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Advising Students to Choose AACSB-Accredited Business Schools


Start the conversation about business education.

We get it. There aren’t many students who know what they want to do once they graduate. But it’s never too early to start exploring options by connecting their current interests with the possibility of making them a career—especially a career in business. For example:

What are your student’s favorite brands (or businesses)?

Encourage them to start following their favorite companies in the news and on social media, and find out what aspects of that business are most interesting.

  • Are the ads really cool?
  • Do they have an idea for a new (or improved) product?
  • Do they want to learn why the company is struggling (or wildly successful?)
  • Does the company support a social cause (like alternative energy or clean water) that the student really cares about?

Through these discussions with students, you may uncover an interest in marketing, entrepreneurship, accounting, or finance—all of which lead to business education. Expand their perceptions about business by helping them understand that it not only supports the economy but can have a huge positive impact on imparting social change.

Business leaders leverage their degrees to accelerate the success of their companies and make a difference in the world. Share success stories from AACSB-accredited school alumni to help students identify with these leaders—and see themselves as the next generation of change-makers.

Spark student interest in entrepreneurship.

AACSB's Entrepreneurship Spotlight Challenge shows how entrepreneurship centers (or programs) at AACSB-accredited schools are creating and incubating cutting-edge business innovations through enriched student learning. If your students have ever thought about starting a company, or shaking up the status quo of their favorite brands, share some examples of how it’s been done by leaders from business school. Browse these stories.

Light up their leadership potential.

Every student is a leader in the making, and inspiring them to define their own path toward success comes in many forms. Show them the many shades of leadership by sharing stories from graduates who have contributed to the positive impact business has on the world. AACSB’s Influential Leaders class of 2018 includes stories from up-and-coming leaders and experienced professionals from companies like:

  • RallyCap Sports
  • AIR (The Clean Fuel Company)
  • Save the Children
  • Wilderness Inquiry
  • Adobe
  • Pixar Animation Studios
  • Northrup Grumman
  • Caterpillar, Inc.

View the complete list of honorees.

Adding accreditation to the conversation.

If your students are interested in a business education, they need to know one thing: not all business programs are the same. There are so many options, it can be really difficult to figure out where to start—let alone how to choose the right school—but there’s one trick to narrowing down the list.

When you talk to students about business education, AACSB should be a part of that conversation. AACSB-accredited schools are among the best in the world, and have made a long-term commitment to providing innovative, creative, and challenging coursework that will prepare students for the workforce.

Here’s how to help students understand what AACSB is, and what accreditation means for their business education.

What is AACSB?

AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) connects educators, students, and business to achieve a common goal: to create the next generation of great leaders. Synonymous with the highest standards of excellence since 1916, AACSB provides quality assurance, business education intelligence, and professional development services to over 1,600 member organizations and over 800 accredited business schools worldwide.

View a video about us.

What is accreditation?

Accreditation is a voluntary, nongovernmental process that includes a rigorous external review of a school’s ability to provide the highest-quality programs. The accreditation process is a comprehensive review of a school’s mission, faculty qualifications, and curricula. The process includes self-evaluations, peer reviews, committee reviews, and the development of in-depth strategic plans. Accreditation ensures that students are learning material most relevant to their field of study and to today’s workforce, preparing them to be effective leaders upon graduation.

What’s the difference between AACSB Accreditation and other types of accreditation?

There are two types of accreditation: institutional and specialized. Institutional accreditation is a broad, general review of an entire university and its programs. Specialized accreditation is a review of programs in a specific discipline, like business, engineering, or medicine, for example.

AACSB provides internationally recognized, specialized accreditation for business and accounting programs at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral level. The AACSB accreditation standards challenge postsecondary educators to pursue excellence and continuous improvement throughout their business programs. AACSB Accreditation is known, worldwide, as the longest-standing, most recognized form of specialized and professional accreditation an institution and its business programs can earn.

What does the AACSB accreditation process look like?

Having a general understanding of the rigor associated with the AACSB accreditation process can help you convey to students the importance of attending an AACSB-accredited school. You can view the process of accreditation for a greater understanding. While it may not be something you share with students, it will give you a sense of what an institution goes through in order to earn and maintain AACSB Accreditation.

The key takeaway from the AACSB accreditation process is that it’s a rigorous peer review process that examines the major functions of a business school (including, but not limited to faculty qualifications, knowledge creation, assurance of learning, and teaching effectiveness) to ensure that it upholds a commitment to engaging, innovating, and making an impact in business education.

What do students need to know about AACSB Accreditation?

If students are interested in pursuing a business education, they should look for schools that have earned AACSB Accreditation. Here’s why:

  • AACSB-accredited schools offer the most rigorous programs and curricula that prepare students to succeed in the workforce through a combination of traditional classwork and hands-on, experiential learning.
  • Faculty at AACSB-accredited schools are the best in their field and discipline, and are committed to creating innovative learning environments—whether they were once business practitioners and are now sharing their experience in the classroom or are creators of new knowledge through academic research.
  • Companies around the world seek graduates from AACSB-accredited schools—and many will only hire from our schools. Our data shows that graduates of AACSB-accredited schools also earn more competitive salaries than graduates from non-accredited schools.
  • AACSB-accredited schools teach the latest ideas in business, theories, and practical skills—all the things one would expect from a business education. But soft skills are just as important—things like effective communication, teamwork, creativity, flexibility, professionalism, and leadership.

Over 800 schools around the world have earned AACSB Accreditation, and each one offers something unique that your students will connect with.

AACSB Accreditation matters to business schools. And it should matter to business students.

For more information on how to talk to your students about AACSB, contact Sarah Ham, director of marketing and communications, at sarah.ham@aacsb.edu.