College of Business and Economics retains continuous AACSB accreditation

April 02, 2019

The College of Business and Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is pleased to announce that it has once again received extension of accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

The college first achieved AACSB accreditation in 1974, placing it among only five percent of business schools in the world to earn this credential. It is a mark of quality acknowledged by employers and other higher education institutions, and it ensures continuous improvement as well as an ongoing focus on the AACSB pillars of engagement, impact and innovation.

AACSB accreditation has also provided the framework for developing world-class curriculum and faculty. At least once every five years for the last 45 years, the College of Business and Economics has gone through the Continuous Improvement Review process involving peer review by deans from other highly-regarded business schools. The review team is different every time, which allows for new perspectives and unique feedback. This dynamic process helps ensure the college is challenged to continually evolve and improve in light of contemporary best practices.

Dean John Chenoweth shared highlights from the most recent review saying, “The review team was impressed with the culture of student career preparation and success we achieve in the college, as well as the level of emphasis placed on teaching effectiveness and faculty-student interaction. They also noted our commitment to high-quality distance education.”

He added, “We are proud of our academic excellence, and it is rewarding to have deans of top-ranked business schools recognize these strengths.”

The UW-Whitewater College of Business and Economics is the largest AACSB-accredited business school in Wisconsin. Offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degree programs, the college prepares students for their first career positions, executive leadership or careers in academia.

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business connects students, schools and business practitioners to develop the next generation of business leaders. AACSB’s mission is to foster engagement, accelerate innovation and amplify impact in business education.

Vying for one year of free tuition at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, 11 high school students competed in the third annual Midwest High School Pitch competition held in Hyland Hall on Feb. 27.

As the only event of its kind in the Midwest, the competition drew 58 applicants from Wisconsin and Illinois. Seven finalists traveled to UW-Whitewater for the live "Shark-Tank"-style event. Each individual or team had six minutes to present their idea and business model to a panel of judges, who asked follow up questions, evaluated the presentations and provided feedback.

Trent Hernandez of Delavan-Darien High School won first place and a free year of tuition with his pitch for InflataFLAP. He was inspired to improve on prosthetic attachment technology after Delavan-Darien football coach Henry Johnson, who died in October 2018, had shared the challenges he had with his lower leg prosthetic. Along with two student partners, he has connected with more than 350 amputees to develop a product allowing an amputee to attach their prosthetic more quickly and comfortably thereby increasing their quality of life.

Hernandez was thrilled to win the competition and free tuition.

He shared, "I chose UW-Whitewater because it has an amazing business school and that is what I want to pursue in college. Winning the competition and free tuition was icing on the cake."

Reflecting on his achievement, Hernandez stated that his student partners at Delavan-Darien High School have been essential to ideation and development. He was also grateful for encouragement by his technology education teacher, Michael Rick, and mentorship through the Geneva Supply BizTank program.

He added, "The experiences I had through BizTank-especially the podcast and TankTalk experiences-helped prepare me to speak in front of the judges and crowd in Hyland Hall."

Other finalists included Camille Simmons of Monona Grove High School, Margaret Mroch and Meghan Mertes of Elkhorn Area High School, and William Bethard of Fort Atkinson High School, who won second, third, and fourth places, respectively. Placing fifth through seventh were Karson Quevillon of DC Everest Senior High; Guinivere Hausser, Kora Lathers, Nolan Urish and Cameron Davilla of Rock County Christian School; and Hailey Kiser of Pewaukee High School.

Dave Gee, UW-Whitewater entrepreneurship program coordinator, stated, "We are incredibly impressed with the caliber of startup ideas we are seeing from these high school applicants. The competition provides them a real-world opportunity to formulate their ideas into real pitches in front of real investors-just like Shark Tank. Two of the startups this year actually received offers for funding from an angel investor before they left the competition!"

First launched by the UW-Whitewater Collegiate Entrepreneur's Organization in 2017, the Midwest High School Pitch competition was developed to foster creativity, innovation, and solution-orientated thinking within high school students. The event also highlights the nationally acclaimed entrepreneurship major within the College of Business and Economics.

The UW-Whitewater CEO chapter's mission is to inform, support and inspire college students to be entrepreneurial and to seek opportunity through enterprise creation. This successful student organization offers access to invaluable resources, such as the UW-Whitewater Launch Pad and UW-Whitewater Incubation Program, as well as exceptional entrepreneurial education and networking experiences.