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Advising Students to Choose AACSB-Accredited Business Schools

Helping prepare your students for successful careers in business begins with advising them to attend quality business schools.

Do you remember why you became a counselor?

Of course you do. You wanted to make a difference. You wanted to help students graduate from a good school, get a great job, and move on to be happy and successful.

As you know, the first step in advising any student is to be sure they attend a quality school. But, did you know it can be critical for your aspiring business students? There are almost 13,000 business schools in the world today and not all of them will prepare your students for the workplace. Therefore, before you send your students to a university to pursue a business degree, be sure the business school is AACSB-accredited—the benchmark of quality for undergraduate, master's, and doctorate degrees in business worldwide.

Common Questions About AACSB-Accredited Business Schools for School Counselors

What Is the Difference Between AACSB Accreditation and Other Types of Accreditation?
Why Is AACSB Accreditation So Important When Advising Future Business Students?
How Does AACSB Accreditation Help My Students Get Jobs After Graduation?
Are AACSB-Accredited Schools More Challenging and Current?
What Does a Business School Have to Do to Become AACSB Accredited?

What Is the Difference between AACSB Accreditation and Other Types of Accreditation?

There are two primary types of accreditation, institutional and specialized. Institutional accreditation is a general review of an entire university and its programs. It is rather non-specific in nature, and is done on a broader scale. Specialized accreditation is a review of programs in a specific discipline. For instance, business, engineering, medicine, etc. High-quality schools will pursue additional, specialized accreditations for specific disciplines. However, not all specialized accreditations are equal. Some are more rigorous and internationally known than others. As a counselor, this makes it difficult for you to truly know if a school will provide the best programs for your students.

Within the field of business, AACSB Accreditation is the most recognized, internationally known, specialized accreditation for undergraduate, master's, and doctorate degree programs. If a school holds AACSB Accreditation, all of its business programs have been carefully reviewed for quality in curricula, faculty, delivery, and more.

Here are the facts:

  • 89 percent of AACSB-accredited schools report that AACSB Accreditation helps them to produce higher-caliber, better-educated graduates who are more desirable to prospective employers.
  • 86 percent of AACSB-accredited schools report that the AACSB Accreditation Standards are the most stringent as compared to other accreditations they hold.
  • 95 percent of AACSB-accredited schools report that AACSB Accreditation ultimately improves the quality of their business programs.
  • 93 percent of AACSB-accredited schools report that AACSB Accreditation has a continuous positive effect on their ongoing curricula development, program design, and delivery methods.

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Why Is AACSB Accreditation So Important When Advising Future Business Students?

AACSB Accreditation

  • looks at a school's business programs to be sure they are teaching everything a student needs from communication skills to financial reporting.
  • makes sure a school has qualified and adequate faculty and staff to successfully deliver its programs.
  • requires a school to produce research that advances business—which means a student has access to innovative and relevant business ideas and methods.
  • reviews a school's academic standards to ensure students are highly skilled upon graduation.
  • ensures a school doesn't speed a student through a degree program at a pace where they cannot effectively learn.

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How Does AACSB Accreditation Help My Students Get Jobs After Graduation?

First and foremost, companies worldwide seek students from AACSB-accredited business schools. AACSB-accredited schools, report that they have more employers that are interested in their students than before they were accredited. And, that their graduates receive higher, more competitive salaries. Business schools also have reported that they know of employers that only recruit from AACSB-accredited schools.

AACSB Accreditation ensures that a school is teaching a student what employers need—the latest ideas in business, theories, and practical skills; the ability to communicate effectively; professionalism, ethics, and responsibility; the understanding of financial markets and accounting regulations, and more.

In addition to challenging classes, the faculty at AACSB-accredited business schools are among the most experienced and knowledgeable in their fields. After graduation, your students will have a range of professional skills that will be extremely valuable to employers.

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Are AACSB-Accredited Schools More Challenging and Current?

Yes. AACSB-accredited schools are reviewed every five years to ensure they continue to meet today's business needs, as well as provide challenging curricula. The AACSB Accreditation Standards also are reviewed on a regular basis for relevance and rigor. Business faculty members are required to have very distinct, high levels of educational and professional qualifications. They must ensure that students are learning in the classroom and that their instructional materials are effective. Faculty also must challenge students and provide them with timely performance evaluations (e.g., exams and other methods to assure learning).

Overall, AACSB-accredited schools have reported that the net impact on educational customers is positive and that their programs are better as a result of being accredited.

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What Does a Business School Have to Do to Become AACSB Accredited?

Achieving AACSB Accreditation is a rigorous process. Each accreditation standard assesses a school's ability to perform in critical areas, such as teaching, research, curricula development, and student learning. Generally, it takes a lot of work and time to meet all of the AACSB Accreditation Standards.

Here's a simplified version of how the process works:

  • A school must have the ability to grant degrees in their country and have the appropriate local/regional institutional accreditation.
  • AACSB begins by working with the school to develop a plan to meet the accreditation standards and its own strategic goals.
  • Committees and mentors are assigned to help the school implement their accreditation and strategic plans.
  • Once the mentors believe the school has met the standards, a review team, made up of highly experienced educators and business school administrators, will visit the school and make a recommendation for accreditation.
  • The review team's recommendation is given to an accreditation committee and the AACSB Board of Directors for final approval.
  • Many times, a school will have to return to the mentors and committees for further development.
  • Finally, if all parties believe the school has satisfied the standards, it is granted with AACSB Accreditation for its business programs. (All of them.)
  • The business school must then be reviewed every five years to ensure it continues to meet the standards.

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