For The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — St. Ambrose University Business and Healthcare Sales program now has full membership in the University Sales Center Alliance (USCA), joining 55 other college and university programs in the U.S. and three more in Europe.
Launched in the fall of 2016, the St. Ambrose program offers the only undergraduate sales degree program in Iowa with full USCA status.
“St. Ambrose University’s Sales Center has met the rigorous requirements for full membership in the community of sales educators who are dedicated to advancing the sales profession through teaching, research and outreach,” USCA President Andrea Dixon said. The university’s sales center had been an associate member.
The USCA formed in 2002 to advance its mission of “enhancing the sales profession through setting and monitoring sales program standards, sharing best practices, enhancing sales curricula, and preparing students for a career in sales.”
The St. Ambrose program offers degrees in both business and healthcare sales. Maritza Espina, dean of the university’s College of Business, said the program’s new status follows a fall 2020 visit by USCA officers. The College of Business’ move to the new McMullen Hall, which features a state-of-the-art Sales Lab, accentuated the growing strength of the sales program, its students and faculty, Espina said.
“We had to demonstrate we have faculty members who are qualified and engaged in scholarship and service, and that we had curriculum and resources in place,” she said. “Then we had to show our students compete in national sales competitions, and succeed.”
Since the program’s inception, SAU sales students have won honors in events such as the International College Sales Competition and the Collegiate World Cup of Sales. “Our students are well prepared,” said Sales Center Director and Marketing Professor Joe Miller. “They compete and they succeed.”
Many of the program’s 30 graduates have been hired by regional employers. These employers provide internships and experiential learning opportunities to SAU sales students and express appreciation for the caliber of education that students receive.
“Sales are a skill. Having a professional education in that skill set is a huge competitive advantage,” said Dusty Brown, director of sales for Flex-Pack, a Midwest regional distributor of industrial packaging solutions, facility and safety supplies.
“Our students find internships, they find great jobs when they graduate,” Espina said. “It is a strong, innovative program and not one you’ll see at many universities.” The program’s full USCA membership is “a seal of quality,” she added. “We knew we had a strong program but it’s always good to have external confirmation.”