Agreement Creates Direct Path to Graduate School for Business Students


Students in Dalton State’s Wright School of Business will have an easier path to advanced degrees after an agreement was signed with the University of North Alabama (UNA) recently.

The agreement forms a partnership between the two schools that allows Dalton State graduates to receive a scholarship when they are accepted into either the Master of Business Administration or Master of Accounting programs at UNA. Employees of Dalton State are also eligible for the scholarship.

“Creating pathways for our students to further their education beyond Dalton State provides them with an advantage for their careers,” said Dr. Bruno Hicks, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “Our students are well-prepared for graduate school or starting their careers immediately after graduating. Working with other institutions to create partnerships like the one with the University of North Alabama is ideal and a benefit to our students, as well as our community as a whole. I am proud of the Wright School of Business for working with external partners to bring more opportunities to our students, who will in turn bring the knowledge they gain to their workplace.”

Dalton State and UNA are among 5% of business schools worldwide that have earned the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation.

“With the current, strong job market in our area for business students, many need a way to continue graduate studies while working and living in the Dalton area,” said Dr. Marilyn Helms, dean of the Wright School of Business. “This agreement allows our students to continue their educational goals at another AACSB-accredited institution. It not only benefits our current students, but our alumni as well.”

The Wright School of Business prepares students for a career, but also to continue their education at the graduate level. The curriculum is developed using guidance from business professionals in the community, as well as the AACSB guidance.

“We continuously work to improve our courses and offerings for students,” Helms said. “We stress the importance of being life-long learners. By partnering with graduate schools, we can better encourage and prepare students to further their careers once they graduate. We provide our students with hands-on learning opportunities through internships and the Dalton Innovation Accelerator. We also invite business leaders into classrooms to speak and teach part-time. Students learn first-hand about our global economy and also create meaningful connections.”

This agreement will help students who want to become certified public accountants (CPAs) because UNA’s masters in accountancy program will provide students with the additional 30 hours of training needed after they complete their bachelor’s degree to take the CPA exam.

“With workplaces demanding additional skills, this agreement allows our students and alumni the opportunity to gain graduate-level expertise needed to move up within their careers and within regional companies,” Helms said. “Our community benefits by retaining educated and knowledgeable graduates.”

The Wright School of Business plans to continue seeking international partnerships with other AACSB-accredited institutions in order to increase hands-on, global opportunities for students at Dalton State. Majors offered at the school include accounting, finance and applied economics, logistics and supply chain management, management, management information systems and marketing.