Businessweek ranks Foster College

March 30, 2012

By Tim Belter ’13

Bradley’s Foster College of Business Administration ranked as one of the nation’s best undergraduate business schools, according to a recent study by Bloomberg Businessweek. The college ranked 98 out of 124 schools for its first year appearing on the magazine’s list.

The business magazine ranked the schools based on surveys of students and corporate recruiters, post-graduation placements and academic rigor.

“We really emphasize our hands-on, experiential learning,” said Interim Associate Dean Dr. Vince Showers. “Our faculty members have so much experience. They bring real examples of real-life issues and problems to the students.”

That real-world experience is a key part of the students’ education. The business capstone course, undertaken by senior-level students in the college, involves teams of students consulting for companies in central Illinois.

“We’re not making up problems for them. They’re working on real problems,” said Dr. Showers. “Throughout the curriculum and through the research they do, we try to bring the experience to the students.” 

Dr. Showers also cited some of Foster College’s other accomplishments, such as its 94 percent placement rate for graduates, low student-faculty ratio and high student satisfaction.

This was the first year Bradley has been included in Businessweek’s findings. Various faculty members and alumni heard about the annual report and expressed an interest, so the college applied to be included in the review.

“We felt like we had the quality of faculty and students to get ranked, so we tried it,” Dr. Showers said. 

FCBA is not, however, resting on its laurels. One major focus for the future is increased convergence between business and engineering students. 

“We’re working on ways to get business students to understand the thinking of engineers,” said Dr. Showers. “It’s not about a businessperson becoming an engineer, but there needs to be an appreciation for where an engineer is coming from and to be able to communicate better.”

Of course, FCBA’s ranking and Bradley’s successes come down to its hard-working faculty, staff, students and alumni. 

“I appreciate all the students, faculty and departments throughout the university,” said Dr. Showers.