Archive for April, 2019

COBA Receives AACSB Accreditation Extension

by   |  04.12.19  |  Uncategorized

We’re excited to announce that we received official confirmation from AACSB International that the accreditation of our business programs has been extended for five years. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) is the longest-serving global accrediting body for business schools and the largest business education network. The accreditation represents the highest standard of achievement for business schools and only nine other private schools in Texas have received this honor.

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“This accreditation extension affirms ACU’s long-standing commitment to quality residential business education and for the first time endorses the quality of our recently launched online business programs. We have once again shown that ACU belongs among the best business schools in the world,” said Dr. Brad Crisp, dean of the College of Business Administration at ACU. “While this recognition is gratifying, the most important comment we heard from our peer review team is how clearly they could see our commitment to the university’s Christian mission in all that we do.” Our mission is to glorify God by creating a distinctively Christian environment in which excellent teaching, combined with scholarship, promotes the intellectual, personal and spiritual growth of business students, and educates them for Christian service and leadership throughout the world. Our commitment to faith is what drives our desire to curate excellent programs that inspire and grow our students.

Not only does this distinction confirm the quality of our programs, but it also benefits our students when they are competing for jobs and internships. “The caliber of the education I have received has certainly made me competitive,” said Hanna Roberts, a senior management and marketing major from Corpus Christi, TX. After spending the summer interning in corporate citizenship at Texas Instruments, Hanna accepted a job as a marketing associate at Texas Instruments upon graduation. “I felt more than prepared in terms of hard skills when it came to contending with the other interns for a job. But beyond that, I felt that I had something more than just an education. The mentoring and close relationships I have developed within COBA have pushed me to become a better, more whole person who is defined by strong values and a focus on faith, which I believe speaks more to employers than textbook knowledge ever will.”

Students like Hanna are a testament to the fact that not only will students receive an excellent, high-quality education in the College of Business Administration but they will also be equipped to enter into their vocation inspired to be world changers who share their faith and feel connected to their alma mater. In the next five years, we look forward to inspiring the next generation of business leaders through the competitive academic programs and Christian mission that enabled us to receive this accreditation. We would like to thank all of the faculty, staff, and students that contributed in many different ways to our accreditation extension and for their commitment to developing our community.

 

 

Student Spotlight: Colton Powell

by   |  04.11.19  |  Uncategorized

Meet Colton Powell, a senior finance major from Nashville, TN. While at ACU, Colton has been a part of the Griggs Center, Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization, the Fraternity of Galaxy, the Honors College, on the executive council for the American Enterprise Institute, and served as the Executive Treasurer of the Student Government Association. After graduation, Colton will be working for Enexor, a bioenergy startup in Nashville. Enexor is launching this summer after four years of research and development and has one of the first systems in the world that creates clean energy from waste. Colton will be working in business development for Enexor and finding clients who will benefit from their services, working closely with numbers to demonstrate how Enexor can save clients money, and expanding the business as a whole. Before moving to Nashville, Colton will spend the summer in Germany working with an investment company and staying in ACU’s villa in Leipzig. Colton will also use his time in Germany to begin working for Enexor and creating relationships with potential clients there.

Some of the most impactful moments during his time at ACU came from the experiences Colton took advantage of outside of the classroom and the faith-based relationships that are a cornerstone of the campus. “In terms of just education, ACU is obviously elite and I have learned a lot,” said Colton. “But I could have gotten a similar education at other places. ACU’s relational aspects have truly made the difference for me and transformed me into someone who holds my values high, prioritizes faith, and has learned how to bring that into life after graduation.” Two of his favorite experiential learning opportunities were Leadership Summit and studying abroad with COBA. Leadership Summit taught Colton about what it truly means to be successful in business and to work at having an impact that is greater than just a role in finance or a bottom line. The interactions he had with faculty, staff, and speakers gave Colton a perspective that connected faith with business in a way that impacts him today and will continue to influence him the rest of his life. Colton also studied abroad in Asia with COBA, where he was able to meet with different banks, businesses, and other companies. “Seeing everything that I had studied about business being applied in such a different cultural context definitely expanded my horizons,” he said. “It was incredible to see how similar many things were despite being in a culture so unlike my own.”

Colton will be graduating in May but wants to encourage underclassmen to take full advantage of what ACU has to offer. “You can have such a different experience from someone, even someone in your same major, by getting involved on campus beyond just going to class,” Colton shared. “What I have done outside of the classroom is what has shaped my four years the most. All of the different organizations I have been a part of, the mentoring I have received, and the programs I have participated in have prepared me for my future and I feel I have gotten the most out of ACU for having participated in them.”

Mackenzie Dalton, Fulbright Scholar

by   |  04.10.19  |  Uncategorized

Teaching English in Malaysia was never part of the plan until Mackenzie Dalton received word that she had received the Fulbright Scholar award. In January, Mackenzie, a senior pre-law accounting major from Little Rock, Arkansas, will be deferring law school and moving across the world to Malaysia where she will work as an English Teaching Assistant (ETA) in a local school. “I had always thought about maybe teaching English abroad,” said Mackenzie. “This seemed like a good opportunity but even though I have an English minor and am working to get my TESOL certification, I thought that I might not get the award since I am a business major and do not really have a teaching background.”

The Fulbright Award was started in 1946 after a bill introduced by Senator J. William Fulbright was passed to use surplus war property to began an international educational exchange program. It has grown to become one of the largest educational exchange programs for students and young professionals and awards 2,000 grants each year in over 140 countries. Mackenzie started the long and intensive application process in August. She began having conversations with her parents and Dr. Jason Morris, Dean of the Honors College and two-time Fulbright grantee in August. She spent hours deciding which country to apply to, writing personal statements, and perfecting her application before submitting it in October while also applying to law schools at the same time. “The waiting was the hardest,” she reflected. “And then I made it to the next round and still did not know what was going to happen.” She received the award for teaching in Malaysia, which she chose because of their reputation of valuing the Fulbright program and hosting their grantees well.

