Business school students certified by SAP America; USD one of two universities with 100% pass rate

Business school students certified by SAP America; USD one of two universities with 100% pass rate Twelve students from The University of South Dakota School of Business have recently completed the course work and certification exam to become Application Consultants for Integration of Business Processes.

The certification comes after intensive study and training at USD through the SAP Certification Academy, a program sponsored by SAP, a leading global "e-business" firm.

SAP America Corporate, located in Newtown Square, PA, is a subsidiary of SAP AG, the world's third largest software firm providing collaborative, inter-enterprise software and e-business solutions. The company works to integrate all aspects of the businesses it serves through its software.

The SAP Certification Academy was offered at USD as a pilot project by SAP's University Alliance Program. USD was one of only five universities invited to participate in the certification course, held Aug. 7 through Sept. 1. The four-week program included classes from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Students then took a three-hour certification exam.

"The SAP Certification Academy provided our students with a unique opportunity to enhance and further develop their skills with enterprise systems and e-business concepts," said Robert Rosacker, current director of the USD SAP program. "As a pilot site, USD was able to help SAP evaluate the effectiveness of this type of training and education for undergraduate students and to showcase our students' abilities in comparison to the best and brightest students at other institutions such as CHICO, LSU and Central Michigan.

"All of our students were successful in passing the professional examination given at the conclusion of the academy, which was not the case for some of the other institutions involved in the pilot program," he continued. "To put this in perspective, some schools had a large pool of candidates (both graduate and undergraduate) interested in taking the academy at their location and the faculty chose to admit only the best of the group. At USD, we concentrated on only undergraduates and let everyone who had taken the necessary prerequisites take the course. Each and every one of these students mastered the material and succeeded in passing the professional examination for the course."

The USD School of Business began offering the SAP program in 1997 under the guidance of Professor Stephen L. Tracy, the SAP project director. SAP provided the training support and the materials for the course.

"This success by our students would not have been possible without the concern and considerable efforts of the faculty involved with teaching BADM 201, 301 and 401," said Rosacker. "I would specifically recognize, as I am sure these students would wish to recognize, Professor Stephen L. Tracy for his wholehearted support, both academically and financially, with this endeavor. He has been the lead person and single largest supporter of this program since its inception, and without his efforts none of this could have been accomplished."

The students from USD did particularly well in comparison with their counterparts from other universities. USD was one of only two participating universities that had a 100 percent pass rate for the certification exam. Additionally, while all of the other universities offered the program primarily to graduate students, all but one of the USD students were undergraduates.

Students participating included: Jessica Reinke, daughter of Robert and Diane Reinke of Vermillion; Troy Bifulco, Hermosa; Rebekah Freisen, Freeman; Adam Haas, Yankton; Stevanne Howard, Council Bluffs, IA; Brian Jensen, Gayville; Bryan Karel, Shoreview, MN; Keith Scholten, Orange City, IA; Timothy Shumaker, Humboldt; Kevin Timpe, Sioux Falls; Michael Tordoff, Spearfish; and Steve Warner, Yankton.

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