The College of Business Administration at The University of Texas-Pan American has joined an elite few with the recent accreditation of its doctoral program.
According to information from the AACSB International-The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, UTPA is only the third Hispanic Serving Institution in the nation to receive this prestigious recognition for all business degree levels, from bachelor's to doctorate.
"About 87 percent of our students are Hispanic," said Dr. John Emery, dean of the College of Business Administration. "Likewise, about 85 percent of our students qualify for need-based financial aid so we have the largest, low-income Hispanic student population among Universities in the country."
Emery said the only other Hispanic Serving Institution offering a comprehensive Ph.D. in business to boast the same level of accreditation is Florida International University in Miami, with an enrollment of about 32,000 students - of whom about 18,000 are Hispanic.
Emery said New Mexico State University offers a doctorate in business, but only in the area of management. At UTPA students can concentrate their Ph.D. in management, marketing, finance, or international business.
"We have the only accredited Ph.D. program in business south of Austin," Emery said. UTPA has been accredited at its bachelor's and master's levels by the Association for many years, but gaining the accreditation at the doctoral level - which happened at the annual meeting of AACSB in New Orleans, Louisiana last month - put UT Pan American in a unique league.
"I was extremely proud to be in New Orleans to receive the approval of our accreditation," said Dr. Miguel A. Nevárez, UTPA president. "This accomplishment was not achieved without the hard work, perseverance and financial support of many faculty, staff, administrators and financial supporters over the past years."
Dr. Rodolfo Arévalo, UTPA provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, said the accreditation is another stamp of quality for UTPA's program.
"This signifies that our institution has been able to dedicate resources to the development of a College that is strong in its degree programs," Arévalo said. "The University has also hired excellent faculty, supported research and recruited high quality students."
To achieve accreditation, business programs must satisfy the expectations of a wide range of quality standards, such as strategic management of resources, interactions between faculty and students, and achievement in the area of study. During its accreditation process, UTPA was visited and evaluated by members of the AACSB - all deans at other institutions with business programs.