The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, more commonly referred to as the ACBSP, is the most widely recognized association responsible for evaluating and accrediting both business schools and various business programs. Students who are interested in attending one of the top business schools in the United States should always do their homework prior to applying to a school.
One way students can assess a school or a specific major program prior to signing the applications and paying the fees is to reference the information that’s provided by accrediting bodies like the ACBSP. While this is not the only association that evaluates programs, the ACBSP takes a unique approach to business school accreditation.
Other Accreditation Agencies
Business school costs a small fortune to enroll in. Even with scholarships and grants, students looking for a business degree still dig themselves into major debt to earn themselves a coveted business degree. In fact, data from the AccessLex Institute shows that more than 60% of students who earn business degrees borrow at least $100,000.
Since any professional with a real business acumen would want to spend their money as wisely as possible, it’s important to differentiate accreditation agencies to decide which has the best standards. There are several agencies that accredit business schools. The AACSB is a big competing international association that evaluates programs for their faculty, reliability of curricula, and career opportunities.
Another popular accrediting organization evaluating programs on an international platform is the IACBE. This program focuses on outcomes-based accrediting by focusing on academic quality. If a school is not eligible for another form of education recognized by the Council for Higher Education(CHEA), they would be eligible for accreditation with the IACBE as of 2011.
How the ACBSP Differs from Other Accreditation Agencies
The ACBSP is recognized here in the United States by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. That means that students can receive Federal grants and they know their credits will count towards licensing and credentialing. What sets the accreditation apart from the others is that it is the primary form of accreditation for business schools through the CHEA.
The mission of the ACBSP is to recognize business schools and programs that strive for excellence all around the world. Programs with a specialized business focus can be awarded at all levels, from associate all the way through the doctorate. The agency often focuses on teaching excellence by evaluating faculty and require continuing research in all schools to enhance and enrich core business curriculum.
How Important Is It?
Students should never attend a program if it is not accredited. This puts them at-risk of going to school at a diploma mill, which offers business programs in exchange for money but is not actually recognized. Accreditation guarantees that the curriculum that is delivered at a program is relevant and that the faculty meets quality expectations. Students who go to a school that is not accredited and then transfer to a school that is, may not even be able to transfer the credits that they have earned.
If there were not a check in balances system in place, there would be no way to make schools accountable. This is why there are accreditation agencies. While there are many relevant ones that assess programs, the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs is a top program that is nationally recognized.