By Madison Doner
OSWEGO, NY – It’s business as usual at SUNY Oswego’s School of Business and the Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business acknowledged that recently by extending the school’s accreditation another five years.
There have been continuous improvements and major changes since first being accredited in 2002 by the association, said School of Business Dean Richard Skolnik.
“Our enrollment has increased. At that time, we had about 1,200 undergrad majors and probably 60 MBA students. Now we are at 1,700 undergraduate students and about 250 MBA students,” said Skolnik “At that time, we also weren’t in the Princeton Review of best business schools. But, in 2005 we were ranked in the best 143 business schools.”
The AACSB has a set of guidelines and standards that schools must follow, ranging from assurance of learning which is assessment, following through and meeting learning goals, and having qualified faculty.
The importance of the association and the accreditation is that it’s not just one individual objective being met, it’s a consistent approach across the years.
In order to qualify for the accreditation, it is not just what have you done but what are you currently doing within your program.
The Oswego School of business does an annual report that is then sent to the AACSB; but after receiving the accreditation every five years they then send out a comprehensive self-study.
After the association receives the report they send a review team to come meet with the leadership, faculty, students, advisory board, and then write a report and recommendation.
The team then discuss options, when that is settled the associations board of directors make the final decision.
It is not all about the faculty though, students were involved to reaching the objectives and recommendations set forth.
The school of business dean meets with organizations and club leaders once a month for coordination of events between groups and to input recommendations.
The program has continuous improvements and learning from your peers which is the essence of it.
Skolnik said, “Accounting society for example sponsors VITA. Last year more than 400 returns were completed by it so that’s really a great program because you have students who are using the skills they obtain in the classroom and are helping the community.”
Accounting society is just one example of the business-based organizations and clubs on campus.
Members this past semester held their annual ‘Meet the Accountants’ event.
During the fall of 2017, 25 companies were involved and about 200 students with a total of about 400 people.
“It’s the easiest way to get a job you don’t have to apply for it, it’s a career fair for all accountants,” said Accounting Society President Tom Leprine. “With Oswego growing as a school of business but also from the accounting program this accreditation extended another five years definitely is going to help when companies see SUNY Oswego it’s not just a state school it’s actually an accredited school.”
When applying for schools, the accreditation draws attention to prospective students.
Business Administration major Jenna Fields said, “Knowing the Oswego School of Business was already accredited before I came here I knew they were going to have so much to offer me which pushed me to enroll.”
She added, “Going to this business school with great rankings I know I am getting taught by the best of the best and that makes me feel remarkable, I have taken more away from my education than I could ever imagined therefore I’m not nervous to graduate next May.”
AACSB is the premier accrediting agency for schools of business worldwide.
According to the associations website this accreditation has been earned by less than five percent of the world’s business schools.
Associate Dean Dr. Raihan Khan was involved with making sure the work assessment and learning goals were being met and that students are provided with the opportunity to get involved.
“We have to make sure that we assess so we can say when our students walk across the stage do we think they’ve fulfilled those learning goals that we set for them,” he said. “Not every school has the accreditation so there is value to the degree from having the AACSB stamp. It lets you advertise saying ‘hey we have a quality program its accredited’ and if you go anywhere across the globe people in business will know about this association and accreditation, they will realize that this is a quality program.”
Dean Skolnik said the next initiative is to build the entrepreneurship major and help community colleges with their business program to which students may continue on at SUNY Oswego.
Madison Doner is a Journalism student at SUNY Oswego.