Standardized Exam Demonstrates Strong Performance by National University BBA Students

A standardized exit program exam, implemented by the School of Business and Management’s Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program at National University, has shown above-average performance across the board by National University students when compared to BBA students at other accredited business schools.

Starting in 2013, the standardized exam has been taken by every National University BBA student in their capstone course at the completion of their program. Administered by Peregrine Academic Services, it measures accumulated learning in accounting, business ethics, business finance, macroeconomics, microeconomics, information management systems, management, marketing and other common fields of study in business administration.

“The exam results have provided us with an objective, third-party evaluation of learning outcomes over the long term,” said professor Nelson Altamirano, lead faculty for National University’s BBA program. “What we have discovered is that our students are doing very well when compared to other business schools, and that their academic performance has been steadily improving.”

In fact, in every category the average score for National University students exceeds the average score of students who attend International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE)-accredited business schools in Region 8. Similar outcomes appear when measured against an aggregate pool for business schools accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Based on the latest year of results, the average score of National University students is almost 20 percent higher than the student average results at other Region 8 IACBE-accredited schools and almost 30 percent higher compared to AACSB-accredited schools.

“This is highly significant because AACSB accreditation is considered to be the gold standard for business school accreditation,” said professor Altamirano. National University’s School of Business and Management is considering applying for AACSB accreditation.

The analysis was undertaken to measure how much knowledge National University BBA students are retaining over the span of about 15 classes, and to identify areas of improvement.Since National University began administering the exam, there has also been a markedly upward progression in its scores. Average student scores have improved 13 percent.

“These are very good numbers,” said professor Brian Simpson, who also teaches in the BBA program. “Longitudinal analysis and learner comparisons of outbound exam results reveal that our students are very smart, that they’re doing well in the program and continuously improving. You can’t ask for much more than that.”

Professor Altamirano added that the exam results since 2013 serve to validate National University’s one-course-per-month format, along with the BBA program’s curriculum and the manner in which faculty are teaching it. “In aggregate, we are doing a good job,” he said.

National University’s BBA degree prepares students for career opportunities and advancement in business and industry. Successful completion of lower- and upper-division BBA requirements ensures that graduates comprehend the relationships among marketing, quantitative theory, accountancy, economic principles and financial, human and organizational management. The BBA gives students an opportunity to specialize in designated fields by pursuing concentrations and minors, or to choose an individualized set of general BBA electives.

About National University
Founded in 1971, National University is the second-largest private, nonprofit institution of higher education in California. With more than 230,000 alumni, National University is the flagship institution of the National University System. National University is dedicated to making lifelong learning opportunities accessible, challenging, and relevant to a diverse population of students. Four schools and two colleges – the Sanford College of Education; the College of Letters and Sciences; the School of Business and Management; the School of Engineering and Computing; the School of Health and Human Services; and the School of Professional Studies – offer more than 75 graduate and undergraduate degrees and 13 teacher credentials and licenses. Programs are offered at locations throughout California and across the nation, and are also available online. National University is headquartered in La Jolla, California.

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