La Sierra University’s Tom and Vi Zapara School of Business is celebrating a significant milestone in its journey toward achieving accreditation by one of the world’s premier business accreditation organizations.
The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB), is a global nonprofit association that provides quality assurance, business education, and learning and development services to over 1,700 member organizations. More than 870 business institutions in 56 countries and territories have earned AACSB accreditation.
“In March, the AACSB Initial Accreditation Committee reviewed and accepted the Initial Self-Evaluation Report of the Zapara School of Business and we continue working closely with our AACSB mentor to progress toward alignment with the required AACSB Standards,” said Zapara school associate dean Gary Chartier.
“AACSB accreditation is the global gold standard in business school accreditation,” observes Zapara dean John Thomas. The Zapara school is currently the only Seventh-day Adventist business program anywhere in the world to reach the self-evaluation stage of the accreditation process, he noted.
Zapara School of Business Dean John Thomas
“Our business school is continually aiming toward higher objectives and striving to push our boundaries for the betterment of our students’ education and their employment opportunities. Accreditation by this outstanding business accreditation body matters to employers and will be of significant benefit in multiple ways to our graduates,” said Thomas.
La Sierra University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Its H.M.S. Richards Divinity School received accreditation from The Commission on Accrediting of The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada in 2013 and its School of Education holds various accreditations for teacher education, school psychology, school counseling, applied behavior analysis, Licensed Professional Clinical Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy programs. The university’s music department is accredited through the National Association of Schools of Music.
A view of the Finance Lab at the Zapara School of Business which utilizes StockTrak stock market simulation software and which opened in 2017 along with the Innovation Lab which offers industry-grade MarkForged 3D printers for entrepreneurial projects.
Benefits of accreditation for the Zapara School of Business will include evidence to potential students that the program they’re enrolling in is of globally recognized quality. It will also provide gold-standard-level guidance for the school itself regarding curriculum content, staffing, and professional performance. For employers, accreditation represents a clear signal of international-level quality when looking for graduates to hire.
The self-evaluation process, which resulted in a 100-page report, produced an impactful additional benefit for the business school. “Members of the faculty and staff have become much more involved in and aware of the process of improving our operations,” said Chartier. “We’re very grateful to the colleagues who worked diligently to ensure the success of our self-evaluation process. This was a stimulating team effort, and it built greater understanding and a new level of commitment and team-spiritedness.”
This article was written by Darla Martin Tucker and originally appeared on the La Sierra University website.
Photos by Natan Vigna courtesy of La Sierra University.
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