UAF College of Business and Security Management: Taking An Innovative Approach To Mold Students Into Thriving Management Professionals

By Cameron Carlson, Associate Dean
Cameron Carlson,Associate Dean

Cameron Carlson

Associate Dean

Globalization continues to serve as a primary driver supporting the need for international students to pursue higher education as well as business education, and since the last decade, most of the students have chosen the US to nurture their dreams and aspirations to succeed over the long term. Enabling the students to understand the emerging opportunities, risk, resilience, and security challenges brought about by climate change across the current business dynamics, UAF College of Business and Security Management stands apart as one of the paramount B-Schools of the US.

In 1975, the School of Management was formed as one of the five professional schools at UAF, and in 1988, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business accredited the School of Management’s business administration and accounting programs. The School of Management was the first AACSB-accredited business school in Alaska. In September 2021, the name was officially changed to the College of Business and Security Management (CBSM) to acknowledge the multiple disciplines (to include security and emergency management) of which the college is composed of. CBSM remains the only business school in the state with both business and separate accounting accreditation from AACSB.

Preparing Students for Professional Success
Apart from offering many of the traditional courses often taught by other B-Schools, CBSM has integrated additional course instruction to deal with risk, business continuity, and even security to include cybersecurity management.

“We have additionally integrated courses within our curriculum which deal with climate
securityrelated issues as we face a shifting landscape where the business will be in the not-too-distant future,” states Cameron Carlson, Associate Dean, UAF College of Business and Security Management.

The mission of the college is to evolve as a diverse and inclusive learning community where innovation in teaching, discovery, and service prepares students for professional success that benefits the community, the state of Alaska, and the nation. “Believing in interdisciplinary and pedagogic intellectual contributions, we support to improve both students’ success as well as the long-term economic sustainability of Alaska and the nation. Apart from that, CBSM’s internship courses are online classes designed for students to earn academic credit by connecting the job experience with the concepts, theories and ideas learned in the classroom.

“CBSM’s internship courses are online classes designed for students to earn academic credit by connecting the job experience with the concepts, theories and ideas learned in the classroom”

Each fall, CBSM partners with the Career Services department to support and promote the Accounting Recruitment Week, which is a collection of events held every year specifically for accounting students and alumni. Accounting firms from across Alaska come to campus for a ‘Meet the Firms’ networking event to get to know students and share the opportunities they have available,” quotes Cameron.

Contemporary & Comprehensive Offerings
Over the last 15 years, CBSM’s majors have increased by 143 percent, its graduates by 228 percent, and its growth in enrollment has been fueled in part by the expanded range of CBSM offerings. In addition to its long-standing business administration and accounting programs, CBSM also encompasses a homeland security and emergency management program, which ranks in the top five in the US and accounts for 26 percent of all CBSM majors (undergraduate and graduate). The HSEM program is also responsible for a large and growing number of CBSM’s corporate partnerships
and student credit hours from non-degree seeking students, such as providing regular training sessions for more than 1,000 Department of Defence employees through CBSM’s Center for Arctic Security and Resilience.

Moreover, CBSM has added two new four-year degree programs since 2017, a Bachelor of Applied Management and a Bachelor of Sport and Recreation Business. The BAM program, focused on providing education to students already possessing vocational training in a variety of disciplines, has grown to 100 majors in only three years, thanks in part to cooperation with the Applied Business and other programs within the University of Alaska Fairbanks Community and Technical College.

CBSM has also grown its offerings in its traditional business administration and accounting fields to reflect changes in student demand, including a STEM MBA and BLUE MBA (in partnership with the College of Fisheries and Ocean Science and the Alaska Blue Economy Center); an accounting post-graduate certificate designed for non-accounting students; and a Ph.D. in Natural Resources and Sustainability with the College of Natural Science and Mathematics.

Educating individuals who are working in business, accounting, security and emergency management disciplines, CBSM holds an outstanding reputation for its optimum quality of education. Recognized for high-quality programs, experiential learning opportunities for students, service to the community, and accomplished teaching and research faculty, CBSM continuously strives to be known as a premier business school in Alaska and around the Nation. “International students are a mainstay of the programs from which our college is composed. While a majority of our students have come from either Canada or Europe, we have been successful in attracting students from all over the world. For our international students including the Indian students, we promise to provide quality education and ensure that we prepare them for the employment as well as the promotion goals they have in mind,” concludes Cameron.
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