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USM College of Business keeps dual accreditation

HATTIESBURG — The University of Southern Mississippi’s College of Business has maintained its status as a dually accredited business and accounting school as determined by the board of directors of AACSB – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

According to the university, Southern Miss is one of only 643 AACSB-accredited schools in the world and 475 in the United States. Southern Miss is one of only 167 schools in the U.S. that are separately accredited in business and accounting. Fewer than five percent of business schools worldwide have earned AACSB accreditation.

To realize separate accounting accreditation, an institution must first earn or maintain AACSB Business Accreditation, which requires an institution to undergo an internal review and evaluation process. In addition to developing and implementing a mission-driven plan to satisfy the 21 business quality standards, accounting accreditation requires the satisfaction of an additional set of 15 standards that are specific to the discipline and profession of accounting.

Every five years an accredited school of business must apply to maintain its status as an AACSB-accredited institution. In the previous five-year application, the Southern Miss College of Business was placed on continuing review with multiple deficiencies that required correction.

Nail explained that the most recent evaluation by a peer review team comprised of business school deans and accounting administrators found zero deficiencies, while making two commendations for effective practices in business education. The School of Accountancy was commended for multiple strengths, including its leadership, use of technology and electronic databases in the curriculum and excellent assessment of student learning.

Initiatives receiving special recognition and cited as effective practices at Southern Miss included the Business Honors House – a living/learning community on campus – and the Business Academic Success & Excellence Center, which caters to students’ needs with written and verbal communications support, tutoring services, private study rooms, larger group accommodations, staff counselors and the use of office equipment.

The AACSB accreditation comes at a time when Southern Miss is moving to upgrade facilities within the College of Business. Last March the College of Business, in partnership with the University of Southern Mississippi Foundation, launched the “Building Better Business” fundraising campaign to help construct a 90,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art building on the Hattiesburg campus. In July, Southern Miss alumnus Charles “Chuck” C. Scianna Jr. donated $5 million to the project, which has an estimated construction cost of $33 million.

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