which I participated in during the first two weeks of January… This faculty program took me to Israel, Jordan, and Morocco where I joined a faculty group to visit various global companies as well as historic sites such as Jerusalem, Petra, Dead Sea, and Casablanca.”
Cortes said the accreditation has helped the College.
“The recent AACSB reaffirmation raises our flag and rankings even more… Our academic programs (undergraduate and MBA) are recognized in national and regional rankings such as the Princeton Review, U.S. News, Ingram’s, and Wichita Business Journal,” he said.