October 29, 2009

Business college earns high marks in ranking

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- One of the best. That’s how “The Princeton Review” ranks Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s College of Business.

“The Best 301 Business Schools: 2010 Edition,” the newest annual business schools guidebook from The Princeton Review features the SIUC program and its profile. The schools are not listed in order nor ranked within the “best 301.” Rather, the publication chose what it calls the 301 top programs on the basis of statistical information from universities coupled with opinions from more than 19,000 students in programs with accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

“Rankings are a tricky business. You don’t set out to improve your rankings. You set out to demonstrate a commitment to providing a superior student experience and improve the quality of an already outstanding faculty. Do a good job, and the rankings will follow. To be included in this report means we’re doing the right things,” said Dennis Cradit, dean of the College of Business.

“The Princeton Review” (www.princetonreview.com) includes 11 ranking lists, each cataloging the publication’s top 10 business schools within the specific categories along with the top 301 schools overall. Surveys, predominantly online, gather input from students during the previous three academic years. The students rank a variety of factors, including campus environment and facilities, professors, opportunities for minority students and women, family friendliness, career prospects, classroom experience, administration and more.

Students gave SIUC an 85 ranking for its interesting professors and 65 ranking for accessible professors. Students participating in the surveys gave SIUC especially high marks for interactive classes, low student-to-faculty ratio and for preparing graduates for doing business in a global economy as well as for its actual programs, classes and environment.

Founded in 1957, the College of Business at SIUC currently has an enrollment of about 1,500 students. According to “The Princeton Review,” the low program cost coupled with the availability of assistantships is a bonus for SIUC students. The deal got better for the 2009-2010 academic year with adoption of an alternative tuition rate for students from Missouri, Indiana, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky, meaning the rate is equivalent to what Illinois students pay to attend the college.

Students cited other positives about the SIUC College of Business too. The University’s relationship with Grenoble Ecole de Management allows its MBA students to earn a Master of International Business in Grenoble, France. The Business Placement Center assists graduates seeking employment and there are many on-campus recruiters.

The online MBA program went live in 2009 and already has 15 students from around the world enrolled. The new online program, taught by full-time faculty, allows students to earn 41 credits to complete their MBA in 24 months. Meredith Rhoads, chief marketing officer for the college, said recruiting is now under way for the 2010 online master’s class as the college will begin accepting applications Dec. 1. The early decision application deadline is March 15, 2010, and the final deadline for applications is May 15, 2010. The college also offers an online Master in Accountancy program.