APU’s School of Business: A Leader in Innovation

Azusa Pacific University’s School of Business and Management (SBM) is constantly innovating and adapting to fit the needs of today’s students. Led by interim dean Roxanne Helm-Stevens, DBA, and a host of accomplished faculty, the SBM has expanded their offerings to provide students with ways to get ahead before they graduate.

“We embed credentials and microcredentials in classes along the way, such as Excel, Google Digital Garage, and Hootsuite so students can set themselves apart for internships and jobs,” Helm-Stevens said. “When they meet with a prospective employer, they can showcase their skills and differentiate themselves from the competition.”

Gold Standard IACBE Accreditation

Recently, the SBM received reaffirmation of accreditation through the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE). “Receiving IACBE accreditation provides great assurance to our students that we continually pursue excellence and self evaluation,” said Todd Pheifer, EdD, director of accreditation, assessment, and grants in the SBM. “We received the maximum length of accreditation—seven years—which is confirmation of not only the exceptional work we’ve been doing, but also where we’re going.”

Graduates from the SBM are currently working in high-level positions at top global companies including all of the “Big Four” accounting firms, Google, NASA, JPL, UPS, Travelers, Target, Kaiser, IEHP, TikTok, and the IRS, among many others. Graduates have also gone on to start their own successful companies. “When IACBE conducted interviews with employers who have hired our graduates, they received stellar reviews about our programs, commending our innovation and creativity,” said Helm-Stevens.

“Our programs are on the cutting edge of business schools. We’re always looking for ways to provide more value for our students.”

Launching APUx to Meet the Needs of Working Professionals

The SBM recently launched APUx, a program dedicated to filling the needs of working professionals through extended learning experiences. “Our goal is to provide a holistic model for nontraditional students and learners at work—nonenrolled students who are looking to learn specific skills or get certifications to advance in their jobs,” said Helm-Stevens.

APUx offers several workshops, certificates, certifications, licenses, and courses that can be taken by students regardless of age or degree status. “Whether you want to upskill in your current position or reskill and shift careers, we’ve got something for you,” said Wendi Dykes McGehee, PhD, CF-LSP, assistant dean and associate professor. Offerings include: How to Buy Your First Home, Investing 101, LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® for Next-Level Teams and Facilitator Certification, ICF Coaching Techniques and Level 1 Certification (ACC), Human Resources aPHR® Prep, The Generationally Diverse Workplace, leadership certificates, project management certificates, nonprofit and government financial management certificates, and more. Cost varies among workshops, certificates, and courses, with some being offered for free or at low cost.

These offerings are available for individuals or groups and are customizable for organizations. “Whether you want us to visit your office and teach employees at your worksite, or you want to come to APU for a conference or workshop, we’re happy to meet your organization’s needs,” Helm-Stevens said. APUx has worked with prominent organizations including LinkedIn, Habitat for Humanity, Kaiser Permanente, Cigna Healthcare, and the U.S. Navy. “We’re building bridges between higher education and the workplace,” said Lizzy King, MS, curriculum and instructional design specialist.

Register for APUx courses here or inquire about potential course offerings by emailing [email protected].

Sigma Iota Epsilon Finds New Home at APU Under Helm-Stevens

APU’s business students have the opportunity to join Sigma Iota Epsilon (SIE), a prestigious academic honor society founded in 1964. SIE’s mission is to stimulate achievement in the field of management, scholarship, and research. With more than 100 chapters around the U.S. and internationally, SIE has built a strong reputation and is a member of the Academy of Management, the preeminent professional association of management and organization scholars. After serving as APU’s SIE faculty advisor for seven years, in 2017, Helm-Stevens was appointed to the SIE national board, where she oversaw chapter quality, ensured they adhered to SIE standards, and reviewed new potential chapters.

In 2022, Helm-Stevens was unanimously approved as president of the SIE by all board members. After more than two decades housed at Colorado State University and the University of Dallas, SIE moved their national headquarters to APU during the Spring 2023 semester. “I’m honored and humbled to serve as the new president of Sigma Iota Epsilon,” Helm-Stevens said. “My main goals are to get students more involved in serving their local community and to update the existing technology and infrastructure to create more opportunities for students.” Helm-Stevens also plans on implementing case study competitions and offering more scholarships for SIE students. “APU has the prestigious position of now housing one of the world’s leading scholarly and academic management honors societies”

As needs for businesses change, the SBM continues to adapt, equipping students with the tools they need to get hired by top companies, start their own businesses, and make an impact in the world. Learn more about the opportunities available for SBM students at apu.edu/business.