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Pfeiffer's European MBA earns distinguished honor

University receives ACQUIN's first American accreditation

by Natasha A. Suber

Pfeiffer recently received the first-ever American accreditation for its International Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program issued by ACQUIN, the German accreditation agency, following a site visit and an extensive audit.

The ACQUIN Accreditation Council endorsed its site team's recommendation to certify Pfeiffer's European MBA degree program. Accreditation by ACQUIN assures trained evaluators have examined the program to ensure the agency's standards are being met in several vital areas including strategic planning, student learning and curriculum, faculty scholarship, professional activities, resources, internal/external relationships, and educational innovation. The rigorous process, which included sites visits and audits and completion of 1,000 required accreditation documents, began spring 2006. The certification is valid through Sept. 30, 2013.

Dr. Uli Froehlich, dean of the Academy of International Business Studies at Pfeiffer and administrator who led the accreditation process, and Christina Kitze, who is director of European operations for the academy; along with officials from the School of Graduate Studies, decided pursuit of this accreditation was essential because the university frequently enrolls about 30-40 students annually in its German MBA program and claims approximately 200 German alumni since the academy's inception in 1997.

"This accreditation enhances our international MBA program's credibility in foreign countries," said Froehlich. "This particular distinction indicates to European universities the validity of our MBA program and provides evidence that we are meeting high standards and producing measurable, high-quality results."

Froehlich added that this accreditation is equally important to the 25 European partners, including IPFM in Prague and the University of Applied Sciences in Fulda, Germany, which co-sponsored the accreditation, as well as the many local partners and internship providers throughout Mecklenburg County.

"Our partners provide job opportunities for our MBA students to gain practical experience outside the classroom," Froehlich said. "This concept is unique and provides an additional attraction for incoming foreign students who benefit from the hands-on training."

Pfeiffer's European students are recruited through the academy, which was founded as part of the School of Graduate Studies. The academy's mission is to develop a unique educational program for students from foreign universities and other institutions of higher education. Foreign students have the opportunity to enroll in a traditional MBA program as well as undergraduate degree programs.