Sybil Mobley believes gaining accreditation for the School of Business and Industry is not as important as producing internationally respected students.
“At first I was reluctant to apply (for accreditation) because the standards to be accredited are lower than the standards we hold for this school,” said Mobley, the dean of SBI.
Unlike many other schools, like nursing or medicine which require accreditation so that students can become professionals in their fields, it is not necessary for SBI to be accredited in order for the degrees to be substantial, Mobley said.
Besides, Harvard wasn’t accredited until about five years ago. And even without accreditation, businesses consistently seek SBI students year after year, Mobley said.
SBI has sought accreditation once through the International Association for Management Education, but was denied. The accreditations board cited poor facilities and too few faculty and staff as some of the reasons for not accrediting the school.
“At the time we did not have the resources,” Mobley said.
The school has come a long way since then, with new facilities and a larger staff. But the main reason SBI has been successful remains unchanged. The lesson plan is still the same.
“Our curriculum was a pioneer for other business schools,” Mobley said. “When the board came it was not prepared to process the type of lesson plan SBI had for its students.”
Thomas Jefferson, an assistant in SBI’s professional development program, said many students do not know what impact accreditation for the school will have on them.
“I believe they know that it is positive, but they do not know why,” Jefferson said.
Carmen Williams, a junior business administration student from Round Rock, Texas, said she knows that SBI’s accreditation would bring more business prospects for its students.
“It will provide more opportunities for students going into the business world leaving the SBI program, with other companies that do not work directly with the school,” Williams said.
Although Mobley, who is near retirement, believed she did not have to apply for accreditation to gain such opportunities, she knew it would not hurt her students. She approved the decision to reapply for accreditation, but there is no word on when the process will be completed.
“It just became the word around campus that we should be approved,” Mobley said. “It was neither a good nor a bad thing, that’s why I approved of it.”
Cheree Tillie can be reached at email@example.com.