Dr. Jennifer Bossard speaks at the front of the College of Business's technology classroom, located in the Fred Brown Center in Lincoln. A partially closed door covers part of the image, while behind Bossard are two large televisions, a tablet and a cabinet with additional technology.
Dr. Jennifer Bossard, dean of the College of Business and professor of economics, speaks at the front of a tech classroom located on Doane's Lincoln campus in the Fred Brown Center.

Four programs in Doane University’s College of Business received initial accreditation in mid-May from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), a global business education accrediting body. 

The accredited programs are:

  • Accounting, which is available in-person for students enrolled on the Crete or Lincoln campuses
  • Agribusiness, which is available in-person or online for students enrolled on the Crete or Lincoln campuses, or fully online
  • Business Administration, which is available in-person or online for students enrolled on the Crete or Lincoln campuses, or fully online
  • Master of Business Administration, which can be completed fully online or in person at the Lincoln campus 

“We closely referenced ACBSP’s best practices when the College of Business was founded five years ago, and those best practices are applied to all programs across the board,” said Dr. Jennifer Bossard, dean of the College of Business and professor of economics. “Seeing four programs receive accreditation this year is affirmation that what we’re doing is working.”

According to the ACBSP’s website, “institutions with programs accredited by ACBSP are committed to continuous improvement that ensures their business program will give students the skills employers want.” The emphasis on continuous improvement is one of the reasons Doane chose to pursue accreditation with ACBSP instead of other accrediting bodies for business programs and colleges. 

“Continuous improvement is something we value and encourage,” Bossard said. “There is always more to learn and do better.” 

Accreditation brings several benefits to Doane as an institution, and to its students and faculty. Employers are able to tell at a glance that graduates have received a rigorous education and the skills and knowledge needed by contemporary businesses. For students, it helps set Doane apart among other institutions, and tuition reimbursement from employers may be more readily available for accredited programs. 

“From a faculty standpoint, a major benefit of having accreditation through the ACBSP is the networking opportunities we have with peers. We’re able to see how other faculty and institutions are addressing changes, challenges and opportunities in both higher education and professional business,” said Tracy Corr, assistant professor of practice and co-chair of Doane’s Accounting Department. 

Those changes, challenges and opportunities include, for example, the role of AI in education and in the fields of business, and changes to exams for CPAs. As members of the ACBSP, Doane faculty aren’t on an island when it comes to creating policies and building curricula around subjects like these, and they’re also able to help shape wider conversations, Bossard said.  

Corr has also served one year as treasurer for the ACBSP’s Region 5 Midwestern Council of Business Schools and Programs, which includes institutions in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and North and South Dakota. The regional conference, which will be held this fall in Overland Park, Kansas, brings a high return on investment, she said.

“As a smaller university, being able to travel by car a few hours to the conference allows us to stay cost-effective and reduce time away from our classrooms, while being able to hear from relatable, thought-provoking speakers and connect with faculty from similar institutions,” Corr said.  

Gabrielle Porter-Loving graduated from the Business Administration program with an emphasis in marketing from Doane’s Lincoln campus in 2021, and completed her MBA through Doane in May 2024. She was one of several students who participated in a student panel during the accreditation process and remembers being asked — why did she choose Doane?

“Initially, it was because my sister got her degree here,” Porter-Loving said. “But the people here were the reason I returned for my MBA. Even for some of my hardest classes, like Business Law, the professors did a great job of making the information cohesive and understandable, while still providing challenging coursework over just eight weeks.” 

Her courses were split nearly evenly between attending in-person on Doane’s Lincoln campus and online. She became close to peers in her in-person classes, but also made friendships and learned insights from online classmates overseas. And in either modality, faculty were very accommodating in providing opportunities to ask questions or get help outside of class time, something that Isabella Chappell, 2024 graduate of the Business Administration program with an emphasis in human resources management, also valued during her Doane education. 

“Inside the classroom, my professors created an atmosphere that catered to different learning styles and gave each student both a voice and agency in their learning. Outside the classroom, my professors always had their doors open to be available to students for guidance, support and direction,” Chappell said. 

Chappell came to Doane knowing that she wanted to learn in the College of Business, and found through her experiences that the human resources management emphasis fit her passion better than marketing, which she initially enrolled in. She was also able to take her classroom knowledge and apply it to real situations through collaborations with businesses in Lincoln. 

For more information about Doane’s College of Business and the accredited programs, visit doane.edu.