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CBA Receives Re-Accreditation from the Prestigious AACSB

Published: June 1, 2009

CSULB’s College of Business Administration (CBA) recently was re-accredited in all its fields of study by the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

CBA was first accredited for all its undergraduate and graduate programs in 1972. CSULB students will continue to earn accredited degrees in such undergraduate programs as accounting, finance, information systems, marketing and management, as well as master’s of business administration (MBA) degrees.

“By being accredited, we are telling the world that we have met certain high standards of faculty qualifications and student learning,” said CBA Dean Michael Solt. “However, by being accredited by the prestigious AACSB, the College of Business Administration has achieved the ‘gold standard’ in accreditation. This puts us in a small category of business schools worldwide. Only 559 business schools out of approximately 11,000 around the world are AACSB accredited.”

There were three possible AACSB outcomes for the CBA, which received re-accreditation with no conditions. The other two findings could have been the extremely rare result of not being re-accredited, or continued review, which happens approximately 20 percent of the time. Continued review means that the AACSB’s Peer Review Team had specific concerns about certain features of a business school’s performance, such as not having a high enough ratio of academically-qualified faculty. The business school then has one year to remedy the problem.

“By getting a clean pass, the CBA does not have to look backward next year to complete the current review,” said Solt. “Rather, we can look forward to developing faculty and programs that will ensure the success of our students while focusing on the next AACSB review that will be five years from now.”

Some companies such as Intel Inc. will not hire graduates from non-accredited programs, according to Solt. He believes that the AACSB accreditation is sending a signal to the business community that reassures employers that qualified faculty and the CBA have taken the appropriate steps to assure student learning adheres to the university’s stringent and specific learning standards.

In a recent survey of CSULB’s MBA students, the CBA found that offering an accredited degree is the single most important aspect of the program.

“Our accreditation effort has been a team effort, which includes Deans Mike Solt and Mo Khan, our department chairs and the faculty who planned and implemented our assurance of learning efforts,” said Associate Dean for Accreditation Mary Wolfinbarger. “In the three years leading up to our accreditation visit, we hired 27 new full-time faculty in the college. Altogether, our efforts proved to the AACSB that we are committed to quality and to continuous improvement.”

Achieving accreditation is a process of rigorous internal review, evaluation and adjustment and can take several years to complete. During these years, a college business program must develop and implement a plan to meet the 21 AACSB standards that require a high-quality teaching environment, a commitment to continuous improvement and curricula responsive to the needs of business.

“AACSB commends the faculty, deans, directors and administrative staffs of each institution for their exemplary work in helping their schools earn the highest honor in business school accreditation,” said John J. Fernandes, president and chief executive officer of AACSB International. “We are delighted to welcome the newly AACSB accredited schools and send our congratulations to those that have maintained their accreditation.”
Many of the other business schools in the same AACSB accreditation category as the CBA are Ivy League, Big 10 and Pac-10 universities.

“We are proud of this distinction and we have worked hard to achieve it,” said Solt. “Our faculty has been totally committed to being re-accredited and they should feel good about their efforts.”