Accreditation is a quality assurance process in which an institution of higher education or an academic unit within the institution voluntarily undergoes an external and independent appraisal of its educational activities.
Programmatic accreditation by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education is mission-driven and outcomes-based, and involves an independent, external evaluation of the business programs offered by an institution’s academic business unit. The effectiveness of the academic business unit is evaluated by reviewing the educational processes related to teaching and learning in the institution, and by an assessment of the outcomes of the teaching-learning process.
Our philosophy is that academic quality and excellence in business education should be measured in terms of the educational outcomes of an academic business unit relative to its mission rather than by prescriptive standards relating to academic resources. This emphasis on mission-related outcomes is fundamental to the entire quality assurance and accreditation process of the IACBE.
The IACBE accredits business, accounting, and business-related degree programs at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels in institutions of higher education worldwide.
The IACBE expects business programs to be delivered by an established academic business unit. For the purpose of the accreditation of business programs by the IACBE, an "academic business unit" is defined to be an organizational unit that is responsible for the administration and delivery of the business programs of the institution. This unit can be a department, division, school, college, institute, academy, faculty, or other organizational structure. However, the IACBE respects the differences that exist between institutions of higher education, and realizes that institutions may have valid reasons for offering some business programs through other academic units of the institution. In addition, it is expected that the academic business unit, and other academic units within the institution that offer business programs, will be led by doctorally- or professionally-qualified business educators.
The process of accreditation by the IACBE requires the academic business unit to prepare a comprehensive self-study in which it demonstrates the extent to which it complies with the IACBE’s “Accreditation Principles,” which are its evaluation criteria for accreditation. In addition, the academic business unit must undergo a site visit by an independent team of professional peer reviewers. The academic business unit’s self-study, the site-visit team’s report of findings, and the academic business unit’s response to the report are then reviewed by the IACBE’s Board of Commissioners, which determines the accreditation status of the institution’s business programs.
Specialized programmatic accreditation by the IACBE is a means by which students, parents, the business community, and other stakeholders of the institution can be assured that the academic business unit complies with high principles of excellence and follows best practice in business education. Furthermore, accredited schools have demonstrated a commitment to continuous improvement, excellence in business education, and advancing academic quality. Accreditation means that the academic business unit’s programs are sufficiently strong to be considered as high-quality programs, and that the academic business unit is functioning effectively (e.g., is producing excellent student learning and operational outcomes).
The IACBE’s Accreditation Process Manual describes the quality assurance process that is used by the IACBE in its accreditation of business programs and provides additional details regarding the IACBE’s scope of accreditation.
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