The Honorable the Members of the Board of Regents


Johanna Duncan-Poitier


Higher Education and Professional Practice


Master Plan Amendment: Bryant and Stratton College, Buffalo, Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) degree, B.B.A., General Management, B.B.A., Information Technology


May 28, 2004


Approval (Consent Agenda)


Bryant and Stratton College, Buffalo, needs Regents approval of a master plan amendment to offer its first baccalaureate programs


Goals 2 and 4






Bryant and Stratton College seeks approval of a master plan amendment authorizing Bryant and Stratton College, Buffalo, to offer programs in general management and in information technology leading to the Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) degree at its main campus and its Amherst and Lackawanna branch campuses.  Master plan amendment is needed because these would be the first baccalaureate programs at Bryant and Stratton College, Buffalo.  Bryant and Stratton College, Buffalo, awards Associate in Occupational Studies (A.O.S.) degrees.  It offers A.O.S. programs in the discipline areas of Business, Engineering, the Fine Arts, the Health Professions, and the Physical Sciences.  Also before the Committee is a petition in which the College seeks Regents authorization to confer the B.B.A. degree. 


The Department has determined that the proposed programs, if approved, would meet the standards for registration set forth in the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education if the College meets the Department’s condition on staffing.


Recommendation:  I recommend that the Regents take the following action:


VOTED, that the master plan of Bryant and Stratton College, Buffalo, be amended, effective June 22, 2004, authorizing the College to offer Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) programs in general management and in information technology at its main campus and at its Amherst and Lackawanna branch campuses. This amendment will be effective until June 30, 2005, unless the Department registers the programs prior to that date, in which case master plan amendment shall be without term.

Bryant and Stratton College, Buffalo

Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) Degree

B.B.A., General Management

B.B.A., Information Technology


Academic Review


          Bryant and Stratton College describes itself as “a career college delivering outcomes-based education and training through a flexible, contemporary curriculum in a personalized environment.”  Bryant and Stratton’s corporate headquarters is in Buffalo.  It operates four colleges in New York State (Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse) and has six additional campuses in Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin.  All Bryant and Stratton campuses are accredited by the Middle States Association’s Commission on Higher Education.  The New York campuses also hold institutional accreditation by the Board of Regents.


          Bryant and Stratton College, Buffalo, offers Associate in Occupational Studies (A.O.S.) degree programs in the discipline areas of Business, Engineering, the Fine Arts, the Health Professions, and the Physical Sciences at its main campus and its branch campuses in Amherst and Lackawanna. 


          Curriculum.  Bryant and Stratton offers the proposed B.B.A. programs in General Management and Information Technology at four campuses in other states.  In addition to providing technical expertise appropriate to the field, the programs emphasize development of the general skills of problem solving, strategic planning, effective communication and interpersonal relationships, and technology application.  Instruction emphasizes active learning techniques, team projects, and practical application of research methods.  Each program requires 128 credits.  Sixty-four credits are in the respective fields of specialization (General Management and Information Technology).  Each program requires 20 credits in General Education, 8 in Arts and Humanities, 8 in the Social Sciences, 4 to 12 in accounting, and 16 to 24 credits in electives. 


          Students.  Bryant and Stratton College, Buffalo, reported a fall 2003 total enrollment of 1,178 students.  The College anticipates that the proposed programs will be offered in the evening to part-time students who are professionally employed.  Admission to the upper division (B.B.A.) component of the program requires an associate degree or the equivalent and professional work experience.  Enrollment at the three Buffalo campuses is anticipated to total between 45 and 60 full-time equivalent students each year. 


          Faculty.  For several years the College has been engaged in upgrading the education and experience of its faculty.  Faculty are expected to have at least a master’s degree in the field of instruction plus relevant professional experience.  The College has identified faculty who have the advanced credentials and specific expertise appropriate to specific upper-division courses.  In April 2004, the College initiated the hiring process for the director and full-time faculty members.  In addition to having a doctorally qualified program director, the College is committed to having in place at the start of the program at least two additional doctoral faculty with specific expertise in the programs to be offered.  The Department has accepted the College’s plan for faculty growth and has found that the College’s faculty will be appropriate to offer baccalaureate programs once it has carried out the plan. 


