Students that are looking into a business school may need to compare options closely. Things like course options and alumni success are some of the things to look for in each school. Accreditation is another. There may be many types of accreditation available to business schools. Two of the most known are ACBSP vs AACSB. These are different organizations with different qualifications. Schools with either accreditation may prove to be the perfect choice for some students.

Students thinking about an online business program should seek out an accredited program. This is really key for MBA programs. This may help to ensure the content taught is of the highest quality. It also may ensure that these online programs meet the same requirements and standards as those programs associated with on campus programs.

Knowing the types of accreditation may be key.

What is an ACBSP Accredited School?

The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) is a business school accreditation org serving many U.S. schools. It was founded in 1989 and is based in Overland Park, Kansas. It was founded just for the goal of accrediting business programs and schools in the U.S.

The org has a focus on teaching and learning programs. At its largest point, the ACBSP had over 8,000 members. It also had 828 member ed institutions. Of these members, 529 had accreditation from the org. That was in 2010. Today, there are over 10,000 individual members on campuses.

The ACBSP program offers accreditations to bachelors, masters, and Ph.D. programs. It also covers a range of different studies in the business area. This may give students more access to the education they desire.

The ACBSP tends to focus on teaching methods. Schools need to have excellent teaching from experienced and qualified faculty. They also encourage regular and continuous research in schools. This is a key part to the success they require from schools. But, ACBSP accredited schools always aims to ensure that a key part of accreditation comes from providing quality curriculums to MBA students.

  • Some of the nation’s most affordable tuition rates, from a private, nonprofit, NEASC accredited university
  • Qualified students with 2.5 GPA and up may receive up to $20K in grants & scholarships
  • Multiple term start dates throughout the year. 24/7 online classroom access

The accreditation program values research but does not make that the highest priority associated with achieving accreditation. It also accredited smaller and mid sized programs more readily. This type of program may be highly desirable to students who value quality education.

What Is an AACSB Accredited School?

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) is also known as AACSB International. It is a professional accrediting body serving U.S. schools. This program was once called the American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business. It adjusted its name to better suit students in today’s modern climate. This body does not accredit for profit schools.

The AACSB was founded in 1916. It has a membership of over 1600 business schools through out the U.S. and beyond. The first AACSB accreditations took place in 1919. At first, it only accredited schools in the U.S. It advanced to provide more int’l support and to provide better int’l options. In 2019, the AACSB achieved ISO 9001 certification. This is an int’l standard for improvement of quality.

Accreditation by AACSB often shows the program has a current curriculum for business students. It also aims to ensure the faculty is skilled and experienced, and importantly, qualified to teach students at the bachelors or MBA level. Keep in mind that AACSB accreditation is not heavy. That is, only 5% of the thousands of programs offered around the world for business students receive this accreditation.

With the AACSB, there is a heavy interest in research. That leads some people to believe the programs it accredits are not always focused on content or design. Rather, the focus is sometimes on the school’s production of independent research. Those schools tend to get more grants.

Many of the AACSB programs are larger AMB programs. This does not mean that smaller programs are not worthwhile for students. Students who plan to get reimbursed for their continuing education may need to consider this.

Similarities in ACBSP vs AACSB Accredited Schools

When you consider ACBSP vs AACSB, both accrediting bodies may be similar. They both value quality content in curriculums. They also value the overall quality of faculty within those programs.

The AACSB requires schools to work with a mentor team from the AACSB. This mentor team could provide oversight and helps the program to create a self study report. This report then shows them how well they meet the AACSB standards. These standards could change year to year. Once they meet the self study requirements, the AACSB then starts the pre accreditation process. This is a much more in depth review of the process. It may last about a year. If completed, the school is then fully accredited. Schools and programs must re certify every five years.

The ACBSP program is some what the same. There is a highly in depth process to achieving the accreditation. This includes an in depth study of the school’s ability to meet key standards. Eligibility is strict for both programs. It could take a full year to achieve accreditation here, too. Then, after that initial accreditation, a full review of the program is completed every 24 months. This ensures the org is able to maintain the standard of the accrediting body.

Differences in ACBSP vs AACSB Accredited Schools

As noted, there are some differences in these programs. The accreditation process is a bit more intense for the AACSB accreditation. However, renewing that initial accreditation is done only every 5 years. It is done every 24 months for the ACBSP program.

Also, the accreditations stand for different things. For example, ACBSP is heavily focused on individual qualifications of the curriculums. It is also more focused on smaller and medium sized schools, not just Ivy League programs. It is also less focused on the overall level of research done by the school.

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