Now that you know the purpose behind the AACSB and its accreditation process, you may be wondering what are the benefits of going to an AACSB-accredited school. The importance of choosing a school that is accredited and recognized by the U.S. Department of Education is well known. However, it is just as important, especially in terms of a higher degree, to choose the right kind of accreditation that will be recognized as valuable to others. This can be especially daunting when investigating online MBA degrees, because these types of programs are still relatively new, but ones that are accredited by the AACSB carry the mark of distinction and quality.
The most significant benefit to attending an AACSB-accredited school is peace of mind. It is commonly understood in the business industry that AACSB accreditation is one of the world’s most selective and rigorous types of evaluation for business schools. The AACSB has been providing accreditation to a select number of business schools since 1919, and the founding members of the organization include some of the most reputable colleges and universities in the United States. Today, 620 member institutions in 38 countries hold AACSB accreditation, according to AACSB.edu. Students can find many general MBAs with AACSB accreditation and a variety of specialized programs, such as the AACSB online MBA in real estate through Florida State University or the AACSB online MBA in health services management through SUNY Institute of Technology at Utica.
The AACSB evaluates business programs according to the highest standards of quality, and examines all aspects of a school’s academic program, including teaching, curriculum, student learning, institutional development, global awareness and academic research quality. The standards are strict, and according to Bestbizschools.com, 86 percent of AACSB-accredited schools say that the organization’s approval process was the most stringent of all the evaluations they underwent. Accreditation by the AACSB is an extensive process and lasts more than two years. Member schools of the AACSB must apply for accreditation, and, if accepted into the process, they must develop a plan to align academic standards with those of the organization. Then, schools will go through a process of self- and on-site evaluation. Accreditation is reviewed every five years.
All legitimate schools in the United States must be accredited, but the difference between schools with institutional accreditation and those with an AACSB one is the fact that AACSB business schools have taken a step further to pursue a second, specialized accreditation applied only to a business management or accounting program. This means that AACSB schools have undergone quality evaluation twice over. According to Bestbizschools.com, AACSB schools say the accreditation process significantly improved the quality of their business programs.