Southeastern's College of Business, accounting program receive international accreditation
by: Rene Abadie
HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University's College of Business and its accounting program have received an extension of accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB).
Class size, faculty access and willingness to help students were cited as areas of strength in the college, said Randy Settoon, dean of the College of Business.
The accreditation designation is considered the hallmark of excellence in business education and has been earned by less than five percent of the world's business schools, said Settoon.
"Business schools must not only meet specific standards of excellence, but their deans, faculty and professional staff must make a commitment to ongoing continuous improvement to ensure the institution will continue to deliver the highest quality of education to students," said Robert D. Reid, executive vice president and chief accreditation officer of AACSB.
Settoon said the accreditation process involves a rigorous internal review, evaluation and adjustment that take several years to complete. The school must develop and implement a plan to meet AACSB standards, which require a high quality teaching environment, innovative programming, and active engagement with business and industry.
"The accounting accreditation requires meeting an additional set of high quality standards that are specific to the discipline and profession of accounting," Settoon said.
In its report, the accreditation team recognized both the university and the college for its ability to cope with budgets that have been drastically reduced over recent years. "Both entities have done an excellent job in reducing the impact on student learning," the report states.
The team also noted that students expressed a high level of satisfaction with the programs, the college, and faculty members. The accreditation report recognized the college's strengths that include a dedicated faculty who have been with the institution for a long time and have a strong sense of commitment to students. Excellence in teaching, a commitment to research, and the implementation of an extensive advising program to help students progress through their academic programs were also cited as strengths.
Settoon said the college was also recognized for its Latin American Business Development Initiative, which has forged international relationships with academic, business and government entities in Central and South America; developed the Hispanic Business and Resource Technology Center in Kenner following Hurricane Katrina to help in the rebuilding of New Orleans and the surround areas; and fostered trade missions between Louisiana entrepreneurs and Latin American countries.
"Our efforts are all geared to helping prepare students to enter the workforce," Settoon said. "Programs and internships with area businesses, hands-on learning opportunities with sophisticated technology, and opportunities to interact with business leaders who frequently visit Southeastern provide our students with the experience they need to compete in an increasingly competitive workforce."
AACSB International was founded in 1916 and is an association of businesses and other organizations in 85 countries and territories. It is the premier accreditation body for institutions offering undergraduate business education and accounting programs.