What makes SOBA so excellent? For one thing, professors like the 2010 Alice Admire Outstanding Teaching Award winner Steve Stovall.
What makes SOBA so excellent? For one thing, professors like the 2010 Alice Admire Outstanding Teaching Award winner Steve Stovall.

In April, the Fort Lewis College School of Business Administration (SOBA) was reaccredited by the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB). This accreditation sets the FLC School of Business Administration among the premier business schools in the world.

The AACSB's seal of approval is "the gold standard in accreditation," says SOBA Dean Gary Linn. "It's the best that a business school can get."

Employers across the state have seen the quality of the students graduating from Fort Lewis College. Accounting firms from the Denver area, for example, have taken notice. Firms such as Eide Bailly LLP, BKD LLP, KPMG LLP, and EKS&H are all top employers of Fort Lewis College graduates.

“BKD has built a successful recruiting relationship with the students and the business school at Fort Lewis College,” says Travis Webb, managing partner at BKD. “We include Fort Lewis in our efforts first and foremost because the quality of the programs equips students with the skills they need to have successful careers in our profession.”

In 1974, the Fort Lewis College School of Business Administration became the first undergraduate-only business program to be accredited by the AACSB, an international honor the organization has bestowed on qualifying schools since 1919. Currently only five percent of business schools worldwide meet the high standards necessary for AACSB International accreditation.

To earn accreditation, the AACSB evaluates a school’s ability to provide quality programs through self evaluations, peer reviews, committee reviews, and the development of long-term plans. They also include reviews of a school’s mission, faculty qualifications, and curricula. Once accredited, a team of reviewers visits campus for a day and a half every five years to evaluate if the program deserves reaccreditation.

"They consider strategic planning, financial resources, and professional and academic qualifications of faculty," explains Linn. "They also see that student learning outcomes are set in place and faculty are assessing their courses to be sure students are meeting their student-learning outcomes."

Out of the 51 Colorado colleges and universities that award at least a bachelor’s degree, only nine hold an AACSB accreditation. Even with a recent tuition increase Fort Lewis College is the least expensive of the nine for Colorado residents (excluding the U.S. Air Force Academy, which does not charge tuition).

AACSB ACCREDITED SCHOOLS IN CO*

RESIDENT TUITION & FEES PER YEAR

TOTAL ENROLLMENT

University of Denver

$36,501

11,644

University of Colorado-Boulder

$8,511

33,010

University of Colorado-Denver

$7,214

23,715

Colorado State University

$6,985

28,902

University of Colorado-Colorado Springs

$6,029

 

9,733

University of Northern Colorado

$5,997

12,711

Colorado State University-Pueblo

$5,615

6,443

Fort Lewis College

$4,924

3,864

*excluding U.S. Air Force Academy

 

 

(http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/)

 


Fort Lewis College also holds the distinction of being the only AACSB accredited business school in Colorado that makes undergraduate education its top priority. This means that the focus is on teaching.

"We put students first, because our faculty's number one mission is teaching," says Linn. "So with our small class sizes, students get a lot of interaction with our quality faculty. That's why you're going to get a great education here."

“I received an excellent education at FLC and I know I am more than prepared for my next steps, and I don't just mean transitioning to my career, I mean life in general,” says Rachael Badger, a senior earning a double major in accounting and international business at Fort Lewis.

Opportunities like participation in the national accounting honor society, Beta Alpha Psi, also gave Rachael a leg up in her education.

“Then there is Beta Alpha Psi. I had my first glimpse of what working in accounting could be. I was able to get an internship and a job because of how well Beta Alpha Psi prepares you for interviews and what it will be like to work at an accounting firm. I could easily go on for days about how great FLC is and all the things that made my education and my experience at FLC a good one. I graduate next April and I will be proud to call myself an FLC alum!”

 ###