With a huge network of public, private, U.S.-based, and international colleges and universities awarding Master of Business Administration degrees, how can prospective students, as well as employers, be assured that graduates are getting a quality education that covers the critical topics and prepares them for real-world challenges?
Further, how can online MBA program students trust that their prospective college has the systems and personnel in place to meet its commitments and provide a smooth and professional educational experience?
These are areas where a recognized accreditation agency steps in. There are a variety of these organizations, but when it comes to a business education, AACSB accreditation is recognized as the "gold standard" of business-school quality control.
The business schools boasting this accreditation are a fairly elite group. By a recent count, just 5 percent of the 13,000 business schools around the globe have earned the accreditation; of those, fewer than 520 are in the United States.
AACSB Accreditation Process
As the accreditation process begins, a team from the school works with AACSB professionals to develop a plan to meet the accreditation standards along with the school's strategic goals. Committees are formed and mentors assigned to help the school implement its plans and goals.
When the mentors believe that the school has met the accreditation standards, the organization sends in a review team of experienced business school administrators and educators. They will ultimately make a report to the AACSB.
Next, the review team's report goes to the AACSB board of directors for consideration. Approval is not automatic and often a school is required to do more work with its mentors and committees.
When the board of directors is finally satisfied that the accreditation standards have been met, accreditation is awarded. However, it's not a "one-and-done" process. The school is reviewed every five years to be certain that it continues to meet the standards.
Why AACSB Accreditation Is Important to Students
Students planning to further their careers with an online MBA program need to know that the education they receive will be relevant to today’s business environment and enhance their competitiveness within their fields.
AACSB’s standards and review process are recognized for their ability to assure a business education that not only gives graduates an advanced degree to list in their resume, but "a complete and relevant skill set with practical applications to the business world," according to U.S. News & World Report’s University Directory.
Considering the fact that online MBA students are making a substantial investment in both their time and finances, it's important that they align themselves with a university that carries the endorsement of an AACSB accreditation.
Learn more about UT Tyler’s online MBA program.
Neuman, G. (2011). 4 Crucial Questions About AACSB Accreditation. Retrieved October 9, 2015, from http://www.usnewsuniversitydirectory.com/articles/4-crucial-questions-about-aacsb-accreditation_11552.aspx
AACSB Accreditation: Why it Matters and Which Schools Carry It. (2015, October 6). Retrieved October 9, 2015, from http://finchannel.com/index.php/society/business-education/item/49976-aacsb-accreditation-why-it-matters-and-which-schools-carry-it
What Does a Business School Have to do to Become AACSB Accredited? (n.d.). Retrieved October 9, 2015, from http://www.aacsb.edu/accreditation/business
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