WVU-P business division chair celebrates national accreditation - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

WVU-P business division chairman celebrates national accreditation

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A long wait is finally over.

West Virginia University at Parkersburg's business programs have been awarded national accreditation after a multi-year process. Steve Morgan, chairman of the business division, said the school's faculty has been working for several years to earn accreditation through the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, which finally was awarded last month.

"Its something we've been looking at for a long time, working at fairly aggressively for the past several years," Morgan said. "It's a pretty significant step to be able to associate our name with ACBSP."

Morgan said first, faculty had to complete a self-study that ACBSP reviewed. Next was a campus visit. Then, the ACBSP Baccalaureate/Graduate Degree Board of Commissioners and Associate Degree Board of Commissioners met in Kansas City, Mo., in April to review the quality of business degree programs at colleges and universities seeking accreditation from the organization. The two boards granted initial accreditation to WVU-P and 33 other institutions.

"We were ecstatic," Morgan said. "We were expecting it in some ways. We were fully prepared and believe in the quality of our programs and what we offered. We were confident, but getting the official word was very nice."

Programs that will now be accredited include the associate of applied science degrees in business administration, with areas of concentration in accounting, entrepreneurial studies and general business; business technology; journalism; associate of science degrees in business administration; bachelor of applied science in business administration with areas of concentration in business information technology, financial management, management and marketing and public relations; and bachelor of science in business administration with areas of concentration in accounting and general business.

Steve Parscale, ACBSP director of accreditation, said WVU-P and the other school that earned accreditation have proven the quality of their business programs.

"These campuses have shown their commitment to teaching excellence and to the process of quality improvement by participating in the accreditation process," Parscale said. "The initial accreditation and reaffirmation of accreditation granted to these institutions shows their commitment to provide the highest quality business education for their students."

Morgan said the accreditation means students and faculty can be more confident in the business programs. Although WVU-P is accredited, the ACBSP accreditation is an extra stamp of approval.

"The impact on the students is the ACBSP is underwriting continuous improvement," Morgan said. "The biggest improvement for the student is the quality of the program will continue to grow. We'll continue to get better, having a body like the ACBSP in our corner. It will give our students more confidence in our programs. I don't know how common it is for a community college to have a separate accreditation for the business program."

The accreditation team was led by Morgan, business, economics and mathematics division chairman, and WVU-P professor Pam Braden. Others who contributed include faculty members Jeff Holland, Stephen Smith, Sy Sarkara, Carol Thomas, Dianne Davis, Roger Lewis, Vijay Shah, John Altman, Debra Baker, Torie Jackson and Lauriel Edwards.

Morgan said the accreditation can be credited to the team's hard work and dedication.

"It's a total team effort," he said. "I can't emphasize that enough."