SBI seeks reaccreditation

Faculty in the School of Business and Industry at Florida A&M University will administer their first ever Evaluation Testing Survey to students on Wednesday as a part of its accreditation process.

“We never did the test and we didn’t have a comparative base for judging the extent to which (teachers) are transmitting knowledge in business compared to other schools,” said Eisenhower Etienne, professor of Logistics and Quality Management at SBI and chairman of the Learning Assurance Committee. “I don’t see how we can improve our curricula and delivery to conform to national standards without a benchmark metric.”

The ETS Major Field Test, which is available to graduating SBI undergraduate and MBA students, is a nationally distributed Web-based assessment test sent to approximately 3,100 institutions. The test consists of all subject material that normally should be covered in business programs.

SBI students volunteered to take the test administered Wednesday and Etienne said they showed encouraging preliminary results.

“A good proportion of the students who took the test scored above the 50th percentile,” Etienne said. “This is comparing to all schools.”

Because the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business does not accredit SBI, faculty said the test is a step toward becoming accredited.

“The major field test will help us prepare students to succeed by using the results to improve the curricula, to ensure our students have mastered their field of study, to evaluate students’ ability to solve problems, understand relationships, and interpret materials,” said Alex Moore Ph.D., associate dean of administration for SBI.

Professors at SBI said the test is a good indicator of how SBI students measure up to other students in business schools.

“It would be nice for (students) to get an indication on how they fair against national competition of business students,” said Richard Wright, a professor of global business law and one of the three teachers to volunteer their classes to take the test. “If (SBI) does well against the average accredited schools, it would imply that we are on the level or higher than presently AACSB accredited schools.”

Etienne said ETS will be given twice a year and he was amazed by the response of the students and their willingness to participate in taking the tests this semester.

“The amount of excitement was high,” Etienne said. “(Students) heard about the test and volunteered themselves to take the test.”

Although there is a limit on how many students are allowed to take the test each year, students who were given the opportunity said the test was a helpful evaluation.

“It is good to say I know what my strengths and weaknesses are and what I need to work on,” said Jacquelyn Rivers, 23, a graduating MBA student from Chicago. “I think it was helpful because a lot of the scenarios on the assessment seemed to be real life situations that most of us would have to face at some point.”

Moore said the goal of the test is to help SBI measure the higher value of its academic program and to be an outstanding school of business.

“It is part of (SBI’s) effort to be a world class business school,” Moore said. “It is part of the school’s responsibility to make sure our curriculum is actually preparing our students to be world class leaders.”