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Troy Bethards, D.B.A.
College Dean
(417) 328-1757

The Impact of Obtaining a Degree through the College of Business and Computer Science at SBU

There are several different reporting measures the College of Business and Computer Science utilizes in order to identify what our graduates obtain as a result of their educational experience at SBU.  While the pursuit of a Christian higher education has a number of intangible experiences, the items that follow will help to convey the educational significance our graduates have gained.

Major Field Test

The Major Field Test is a test given to students pursuing a bachelor’s degree by the ETS organization (the same company that administers the SAT test). ETS reports that from September 2013 to June 2015, 563 colleges and universities utilized this instrument to evaluate the capabilities of their soon-to-be graduates. 

According the ETS website, “the ETS® Major Field Tests are … outcomes assessments designed to measure the critical knowledge and understanding obtained by students in a major field of study. The Major Field Tests go beyond the measurement of factual knowledge by helping you evaluate students’ ability to analyze and solve problems, understand relationships and interpret material from their major field of study.”  The areas of study considered on the Major Field Test are:

  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Information Systems
  • International Issues
  • Legal and Social Environment
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Quantitative Business Analysis


The ETS website goes on to say that, “ETS offers comprehensive national comparative data for the Major Field Tests, enabling you to evaluate your students' performance and compare your program's effectiveness to programs at similar institutions nationwide.”(

The data is presented in percentiles with 99% being the highest ranking of those taking the test and 1% being the lowest.  Here is how Southwest Baptist University students have performed over the last several semesters.


SBU College of Business and Computer Science Overall Percentile

Spring 2015

85th percentile

Fall 2014

42nd percentile

Spring 2014

97th percentile

Fall 2013

94th percentile

Spring 2013

98th percentile

Fall 2012

85th percentile

Spring 2012

86th percentile

Fall 2011

99th percentile

Spring 2011

99th percentile

Fall 2010

99th percentile

Spring 2010

95th percentile

Fall 2009

85th percentile

Spring 2009

95th percentile

Fall 2008

80th percentile

Spring 2008

95th percentile

Fall 2007

90th percentile

Spring 2007

70th percentile

Fall 2006

70th percentile

Spring 2006

95th percentile

Fall 2005

90th percentile

Spring 2005

90th percentile

Fall 2004

90th percentile

Spring 2004

90th percentile

Fall 2003

35th percentile

Spring 2003

81st percentile

Fall 2002

76th percentile

Spring 2002

81st percentile

Fall 2001

95th percentile

Spring 2001

91st percentile

Fall 2000

98th percentile

Spring 2000

82nd percentile

Students majoring in Web Systems and Design erroneously took the MFT for Business in the spring of 2015 rather than the MFT for computer science. Their scores were removed prior to reporting the business MFT student outcomes for the spring of 2015. This was done in an attempt to provide accurate data utilizing the proper student population.

Assessment Summary Report

Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Exam Results

The CPA is administered by the American Institute of CPAs.  The test is administered in four different sections.  These are

  1. Auditing and Attestation
  2. Business Environment and Concepts
  3. Financial Accounting and Reporting
  4. Regulation


Since the inception of the computer-based CPA Exam in 2004, SBU Accounting graduates have passed exam parts at a cumulative 58% rate versus a 46% national average. While almost one-third of our accounting graduates do not attempt the CPA exam for various reasons, approximately 50% of all SBU Accounting graduates are CPAs today.

Employment rates of graduates

Students graduating from colleges and universities across the United States tend to fall into one of the five following situations: 

  1. A student has been active in seeking employment prior to graduation, has been offered a position with an organization, and agreed to accept the position upon graduation.
  2. A student has applied and been accepted to a graduate program they will pursue upon graduating with their bachelor’s degree.
  3. A student has begun looking for employment or is seeking acceptance into a graduate program but has yet to secure their desired position.
  4. While finishing his or her bachelor’s degree, the student is not geographically positioned where they would like to live or is not devoting attention to the job search process early enough to secure employment prior to graduation.
  5. The student shows little if any initiative to find employment or pursue further education.

The College of Business and Computer Science rarely sees individuals which would fall into the fifth category discussed above.  This is partially related to the rigor and quality of the programs offered.  The programs provided at SBU simply do not appeal to that type of student.  However, we do have students which would fall into the first four categories which leads to the employment rates provided below.

Historically, we have typically found that more than 90% of our graduates have secured employment within six months of graduation. Recently, we began monitoring graduate placement with greater detail. We wanted to know when our graduates accepted employment offers or have been accepted into an additional educational program such as an MBA, PhD, etc. We evaluate this information at three different points of time: graduation day, three months after graduation, and six months after graduation. The following chart communicates the percentage of our graduates that accept employment or are admitted into an educational program.

Time Period At Graduation 3 Months From Graduation 6 Months From Graduation Of those employed, how many are utilizing their degrees?
Spring 2015 78% 92% Too early to tell 82% after 3 months
Fall 2014 57% 100% 100% 71%
Spring 2014 70% 95% 97% 79%
Fall 2013 36% 64% 82% 67%
Spring 2013 49% 77% 86% 81%

Where do our students find jobs?

What follows is a non-comprehensive list of organizations that employ our graduates.  It has been segmented according to each department that resides within the College of Business and Computer Science.

Accounting Department

Central Bank
Missouri State Auditors
Ernst & Young
Rubin Brown
Leggett & Platt
Grant Thornton
Kirkpatrick, Phillips, & Miller
O’Reilly Auto Parts
Citizens Memorial Healthcare

Business Administration Department

Citizens Memorial Health Care
Bank of Bolivar
Jack Henry & Associates
Net York Life
Edward Jones
Bank of America
Boeing Intellectual Property Management
Progressive Insurance
O’Reilly Auto Parts
Sam's Club
Wal-Mart headquarters
Reckitt Benckiser (Budapest)
GE Capital (Netherlands)

Computer and Information Science Department

Wal-Mart ISD
Shelter Insurance
Jack Henry & Associates
Tyler Technologies
Central Bank
Enterprise Leasing
Department of Defense
O’Reilly Automotive
Perceptive Software
CGI Federal
FIS Global

Retention Rates

The rates for retaining students from their first to their second year within the Robert W. Plaster College of Business and Computer Science is as follows:

College of Business and Computer Science Retention Rates
Fall 2014 to Fall 2015 70.0%
Fall 2013 to Fall 2014 78.3%
Fall 2012 to Fall 2013 69.8%

Graduation Rates

The graduation rates for first-year, first-time degree seeking students within the Robert W. Plaster College of Business and Computer Science is as follows:

College of Business and Computer Science Graduation Rates
Fall 2009 first-year students that graduated by 2014 41.2%
Fall 2008 first-year students that graduated by 2013 38.5%
Fall 2007 first-year students that graduated by 2012 47.1%

Departmental Assessment Reports

Business Administration
Computer and Information Sciences