College of Business and Economics AACSB Accreditation Extended

Thursday, January 28 2010

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."
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About the University of Idaho
Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s flagship higher-education institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year; the University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation ranking for high research activity. The university’s student population includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars. Offering more than 130 degree options in 10 colleges, the university combines the strengths of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. The university is home to the Vandals, the 2009 Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl champions. For information, visit

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit