College of Business and Economics AACSB Accreditation Extended
One of just 170 worldwide that has an additional specialized accreditation for its accounting program
MOSCOW, Idaho – The University of Idaho's College of Business and Economics has received an extension of accreditation for its undergraduate and master's degree programs through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Out of more than 12,000 business schools around the world, only 579 member institutions hold AACSB International business accreditation. In addition, the college has received an extension of the specialized accreditation for its accounting programs, and is one of just 170 institutions worldwide to hold this specialized accreditation.
"This accreditation reaffirms that the University of Idaho provides a quality, high-impact business education," said John "Jack" Morris, dean of the College of Business and Economics. "In addition to an overall positive review by the accreditation board, we were recommended as a best practice for other colleges and universities to emulate, which is outstanding."
The accreditation board commended the university on its Integrated Business Curriculum, noting that it's "the essential area of distinction that shapes both the undergraduate and E-MBA program and has received numerous awards for quality and innovation."
The EMBA – or Executive Master in Business Administration – program at the university combines the rigor and depth of a traditional MBA with integrated learning and a flexible, work- and family-friendly format of an executive program. It incorporates and enhances the college's integrated management curriculum by adding a focus on leading and transforming organizations, providing a cross-functional business understanding.
The specialized AACSB accreditation for accounting helps the program maintain its competitive edge in the west; it is one of the largest master's degree programs at the University of Idaho. In addition, it attracts a large number of international students.
"More than one quarter of our master of accountancy degree students are international students, and more than half of our applications for next year are from international students," said Marla Kraut, department head and associate professor of accounting. "Many of the students we've had in the last 10 years say they have chosen the university because of the separate accounting accreditation."
The college also was recognized for its innovative experiential learning model, which provides numerous opportunities for students to have practical application of their skills outside the classroom. Avenues include a student-run deli through the Vandal Innovation and Enterprise Works (VIEW) program; a student investment trading experience through the Barker Capital Management and Trading Program; and a Business Process Methods Center, which calls on students to solve problems in the business community, among other opportunities.
"We were commended not just for the depth of the experiences, but also for the breadth," said Morris. "There are hands-on opportunities for any major in our college, as well as for majors outside the College of Business and Economics."
Kraut noted that the college's and department’s emphasis on student engagement and relevant curriculum are reflected in job placement. The accounting program has a 100 percent placement rate for graduate students within three months of graduation, and 85 percent of students in its undergraduate program have been placed in accounting positions or are in graduate school.
The accreditation team applauded the college's use of its advisory board members in an Assurance of Learning (AOL) process. "This process ensures that not only do colleges identify learning goals for their students, but that the college delivers what it promises," said Morris.
"Beyond their generous financial support, for which we're extraordinarily grateful, our college and department advisory boards provide guidance and keen insight about ways to continually improve our curriculum and operations," said Morris. "We want to ensure that when students graduate from the College of Business and Economics, they aren't just proficient in one area of business, but rather have a complete set of skills so that they're prepared to lead in any business endeavor."