In an effort to better manage growing demand for enrollment in its business courses, the Washington State University College of Business and Economics has aligned itself with faculty-to-student ratio standards set by the college’s accrediting agency, AACSB — Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

The College of Business and Economics strives to offer the highest quality programs to its students and to ensure that students can get into business courses once they are accepted to major in a program.

“In the past, we have worked hard to accept as many students as we could into as many courses and sections as we could offer,” said CBE Dean Len Jessup. “But demand for our courses has surpassed the number of faculty we have to teach, and our faculty-to-student ratios have exceeded their allowable maximums for some time. That problem was underscored during our recent AACSB reaccreditation review, and it became clear that we needed to address the situation if we are to continue to provide the highest quality education.

“Our reaccreditation was confirmed in April 2004, and we have implemented many changes to improve and enhance the quality of business education at WSU. This is the next step.

“Looking ahead, we believe that the high demand for our courses will continue. We must implement measures now that will ensure that the programs we offer to our certified students, and others who take our classes, will be the best that they can be, keeping in mind appropriate faculty-to-student ratios,” Jessup said.

The impact will be felt immediately. All students wishing to certify to become a business or hospitality business management major or minor, who have met the stated minimum requirements listed in the WSU Catalog, must complete and submit an online application to the College of Business and Economics. Applications to certify to become a major or minor in business fields of study will be available online through April 22 at http://www.cbe.wsu.edu/Advising and can be submitted online easily and immediately.

“Every application will be reviewed, and students will be placed in order, based on their prior performance,” said CBE Director of Enrollment Management and Advising Gloria Tong.

“The top students will be notified in early summer via their WSU e-mail address about their application to certify as a major or minor in business or hospitality and to enroll in upper-division courses with us,” she said. “The number of acceptances will be based on the number of spots available that semester as determined by faculty-to-student ratios used for AACSB accreditation. This application process will be required for all students wishing to become business majors and minors, and we’ll make available a limited number of places for students who have certified in other majors on campus or are minoring in business.”

Certification requirements for prospective business students will remain unchanged and in place. The requirements are that they must complete a specific set of lower-division business courses with a 2.5 minimum grade point average across those courses and have completed at least 60 credit hours. Similarly, the rule stands that the minimum cumulative business GPA needed to graduate with a major or minor in business is a 2.5.

“The change is that in addition to these certification and graduation rules, students will have to apply for admission into business programs and will be admitted based on the available capacity,” Tong said.

“The bottom line here is that these new procedures will help to assure our students that they will get the top-quality business education that they signed up for,” Jessup said.

For more information, visit the CBE website online at http://www.cbe.wsu.edu.