As parts of recent changes and future plans for the College of Business, building renovations were made in the Eisenberg Classroom Building (ECB), steps are being taken to gain a more prestigious accreditation for the College and a new Master’s of Science Program will be offered in Fall 2018.
According to Scott Albert, assistant vice president of facilities, planning and environmental safety, structural renovations for ECB included new weatherstripping on some stairwell doors and the exterior, pipe insulation in the mechanical rooms, water-conserving fixtures in the bathrooms and sound panels in rooms 201 and 202.
Concerning technology renovations, five classrooms in ECB were updated with audio-visual technology, and all wireless access points were replaced for ones with better coverage and data transmission, according to John Ziegler, associate provost for information technology.
As for future renovations, new windows will be installed in May 2018, all building lights will be LEDs by the end of the academic year and three more classrooms will be renovated by summer 2018.
The College of Business was notified that the Association to Advanced Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) Initial Accreditation Committee accepted the school’s Initial Self-Evaluation Report, the first step in the process to achieve the AACSB accreditation.
The College of Business already has an accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (ACBSP), however, the AACSB accreditation is more considered prestigious than the ACBSP accreditation. Currently, six PASSHE business schools—Bloomsburg, Clarion, Indiana (Pa.), Kutztown, Shippensburg and West Chester—are AACSB accredited.
While the first step to the AACSB accreditation is completed, further evaluations must take place over the next two to three academic years.
“We’re going to have to evaluate every core course in every major, assess student performance and outcomes, where we are weak, show that we’ve adjusted and remedied that weakness [and] there’s a cycle of continuous improvement involved,” David Valentine, professor of information systems, said.
Frances Amatucci, SRU accreditation coordinator, said that two years of candidacy, updates in May of 2018 and 2017 and a self-study are necessary before achieving accreditation.
The College of Business also began the candidacy process for AACSB accreditation for the first time in 2007, but the process was withdrawn in 2010.
“It requires a significant amount of resources. We just didn’t have the resources to effectively implement and execute the accreditation requirements, so it was an issue of resource constraints,” Amatucci said.
Following the current timetable, the College of Business should be AACSB accredited by the 2020-2021 academic year.
“We’re very optimistic that we’ll be able to do it this time, and it’s not easy, but I believe the awards are there,” Amatucci said.
This past summer, the PASSHE Board of Governors approved the College of Business’s Master’s Degree Program in Health Information Management, which will be offered in Fall 2018. This is the first program of its kind within the State System.
The 33-credit Master of Science will consist of 11 required classes to be taken within 15 months at the Regional Learning Alliance in Cranberry or online. Valentine said that the intended audience for the program consists of professionals already working in the healthcare or information systems fields.
“That RN who’s been working for a number of years and got a promotion, or wants a promotion to become a manager in her organization, be it a hospital, insurance company, nursing home, anything that deals with healthcare information, she needs to know something about business,” Valentine said. “She’s now promoting to the business of health information.”
Starting in Fall 2018, the College of Business will start the process for accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). Currently, only two universities that offer a Health Information Management—Temple University and the University of Pittsburgh—have a CAHIIM accreditation.
“That’s clearly our goal, and we’re confident that we can achieve it,” Valentine said.