AACSB Accredited Colleges & Universities

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AACSB accredits business schools.
AACSB accredits business schools.

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, or AACSB, is a recognized accreditation agency for business schools. It was established in 1916 to set standards for educational quality and provide a forum for networking among business schools. Those criteria have been upgraded regularly since their initial publication in 1919, in order to remain current.

  1. About the AACSB

    • The membership of the AACSB consists of educational institutions, businesses and related organizations. In February of 2011 there were more than 1,200 members worldwide, and a total of more than 600 accredited business schools. Since 1980 the AACSB has been accrediting accounting schools separately from business schools, and another 175 schools hold that accreditation. Accredited schools in either category must commit to a five-year cycle of continuing quality improvement and testing in order to maintain their accreditation.

    The Process of Accreditation

    • Some business schools are independent, while others are part of a larger institution. While the college itself may already be accredited, business schools and other specialized departments often seek separate accreditation. While the details of accreditation vary from one industry or organization to another, the process follows three general phases. A candidate school initiates the process by evaluating its program against the current accreditation criteria, using forms and procedures provided by the accrediting body. In the second stage a team of the school's peers come to the campus to assess the accuracy of the self-evaluation. Finally, the accrediting agency does a more detailed review, and makes a decision to accredit or not.

    AACSB Criteria for Business Schools

    • The AACSB's accreditation process considers three areas of a school's operation. It is important to remember that a college is itself a business, and the first set of standards focus on how well that business is run. These are referred to collectively as Strategic Management Standards. A second set of standards examines the interaction between students and faculty, the active players in the educational process. These criteria are referred to as Participants Standards. A third group of criteria examine the quality of education graduates have received at the school. These are the Assurance of Learning Standards. In total there are 21 criteria by which business schools are judged.

    AACSB Criteria for Accounting Schools

    • In the 1970s the AACSB came to recognize that schools specializing in accounting were poorly served by the accreditation process as it worked at the time. In 1980, the first set of separate accreditation criteria were issued for accounting programs. These standards are grouped into the same three categories of Strategic Managment Standards, Participants Standards and Assurance of Learning Standards, and in this case total 15 criteria. Many schools offer both programs, and each must be separately accredited by the AACSB.

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