Why Is Accreditation Important? –

What should students know about accreditation and why is it important?

The number of academic business programs offered worldwide is consistently rising. In the United States alone, there are more than 5,000 business degree granting institutions (U.S. Department of Education, 2011). Such rise is due in large part to the global demand for business trained professionals in for-profit and non-profit organizations. Given the vast number of business schools currently in existence, it stands to reason that the public requires some reassurance that the expectation for these schools meets basic learning objectives. Accreditation is one resource that potential business students can look to as part of their research to determine if their selected program of study meets the basic learning requirements.

Accreditation for business schools ensures that certain requirements have been met which the accreditation body believes essential for the student’s academic development during, and following, graduation. Accreditation is important as a quality benchmark for business schools and serves as a seal of approval that the program is high quality. However, not all accreditation is equal. In the US, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation serves as the advocate for academic quality through accreditation (CHEA 2012). Accreditation bodies recognized by CHEA insist adherence to a high quality standard. Northcentral University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and its School of Business and Technology Management has additional accreditation through the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Both HLC and ACBSP are recognized through CHEA thus, assuring students they are entering into a quality program that will prepare them for life during, and following, graduation.

Accreditation is important, and it is essential that prospective students review and understand the school’s accreditation affiliation before making the decision to apply.

Edited by Valerie Jones

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Dr. Arthur Lee Smith has more than 27 years of industry and business consulting experience. In addition to consulting companies on topics including business ethics, diversity in the workplace, and development of job training skills for the underserved, he has taught at several universities across the world. Smith has served as the dean for the School of Business and Technology Management at Northcentral University since July 2010. As dean, his primary responsibility is to oversee all business related academics for the undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral studies programs.