Newly Accredited: Texas A&M University-Kingsville on Earning AACSB Accreditation
Dean Natalya Delcoure discusses the "transformational journey" her school went through in pursuing and achieving initial accreditation.
In this blog series, AACSB is spotlighting business schools around the globe that have recently earned AACSB Accreditation. We ask the business school leadership about their journey to accreditation and what the new achievement means to them. In this interview, Natalya Delcoure, dean of the Texas A&M University-Kingsville College of Business Administration, shares her experience on the initial accreditation process and attainment.
Why was it important for your school to undergo the rigorous process of earning AACSB Accreditation?
There are five key reasons. First, with over 100 years of history of academic excellence, AACSB represents the highest standard of achievement for business education worldwide. Second, graduating from an AACSB-accredited school opens doors for unparalleled career opportunities for our college students. Third, it creates a feeling of belonging to an impressive global community and professional network. Fourth, accreditation is a multi-stage process of rigorous continual internal review and engagement with an AACSB-assigned mentor, staff liaison, and peer-review team. Finally, the accreditation means that college administration, faculty, and professional staff are vested in ongoing continuous improvement to ensure that the institution will continue to deliver the highest quality of business education to students.
What did you learn about your school through your accreditation journey?
Above all, we went through a transformational journey as a college. We are able to attract and retain highly qualified, talented faculty and staff; recruit, retain, graduate, and successfully place business students; and enhance our reputation, culture, curriculum, and resources. Our reputation as a community of scholars who publish in high-quality journals is growing. The College of Business Administration became a knowledge hub for local businesses and the community. This is a nucleus of activity including presenting innovative seminars and guest lectures, organizing small business conferences and panels, facilitating student research projects and connections with businesses, and cementing relationships with college stakeholders.
What was the most challenging/rewarding part of the accreditation process?
One of the most gratifying discoveries through the accreditation journey has been about how we—faculty, staff, students, alumni, friends of the college, employers, and other key stakeholders—collectively share in the mission and vision of the college. From different perspectives and using different expressions, everybody spoke the same language. Achieving accreditation solidified this unity and created a feeling of belonging to a community and a network of excellence.
What impact do you hope to see from having achieved AACSB Accreditation?
As Edward A. Martin, president and chief executive officer of Berry Contracting and member of the Dean’s Leadership Board said, “This is an amazing accomplishment and Bay Ltd. is proud to be affiliated with Texas A&M University-Kingsville.” I could not put it any better than that. He further commented, “This latest accolade of receiving AACSB accreditation is yet another testament of their leadership’s commitment to continuously improving their programs. They are dedicated to providing their students with a relevant education and giving them the tools they need to secure a professional position after graduation.”
What advice would you give to another school approaching the accreditation process?
To remain competitive and go for it! AACSB offers myriad resources—take full advantage of them. The accreditation process is supported by a tremendous network of knowledgeable volunteers and experienced and attentive AACSB-staff. Learn from them. Be organized, open, ready and eager to learn, humble, and patient. Anything that’s worth having takes a lot of work. The attainment of AACSB Accreditation is rewarding not only to the college but to the entire university community.
Natalya Delcoure is dean of the College of Business Administration at Texas A&M University-Kingsville and a member of the AACSB International Board of Directors.