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2017 University News

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2017 University News

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School of Business Is Reaccredited by AACSB

West Chester University's School of Business has earned reaccreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB) — representing the highest standard of quality in business education, recognized around the world.

West Chester is one of only 26 schools of business in Pennsylvania and among the 5% of business schools globally to earn AACSB accreditation.

"I can't thank all of our faculty and staff enough for their hard work and dedication in making this reaccreditation possible," stated Jeffery L. Osgood, Jr., Senior Vice Provost and Interim Dean of the College of Business and Public Management. "Everything our faculty and staff have done has been connected to the mission of the school, which is to prepare students to be successful within the evolving regional and global economies."

The AACSB accreditation process includes rigorous self-evaluation and peer-review elements. All AACSB-accredited institutions must enter the Continuous Improvement Review process every five years to ensure they continue to demonstrate engagement, innovation, and impact to meet the standards.

WCU's reporting period covered fall 2011 through spring 2016. During that time, every department in the School of Business within the College of Business and Public Management demonstrated its commitment to continuous improvement as an innovative leader responsive to the educational demands of the regional community.

Osgood, who is also a professor of Public Policy & Administration, noted that the college "faculty and staff have made a mark for WCU in the area of business education and have taken a continuous improvement approach to meet our goals. Continuous improvement isn't about checking a box, but rather routinely assessing our progress and setting new benchmarks for ourselves. I am very proud of our School of Business and am eternally grateful to have been a part of the leadership team during this incredibly exciting year."

While many elements contributed to WCU's successful completion of this review, several are stand-outs. Most significantly, the MBA was restructured and, as of fall 2016, is now delivered 100% online. The restructure was based on constituent input and market demand. From 2014/15 to 2015/16, the number of MBA applicants increased 200%. The program is among U.S. News & World Report's top 100 MBA Best Online MBA Programs for 2017.

Experiential learning is highly valued and mission-centric to both WCU and the School of Business, and is evidenced by the number of student internships, service-learning opportunities, faculty- and student-led case studies, guest speakers from regional businesses, as well as business tools and other experiential learning projects. Over the reporting period, 2011/12 – 2015/16, School of Business students engaged in 3,480 hours of service learning and performed more than 1,900 hours of community service, developing valuable skills, knowledge and competencies, while strengthening the communities in which they participated.

Faculty scholarship is critical to our mission, and the impact of that scholarship is evidenced by the wide range of application-based and pedagogical research. The faculty produced 504 intellectual contributions over the reporting period of which 46% were in peer-reviewed journals, textbooks, or cases. Consistent with the School of Business mission statement to "continually improve pedagogy and business practices through applied research and other professional activities," 95% of the intellectual contributions are applied integrative/application scholarship as well as teaching and learning scholarship.

AACSB plays an important role in connecting business schools, business professionals, and students and its accreditation is the longest-standing, most recognized form of specialized/professional accreditation an institution and its business programs can earn.

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