Purcell Brings Back Comparisons on Other Faith-Based Institutions

Long hours and longhorns seemed to go together for Bernice Purcell, DBA, during her recent trip to Dallas Baptist University in Dallas, Texas on a reaccreditation site visit for the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Spending time in the Lone Star State from February 28 until March 2, Purcell was a member of a three-person team that looked to reaccredit the business school.

Purcell, the Associate Dean of the School of Business Administration and Extended Learning, has been involved with ACBSP since Holy Family University has been accredited by the organization. She has served as Chair of the Member Relations Committee and a member of the Region 2 Teaching Excellence Award Committee. She trained last year to be a member of a site visit team.

According to Purcell, the work starts even before you boarding the flight to visit the other university.

“The team members receive the self-study, and each member reads the entire document, then narrows their focus on two specific standards,” she said. “Each standard has a narrative portion that is supplemented by institutional data and documentation. The data and documentation include enrollment and retention data, student, faculty, and course evaluation methods, stakeholder engagement data, and assessment data. The team confers by teleconference regarding further data that is needed for analysis as well as agreement on the people from the institution that need to be met.”

Reaccreditation team members meet with administration, faculty, students, and other stakeholders to verify the report and satisfy any questions.

“The trip to Dallas Baptist University was my first site visit,” Purcell said. “Like Holy Family University, Dallas Baptist University is a faith-based institution with a strong emphasis on mission. With these comparisons, I was able to bring back information on how other institution fulfill their mission, and what changes might work for Holy Family’s Business School.”

The Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (ACBSP) is an accrediting body for collegiate business schools that have a primary focus on teaching. Schools that want to be accredited by ACBSP must prove compliance with the ACBSP standards. The six ACBSP standards are Leadership, Strategic Planning, Student and Stakeholder Focus, Measurement and Analysis of Student Learning and Performance, Faculty and Staff Focus, and Educational and Business Process Management. Each standard has a number of criteria that need to be met in order to be accredited. The institution submits a self-study based on the standards and criteria and hosts an evaluation team to assure compliance. After accreditation, the institution must file quality assurance reports based on these standards every two years, and has a re-accreditation every ten years. The re-accreditation follows the same process as initial accreditation.