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MC Business Gains Prestigious Re-Accreditation from World’s Leading Business Education Association

Mississippi College is one of 935 institutions across 59 countries and territories to have earned AACSB accreditation in business.
Mississippi College is one of 935 institutions across 59 countries and territories to have earned AACSB accreditation in business.

The premiere global nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of business education around the world has extended accreditation for the School of Business at Mississippi College.

The Board of Directors for the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business has ratified its Continuous Improvement Review Committee’s recommendation for re-accreditation of the business degree programs offered at MC.

Mississippi College is one of 935 institutions across 59 countries and territories to have earned AACSB accreditation in business.

“Every AACSB-accredited school has demonstrated a focus on excellence in all areas, including teaching, research, curricula development, and student learning,” said Stephanie M. Bryant, AACSB executive vice president and chief accreditation officer. “The intense peer-review process exemplifies their commitment to quality business education.”

Dr. Marcelo Eduardo, dean of the School of Business at MC, said AACSB is the “gold standard” of accrediting bodies for schools of business.

“AACSB is the premier business accreditation organization in the world,” Eduardo said. “Re-accreditation matters so much to us because it puts us in the same company with some of the most well-known schools in the country.

“We have been pursuing accreditation for more than 30 years. It’s such a difficult thing to maintain. Less than 8 percent of business schools in the world have this accreditation. I feel blessed to lead a group of faculty in obtaining something this challenging.”

To achieve re-accreditation, the School of Business went through a rigorous, five-year internal process that culminated with a site visit in February by members of the AACSB’s Peer Review Team. Throughout the process, the school focused on developing and implementing a plan that aligned with the AACSB’s accreditation standards, which require excellence in strategic management and innovation; faculty, staff, and student participation; learning and teaching; and academic and professional engagement.

“Every year, we document how we have improved the school, how we are engaging our students, that our teaching is innovative, and that our curriculum is dynamic,” Eduardo said. “The site visitors consist of deans from other accredited schools who affirm that what we’ve been doing for the past five years meets the association’s exacting standards. They meet with faculty, students, alumni, career services – everyone who plays a role in the School of Business – and make their recommendations to the AACSB.

“It’s a very lengthy process.”

But well worth the effort, Eduardo said, especially for those who attend the school.

"The bottom line is that this accreditation is for the students,” he said. “We want our students to be as competitive as any graduates from any AACSB-accredited school. This is the way to do that.”

AACSB accreditation matters to MC students like Cairo Plauche’, a senior accounting major from Fairhope, Alabama, who graduated May 5. She changed her focus of study three times before deciding on the School of Business.

“I was instantly impressed with how much the professors cared, not only about teaching us, but truly investing in us to be well-rounded, strong women and men of Christ who are ready to enter the business world,” Plauche’ said. “The Christ-centered culture cultivated by Dr. Eduardo and the faculty in the School of Business truly was the reason why I found my place there.

“Our AACSB accreditation is incredibly important to me as a student in the School of Business, because it shows that the school has truly prioritized its commitment to academic excellence. It means that I am surrounded by faculty and students who are committed to challenging the status quo by striving to make ourselves better each day. The school is focused on keeping students engaged through its many clubs, challenging coursework, and endless opportunities to obtain real-world experience.”

Plauche’, who received her B.S.B.A. from MC, said she has been asked to lead in ways she never thought she would be capable of in a school of business.

“MC’s School of Business ensured I was prepared to not only apply my knowledge in the working world, but also that I was prepared to face ethical situations with confidence, staying true to my core beliefs and values,” she said. “It also ensured that I gained knowledge and experience with a focus on our executive speaker series, service faith and ethics weeks, and internship opportunities.

“I know I will always have support from MC and the School of Business in any of my future endeavors or career aspirations. The support I have received through my four years here will not end, but will continue for a lifetime.”

Graduate students like Parker Brooks of Tupelo, who received his B.B.A. in finance from MC and obtained his M.B.A. with a finance concentration on May 5, rely on the school’s AACSB accreditation to compete with graduates of larger institutions.

“As a business student, starting a career in finance and accounting can be extremely competitive,” said Brooks, who recently accepted a junior position with Capital One’s commercial lending services. “Knowing we hold the same accreditation status as top-tier Ivy League schools helps even the playing field.

“Having an M.B.A. on my CV helped me secure a competitive role with a Top 10 financial institution in the U.S. For business schools wanting to send students to the best institutions, AACSB is becoming more of a requirement.”

He said gaining re-accreditation reflects how much the MC School of Business faculty cares for the quality of its educational programs.

“It speaks to the consistency of our professors. MC attracts excellent staff and students. At its heart, that is what AACSB tries to capture.”

For this round of re-accreditation, Eduardo said the faculty focused on three significant priorities in the School of Business: a new entrepreneurship major, the school’s ability to offer M.B.A. classes fully online or face-to-face, and the school’s research enterprise.

“The site visitors were impressed by the research output of our faculty and how they’ve managed to continue to remain relevant and at the top of their field,” he said. “Faculty at larger universities teach fewer classes and have more time for research. It’s a little more challenging for our faculty, who have regular teaching loads.

“When the visitors described our research as ‘impactful,’ that was a really nice thing for them to take note of.”

He credited all 21 members of the School of Business faculty for the successful re-accreditation, while noting that the coordination provided throughout the process by Dr. Sara B. Kimmel, associate professor in the School of Business who served as re-accreditation coordinator, was invaluable.

“This was a total faculty effort,” Eduardo said. “You cannot gain reaccreditation by a handful of faculty participating. Everyone has to perform at the highest level. That speaks so much about how dedicated our faculty members are.

“We get to enjoy a short break, and then the re-accreditation effort starts all over again.”