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, 798 member institutions 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 management consulting through The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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.
AACSB accreditation allows schools to hire and retain top professors and researchers, and such online MBA programs recruit more international students and those with better GPAs and higher levels of education compared with schools that have not earned the distinction. Students and employers often worry that an online MBA program will not be equal to a traditional school. However, by choosing an AACSB online MBA, students can be assured that it will have been held to the same rigorous standards as an on-campus one. In an article in Newsweek magazine, an AACSB staffer reported that, “For many, the ‘online degree’ carries the stigma of having less work involved, or being ‘easy’—but for any quality MBA program this should not be the case. Students are often surprised by the amount of non-classroom assignments required, such as group meet-up time for projects, time involved for blog-writing assignments, even time spent viewing or listening to lectures.”
AACSB online MBA programs feature high-caliber academics resulting in highly reputable degrees and lucrative job opportunities. According to Businessweek.com, about 12,000 schools worldwide provide business degrees, but “fewer than 10 percent are accredited by AACSB or one of the other top accreditation agencies.” This means that AACSB graduates represent the best in business education. According to the AACSB, many of the top global corporations will recruit only from business schools that hold its accreditation, and graduates with traditional or online MBAs from AACSB programs are offered more competitive salaries. The organization also notes that some companies have studied the differences between employees who attended AACSB-accredited business schools and those who did not. One company found that workers who were educated by non-AACSB-accredited business schools had lower levels of performance. Because of this, the company now reimburses tuition from only AACSB-accredited business schools.
All quality online MBA programs should be accredited, but an AACSB online MBA will provide a degree program that is rigorously evaluated, of excellent academic caliber and one of the most desirable forms of business education in the world.
Here is the AACSB portal to all AACSB-Accredited Online MBAs