Mackenzie will not know exactly where she is placed until she arrives in January nor what age level she will be teaching. She will work 30 hours a week teaching English in a school at a secondary level or below and will also be encouraged to guide community engagement projects for the students. On her application, Mackenzie suggested starting a business club for the students but is also interested in other activities, like sports, and is excited for the opportunity to interact with the students outside of class. “I am the most excited to get to know the kids that I will be working with,” she said. “I am also looking forward to learning about the culture and having a different post-grad experience than many of my peers.”

Teaching English abroad may be new to her, but being abroad is not. While at ACU, Mackenzie studied abroad through COBA in Europe and has also traveled internationally on her own. “I do think that my study abroad experience will help with the immersion,” Mackenzie noted. “I will not know the language in Malaysia well at first, but I did not know the languages when I studied abroad. I learned how to travel and be okay in an unfamiliar culture.” Beyond study abroad, Mackenzie is certain that college and COBA have prepared her – and every other student – to be adaptable, hard-working, and critical thinkers, which will serve students well no matter their post-grad plans. We are extremely proud of Mackenzie and excited to see the good work that she will do in Malaysia.

Students Participate in Social Enterprise Consulting in Costa Rica

by   |  04.05.19  |  Academics, COBA Faculty, Current Students, Entrepreneurship, Social Entrepreneurship, Study Abroad

Over spring break, a group of students led by Dr. Laura Phillips and Dr. Sarah Easter traveled to Costa Rica for the first ever Social Enterprise Consulting (MGMT 440) class. This project-based course is designed to give students hands-on experience dealing with a real and substantial issue faced by a socially-minded organization. Students spent six weeks prior to spring break learning about the basics of consulting and learning about the cultural context of the country and organizations they would visit. They were challenged to complete research on the industry and market and received training from the Rotary International campus in Denton, who were also training the entrepreneurs in Costa Rica. “We wanted the students to be prepared in diverse capacities,” said Dr. Easter “That way, when we traveled to Costa Rica, they were as effective as possible in the one-week in-country visit.”

In Costa Rica, the class worked with the Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE), which is a regional center in Costa Rica dedicated to research and graduate education in agriculture, and the management, conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. In collaboration with CATIE, Red de Emprendedoras del Turismo Sostenible de Turrialba (RETUS) is a network of female entrepreneurs focused on experiential rural tourism offerings as a means to help provide sustainable livelihoods to the three involved communities in Central Costa Rica – Santa Cruz, Guavabo and Mollejones. CATIE and RETUS are interested in better understanding the US market for sustainable rural tourism in Costa Rica as well as the development of a promotional marketing plan to successfully reach identified markets in order to grow and develop RETUS further. The class stayed in a small town called Turrialba on the CATIE campus. Over the course of three days, they visited the three communities and observed experiential tourism offerings in each location.

The consulting nature of the course was focused on students engaging with the women entrepreneurs in terms of ecotourism, which means that tourists engage in local culture when on vacation rather than staying within the confines of a resort or hotel for the duration of their stay. Students evaluated the offerings of each entrepreneur from a US – and specifically Texas – tourist perspective. They spent time in each community taking detailed field notes and giving preliminary recommendations and then spent a full day with the class debriefing and identifying weaknesses and opportunities of the offerings in consideration of US customers.

With the focus on ecotourism consulting, the students got to experience Costa Rica in special ways that emphasized interactions with the local culture. “The most eye-opening thing about this trip was the cultural immersion. To actively participate in activities with the locals gave me a unique perspective into who they are,” said Luke Stevens, a junior marketing major from Montgomery, TX. “Instead of feeling like an outsider looking in, I felt more like I was a part of them. Overall, I think I got more out of this trip because it had a focus and purpose as opposed to a regular spring break trip. I would rather have that type of experience than a relaxing week on the beach.”  Among other things, the class toured the remains of a Pre-Colombian ruin, visited a butterfly farm, and even learned how to salsa dance. On their final day, they got to go zip lining through the jungle and rappel down waterfalls. “Since I come from a Central American country, I was really impressed by the ‘Tico culture,’ which is what Costa Ricans often call themselves, and how important it is to them that they grow as a community instead of as individuals,” noted Mafer Hernandez, a junior finance major from Guatemala City, Guatemala. They were also really invested in reducing contamination, their roads were clean and they also had several recycle bins.”

Now that they have returned from Costa Rica, students are working on a full report and marketing assessment that gives promotional and placement considerations for the women entrepreneurs. The project-based experience has been invaluable for students as they have gotten a chance to apply what they have been learning in class to real life – and in a meaningful, purpose-driven way. Dr. Easter’s favorite part of the trip was twofold; “I loved watching how passionate the women entrepreneurs are about their businesses and communities and how driven they were in their desire to share that passion with outsiders,” she said. “I also enjoyed watching the students in that international setting. It was neat seeing them interact with people in the community and dive into the experience fully. Traveling with students and watching how much they learn and grow in a short time frame is always incredible”

A grant from Southwest Airlines for plane tickets and scholarships from COBA, as well as the partnerships with Rotary International, CATIE, and RETUS made this trip possible and effective for the students and faculty that attended. We are extremely proud of our students for choosing to spend their spring break applying their business skills to serve others in a global context. We look forward to watching how this class grows in the future and other opportunities our students will have to affect change.