          Resources.  The College’s library resources include over 16,500 volumes at its three campuses, including sizable print collections in the areas of business and technology.  As part of its development of the B.B.A. programs, the College has expanded its library collection through the addition of several hundred business-related reference books and online access to a number of academic databases in business, liberal arts and sciences, and other subject areas through a premiere edition of EBSCO Host, a database service widely used by academic institutions.  Additional business and economics databases (Mergent Online, Plunkett Research Online and Financial Information Incorporated’s Annual Guide to Stocks) are also on order.


          All libraries are professionally staffed.   A system-wide librarian, who oversees strategic direction of the library, is charged with integrating and making accessible to all students the resources of the College’s 14 campuses. A Virtual Reference Service staffed by academic librarians with M.L.S degrees from a collection of college libraries is available to students 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Bryant and Stratton offers instruction in library use and information literacy through first-term courses, research courses, and on an individual basis to strengthen students’ research skills.  A full course in information literacy and computer skills is being developed and will be implemented in the 2004-05 academic year.


          Review of recent certified audits by the Department’s audit staff confirm that Bryant and Stratton has the financial resources to conduct the proposed programs. 


          Program Registration.  Bryant and Stratton’s New York campuses, including the Buffalo area locations of the proposed B.B.A. programs, have been reviewed extensively by peer groups.  Both the Middle States Association and the Department conducted institutional reviews as part of their institutional accreditation processes in 2002 and 2003.  Bryant and Stratton had external peer groups examine courses and curricula in 1998, 2002, and 2003.  In 2003, at the direction of the Department, the College engaged a five-person external peer review team to examine its proposed B.B.A. programs according to New York standards.  The team’s report recommended approval.  The Department conducted a follow-up visit in December 2003 to confirm the external review team’s assessment.  The Department generally concurred in this assessment, with the proviso that additional doctoral faculty with appropriate expertise be in place prior to admitting students.  In accordance with office protocol, the Department will visit the campus prior to the admission of students and a full team visit will be conducted in two years.


          The Department has determined that the College’s proposed programs, subject to the Department’s condition on staffing, would meet the standards for registration as set forth in the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. 


Planning Review


          Need. Bryant and Stratton conducted a survey of the market for the proposed B.B.A. programs.  The survey indicated that about half of Bryant and Stratton students had an interest in the B.B.A. programs, supporting the College’s position that this group would form a substantial component of the student body.  Employer testimonials indicated a market for graduates.  The College reports that approximately half of its B.B.A. graduates in Virginia have been accepted into graduate programs and that a high proportion are appropriately employed.


          The New York State Labor Department projects that, of the 25 fastest growing occupations in Erie and Niagara counties, the fastest growing 6 are all related to computer and information sciences.  It projects that employment in those six occupations will increase from 4,600 in 2000 to 7,480 in 2010.  The slowest growing of the six will grow by 47.5 percent over that period.  


          Effect on Other Institutions.  In the Regents Western Region, 11 institutions offer baccalaureate programs in both Business and Computer and Information Sciences - SUNY Buffalo, SUC Buffalo, SUC Fredonia, the SUNY College of Technology at Alfred, Alfred University, Canisius College, D’Youville College, Houghton College, Medaille College, Niagara University, and Saint Bonaventure University.  In addition, the SUNY College of Technology at Alfred, Daemen College and Hilbert College offer baccalaureate programs in Business.


          Six of the institutions offer baccalaureate programs in the same specific subject fields as the proposed programs: Business Management and Administration and Information Sciences and Systems: SUNY Buffalo, SUC Fredonia, Alfred University, Canisius College, Houghton College, and Saint Bonaventure University.  Of the six, SUNY Buffalo and Canisius College are located in Erie County.  In addition, five offer baccalaureate programs in Business Management and Administration but not in Information Sciences and Systems: SUC Buffalo, Daemen College, D’Youville College, Hilbert College, and Medaille College. 


          Four institutions responded to a canvass of all colleges and universities in the Western region.  Three (Olean Business Institute, Houghton College, and D’Youville College) expressed no objection.  SUC Buffalo stated that it did not endorse the proposed B.B.A. programs in General Management and Information Technology because they were judged to be duplicative in content to programs it offers.  SUC Buffalo offers B.S. programs in those subject fields.  Bryant and Stratton proposes to offer B.B.A. programs, which offer a greater concentration of technical coursework since the B.S. requires a minimum liberal arts and sciences content of 50 percent while the B.B.A. requires only 25 percent.  The Bryant and Stratton programs, therefore, are likely to be more attractive to persons seeking greater technical content and less attractive to those seeking greater content in the liberal arts and sciences.