Questions About MBA Accreditation
Answering 5 Common Questions About MBA Accreditation
In today’s increasingly competitive job market, employers have displayed notable interest in candidates with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.
The hiring prospects for new MBA graduates are high, according to surveyed recruiters. There has even been a trend among employers of poaching MBAs from their current positions – 69 percent of surveyed MBA holders reportedly had another company attempt to recruit them within the last year.
It’s clear the versatile skill set acquired in an MBA program can help give you an edge in your professional endeavors. But to ensure you’ll get the highest return on investment from your business degree, you’ll want to select an accredited business program.
Learn more about this critical aspect of post-baccalaureate business education as we explore five common questions about MBA accreditation.
FAQs about MBA accreditation
As you research different Master of Business Administration degree programs, you may find that you favor some based on their flexible and affordable offerings. Or perhaps you’ll find yourself drawn toward particular opportunities to pursue industry-specific concentrations.
Whichever factors you value most, it’s crucial that MBA accreditation remains top of mind. Here’s why:
Why is accreditation important?
In the world of higher education, accreditation is a quality assurance process in which institutions are evaluated to ensure they meet established academic standards. This is important to students and employers alike.
Accreditation signifies that the institution provides students with a quality education that has met the standards of the degrees being awarded. Operating within this maintained set of educational guidelines ensures accountability within accredited schools.
MBA accreditation ensures that students can trust they’re receiving an excellent education, while employers can trust that degree-qualified new hires will be able to complete the necessary functions of the industry.
What are the different types of accreditations?
Simply by attending an accredited institution or program, you can feel confident in the quality of education you’ll receive. But to fully understand higher education accreditation, there are a few distinctions you’ll need to review.
Consider the various types of accreditation you’re likely to come across:
- Institutional accreditation is when an institution requests that an accrediting agency assess its programs, its faculty and its students’ success to determine whether it meets the national standards for higher education.
- Programmatic accreditation is when individual programs pursue accreditation separately from the overall institution; this can be preferable for specialized fields of study like psychology, education, engineering and business. Such specific accreditation makes certain that the program of study meets the standards of the field.
Beyond institutional and programmatic accreditation, you’ll also need to consider the differences between regional and national accreditation:
- Regional accreditation is conducted by accrediting organizations that operate in specific regions of the country. Regionally accredited colleges are typically academically oriented and include non-profit or state-owned institutions.
- National accreditation is conducted by agencies that accredit schools across the country. They typically accredit vocational, technical, or career-based for-profit schools.
Some of the core distinctions resulting from regional or national accreditation can include an institution’s admission standards, cost and the potential to transfer credits. While nationally accredited schools tend to be less expensive, regional accreditation agencies are typically known to uphold stricter standards for accreditation. As such, regionally accredited institutions usually do not accept transfer credits from nationally accredited schools.
How does a school gain accreditation?
The accreditation process is entirely voluntary, so not all schools and programs will have earned this recognition. Colleges and universities that choose to be reviewed for accreditation must meet each of the requirements set by the accrediting body they apply to.
There are a number of different U.S.-Recognized Accrediting Organizations. But when it comes to MBA accreditation, there are three major independent agencies that institutions turn to:
- The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
- The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
- The International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE)
When a school or program becomes eligible for accreditation, the process requires voluntary submission of a self-evaluation report before participating in a peer-review visit. Once accreditation is received, institutions are expected to maintain their standard of academic excellence, passing subsequent peer evaluations periodically.
Specific criteria may vary depending on the accrediting body, but the nature of MBA accreditation regulations will remain the same across agencies: recognizing teaching excellence, determining successful student learning outcomes and committing to a continuous improvement model.
The MBA program at Concordia University Texas, for example, is ACBSP-accredited. When evaluating business programs, ACBSP has developed a set of standards that is modeled on the Education Criteria for Performance Excellence, Baldrige National Quality Exam.
This framework suggests that the most successful candidates for accreditation exhibit systematic processes to accomplish the following:
- Effective leadership
- Strategic planning
- A student and stakeholder focus
- Teaching excellence
- Efficient student learning assessments
- Continuous improvement of curriculum and program delivery
- Strong business unit performance
When looking into institutions with programs accredited by ACBSP, you can feel confident that they have been recognized for their ability to provide students with the skills employers want.
What are the consequences of a non-accredited MBA?
The impact of attending a non-accredited MBA program may not seem like a big deal, but accreditation symbolizes much more than a just gold star on your resume. In the same way students can look at program accreditation as a signifier that the education they’ll receive is up to par, employers can also view accreditation as a necessary sign of quality assurance for a program’s graduates.
After all, hiring managers aren’t simply looking for employees with degrees. They’re looking for employees with degrees that have properly qualified them to perform the tasks that will be expected of them.
What can students expect from an accredited MBA program?
While MBA accreditation ensures the programs you’re considering meet the academic standards expected of a graduate business degree, accredited MBAs will still vary in terms of curriculum, course delivery and specialization opportunities.
MBA courses cover a broad range of different business topics, exploring subjects like marketing, communications, management, strategy, ethics, accounting and finance. This expansive rotation of subjects helps students cultivate the hard and soft skills they’ll need to be successful in advanced management or executive leadership positions.
At Concordia University Texas, the MBA program is available on campus or 100 percent online, and it’s designed for students to complete in 20-24 months. Class sizes are small and coursework is facilitated by a diverse team of faculty with ample industry experience.
In addition to presenting students with the comprehensive business knowledge and sought-after leadership skills expected of a graduate business program, the Concordia MBA offers two distinct concentration options that each allow students to hone their skills in a specialized area of study:
- The Healthcare Administration concentration focuses on preparing students for management and leadership roles in the healthcare industry.
- The Organizational Development and Learning concentration prepares students for roles in organizational management.
Programs like the Concordia MBA can help set you up for success in a variety of careers. Some examples include:
- Chief technology officer
- Health services manager
- Information technology director
- Investment fund manager
- Management consultant
While no two MBA programs will be exactly the same, you can feel confident that an accredited MBA will equip you with the advanced knowledge you need to expand your business acumen and develop into a dynamic, versatile leader.
The most helpful way to view MBA accreditation is as a quality management tool that helps you identify which programs have the ability to provide you with the knowledge, skills and graduate outcomes you’re looking for when pursuing an advanced business degree.
Now that you know the true value of accreditation in an MBA program, you can begin researching different schools with confidence. To learn more about the flexible, affordable and accredited graduate business program at Concordia University Texas,visit our Master of Business Administration program page.