The ACBSP is both flexible and innovative in applying its beliefs of accreditation. It recognizes that business education exists within a dynamic, complex environment that requires innovative approaches to achieving quality educational outcomes.
The ACBSP is a leader in outcomes-based assessment and accreditation, in which the pursuit of excellence in business education is evaluated based on the results of the assessment of educational outcomes, rather than on prescriptive input standards. The ACBSP believes that educational quality must be measured by results rather than inputs, because inputs is not necessarily related to quality of results, because the quality of outcomes depends not only on inputs, but also on the processes used by the institution and their business programs to convert inputs to outcomes. The only correct way to measure excellence in business education, therefore, is through the assessment of educational outcomes.
Because of an important role in the education processes play in determining educational outcomes, the ACBSP has developed accreditation principles based on best practices in business education. These principles promote excellence in business education through a benchmarking process, which is helpful in determining why the business unit is, or is not, achieving its mission and broad-based goals, and explain the outcome of the evaluation process.
The ACBSP bases its assessment process on principles, rather than standards. Standards and principles are similar, these two can be used to assess effectiveness. Standards, however, may be arbitrary—they think that achieving the standard ensures quality outcomes, which may not be true. Standards are more effective in a manufacturing environment, where products are standardized and outputs are easily measured. Standards are problematic in an educational environment, because people are individuals and human activity cannot be standardized. In contrast, principles are used to assess the results, rather than measure outputs. Principles are used to assess learning, rather than testing the product. Educational institutions are unique, with differing mandates, objectives, processes, and intended learning outcomes. Standards provide arbitrary cut-off points, where the standard is either achieved or not; while principles assess progress toward excellence, allow for a continuum of accomplishment, and encourage continuous improvement. There is no standard of learning that fits all institutions, but there are principles that can apply to all institutions.
The ACBSP is committed to a developmental approach to excellence in business education. The ACBSP and its members function in a collaborative and cooperative manner, encouraging each other toward higher levels of quality in business education.
Excellence in Business Education
The ACBSP’s accreditation principles are designed to promote and facilitate excellence in business education, and each accreditation principle is linked to one or more characteristics of excellence in business education. The definition of excellence in business education demonstrates the following features:
The business sector has a clearly defined and relevant mission and broad-based goals that is in line with those of the institution.
Students in the business sector development, in both personal and professional, and well-educated, moral, competent business professionals.
The business unit encourages cooperative relationships with other educational units, both external and internal, which are consistent with its mission and broad-based goals.
The mission of the institution and its business sector is effectively communicated to current and future students.
The content of business courses is providing a way is appropriate, effective, and encourage learning.
The business unit’s strategic plan that is to come into contact with the realities of business education and market, which is consistent with the institutional strategic plan. This strategic plan is to promote the approved mission and a wide range of goals of the business unit.
The business sector has developed and implemented the results of the evaluation process in order to promote continuous improvement of business processes and operations, and links to the strategic plan for operations.
Faculty in the business sector is effective teachers who are current in their fields and active in their professional contributions to their institution and discipline. In addition, the faculty is positively engaged within their business sector and contributes to its mission and broad-based goals through appropriate faculty development and faculty evaluation processes.
The business unit operates in an environment that encourages promulgates innovation and creativity in business education.
The business unit has meaningful and effective linkages between the classroom and practitioners in the business community, thereby providing assurance of relevancy and currency in the academic programs.
The institution provides adequate resources to the business sector in order to complete its mission and broad-based goals.
Faculty in the business unit model ethical character and integrate ethical viewpoints and principles in their teaching.
The curricula in the business programs ensure that students understand and be prepared to deal effectively with key issues in a changing global business environment.
The mix of academic and professional credentials of the business faculty is worthy of the respect of the academic and business communities.
The curricula in the business programs reflect the mission of the institution and its business sector, and in accordance with current, acceptable business practices and the principles of the professionals in the academic and business communities.
The institution’s organizational structure supports excellence in business education.