Accreditation Information

Accreditation and Assessment

What is specialized accreditation?

The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality.

Accreditation in the United States involves non-governmental entities as well as governmental agencies.

Accrediting agencies, which are private educational associations of regional or national scope, develop evaluation criteria and conduct peer evaluations to assess whether or not those criteria are met. Institutions and/or programs that request an agency's evaluation and that meet an agency's criteria are then "accredited" by that agency.

The U.S. Department of Education does not accredit educational institutions and/or programs. However, the Secretary of Education is required by law to publish a list of nationally recognized accrediting agencies that the Secretary determines to be reliable authorities as to the quality of education or training provided by the institutions of higher education and the higher education programs they accredit. An agency seeking national recognition by the Secretary must meet the Secretary's procedures and criteria for the recognition of accrediting agencies, as published in the Federal Register.

Specialized or programmatic accreditation normally applies to programs, departments, or schools that are parts of an institution. The accredited unit may be as large as a college or school within a university or as small as a curriculum within a discipline. Most of the specialized or programmatic accrediting agencies review units within an institution of higher education that is accredited by one of the regional accrediting agencies. However, certain accrediting agencies also accredit professional schools and other specialized or vocational institutions of higher education that are freestanding in their operations. Thus, a "specialized" or "programmatic" accrediting agency may also function in the capacity of an "institutional" accrediting agency. In addition, a number of specialized accrediting agencies accredit educational programs within non-educational settings, such as hospitals.

Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)

ACBSP, founded in 1988 and located in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City, was created by its members to fulfill a need for specialized accreditation by institutions of higher education with business schools and programs. Specifically, that need was for business education accreditation based on the mission of the institution and of the respective unit, an accreditation that acknowledged and emphasized quality in teaching and learning outcomes.

In 1988 only 260 of those 2,400 institutions had their business schools and programs accredited, an accreditation administered by only one organization. Many of the remaining 2,140 institutions felt that an alternative organization with an accreditation philosophy more attuned to the missions of their institutions should be created to satisfy their business accreditation needs. Most of the 2,140 institutions had (and still have) as their primary, student-oriented objective excellence in teaching as opposed to a heavy emphasis on research. They wanted an accrediting organization that had this teaching emphasis reflected in its accreditation standards. Their response was the creation of ACBSP.

Why are we pursuing specialized accreditation?

We are seeking to establish a professional school with high standards for teaching and learning. We are committed to the process of achieving our program goals through continuous improvement and reflective practice.

Continuous Improvement and Assessment Data

The college has continuously assessed its academic programs since 2013 using course embedded assessment as well as feedback from students, faculty, and other stakeholders. As a part of the continuous improvement process and organizational mission, the College of Business remains committed to assurance of learning and organizational effectiveness through the external assessment of programs carried out by regional and specialized accreditors, MSCHE and ACBSP. The college prepares numerous assessment reports as a part of the accreditation process. Through the preparation of various reports which are submitted to the University, USM, and MHEC, the college specifically provides information on learning outcomes performance and other data related to academic and business practices.

Please find the colleges learning outcomes:

  • SLO 1  Written
  • SLO 2  Oral
  • SLO 3  Critical Thinking
  • SLO 4  Quantitative Literacy
  • SLO 5  Informational Literacy
  • SLO 6  Global Awareness
  • SLO 7  Leadership
  • SLO 8  Team Building
  • SLO 9  Ethic (adopted F-14)
  • SLO 10  Reflective Practice

Each semester the college collects outcomes data and performs a comprehensive analysis of results for continuous improvement.

Additional feedback regarding our recent graduate survey and their experience with the college and their programs can be found here.

For more information on enrollment data and degrees awarded; visit CSU Institutional Research.