CUI’s School of Business recently received specialized accreditation from a business accreditor, International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE) and became the first school in the world to earn the IACBE’s specialized accounting accreditation.
“There were six or seven pilot schools and we jumped first and swam faster,” says George Wright, administrative dean of the School of Business.
Accreditation by the IACBE is additional to and separate from WASC accreditation. It is tied to student outcomes and making sure institutions are making regular improvements in their educational offerings.
One reason Wright and Deborah Lee, director of CUI’s institutional research and assessment, pursued this additional accreditation is “to validate what we’re doing,” Wright says. “You can become too myopic and pat yourself on the back. We wanted some external eyes on what we’re doing to help us rate ourselves. It gives us a chance to compare ourselves to other schools.”
Wright, Lee and faculty members created a systematic process to assess their syllabi, student learning outcomes and curriculum maps. The accreditation covers the undergraduate business and economics majors and the MBA program, and commits the School of Business to continuous improvement in learning outcomes, hiring and pedagogy.
“It’s the most significant thing we’ve done in the last five years,” Wright says. “When our students walk in the door [to interview for a job] they’re coming from a school that stands with the best of them. We’re a peer.”
"When our students walk in the door [to interview for a job] they’re coming from a school that stands with the best of them."
The School of Business is flourishing in a number of ways. This summer the MBA program had its five hundredth graduate. Business is the largest undergraduate major and added three new programs in the past five years: economics, international business, and business data and analytics.
Maintaining additional independent accreditation encourages collaboration between faculty members, and the faculty and administration.
“This gives more meaning to our degree and shows we are more rigorous compared to other institutions,” Lee says.