AACSB Accreditation

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by Mike_UCD, Sep 1, 2004.

  1. Mike_UCD

    Mike_UCD New Member

    Hi. I've been hanging around this forum for several months now and am impressed with the amount of information that is available and the support you offer to each other. This forum has really helped me gain some direction on my educational goals and help me decide on whether distance learning is right for me.

    I have an AACSB accreditation question... I was recently accepted into an MBA program offered through a local private university (Saint Mary's College of California). Classes are held locally with no online learning. The school seems to have a good reputation locally and can be completed in 18 months (every other Saturday). The Dean of the School of Business has told new students that they are submitting their application for AACSB accreditation this fall.

    Does anyone know how long accreditation takes (I've heard between 3-5 years).

    Is AACSB 'grandfathered' to students in the program prior to accreditation?

    I was also accepted to the UMass MBA Online program (AACSB) but am torn on which direction to take.

    I'm leaning toward the traditional classroom setting but still want the AACSB designation.

    Any insight on AACSB would be helpful. Thanks for the input!
  2. Han

    Han New Member

    Being in your neck of the woods, I can answer a few questions for you.

    First, they are a member, so the ball is already rolling. I think it can be done as fast as about 2 years, once you are a member, and 5 years, if some real restructuring is needed. I believe that once the school is accredited, you have an AACSB degree.

    In my opinion (and it does differ from the board), AACSB is a value add. You will not be considered at some schools without it. So, it is a risk on going to a school that is not AACSB, even though they are trying to acheive it. It is a gamble.

    I am curious why you would choose Saint Mary's, as there are two AACSB programs in the area - CSUS and UCD?

    My personal opinion is that Saint Mary's does not have a good reputation, and I think the reason is that they are private AND not AACSB accredited. I did my MBA at a private school, but some look down on that, as there are not the governmental standards seen there (I have been told this, but do not necessarily agree). This would make two potential strikes against you.

    There are many trades to do with DL vs B&M. There is stigma out there, but my opinion:

    St. Mary v UMass (I don't know personally about UMass, but based on accreditation) - Go with UMass

    St. Mary's v CSUS - CSUS (B&M or DL)

    St. Mary v UC Davis - UC Davis (B&M)

    UC David v CSUS - UC Davis (B&M)

    There are also a large number of AACSB MBA's out there, and they do not require residency. Have you ruled those out, or just have not looked at them yet?
  3. Han

    Han New Member

    I would also post this on the main discussion board, you will get more of a response there.
  4. Mike Albrecht

    Mike Albrecht New Member

    My 2 centavos (worth less than $0.02), if you are going to stay in Northern California, and do not plan ever on going for a PhD/DBA in business the St. mary's program is okay.

    If you ever plan on leaving, or going for a PhD/DBA so that you can teach at the collegiet level you MAY have some problems.

    Personnally I would pick Davis or Sac State or St. Mary's (I picked Hayward over St. Mary's myself). Or even the Haas (Bizerkley Evening & Weekend program).
  5. Han

    Han New Member

    One can dream, Berkeley is #1 in the country last I saw - it would be tough to get in, and the applications are due about a year and a half out from what i remember of their program.
  6. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    Hi Mike, welcome to the board.

    I live in the Bay Area and yeah, St. Mary's has a very good reputation. It's basically a liberal arts college with professional schools and I see it up there with Santa Clara. For what it's worth, USNews ranked St. Mary's the 9'th best masters level school in the western United States in their latest rankings. So I disagree pretty vehemently with those who say it has a poor reputation.

    Dunno, but it can be years. I wouldn't count on it happening before you graduate.

    I don't think so.

    But in real life, when people check to see if the school is accredited by AACSB, it will appear on the list (assuming that its application is successful). So your degree will look like it came from an AACSB accredited program unless somebody was really careful to check the dates (or even cared).

    Can't help you there. There's too many variables.

    If it were me in your situation, I'd think about how necessary AACSB really is to my goals.

    It probably would be more important to me if I intended to go into university teaching than if I wanted to use my MBA out there in business or industry. And it probably would be most relevant if I wanted to teach at an AACSB accredited school (most aren't). So I'd give AACSB some weight in my decision, but I don't know that I'd be as quick to dismiss St. Mary's as others here seem to be.
  7. eziggy3

    eziggy3 New Member


    I just asked a friend of mine who got his MBA at U of MD how important is AACSB. He said he never heard of it. He got his MBA back in 1993 and has been with several companies since.
  8. TescStudent

    TescStudent New Member

    Re: AACSB

    Most graduates probably haven't heard of the RA boards like NEASC, MSA, and so on either. Not that I would necessarily compare AACSB to regional accreditation, but the fact that someone hasn't heard of a particular accreditation board doesn't mean anything.
  9. carlosb

    carlosb New Member

    Why settle for AACSB when you can get a "Triple Crown of business accreditations?"



    "In less than 20 years, Grenoble Ecole de Management has moved into the top echelon of business schools worldwide. Having recently been awarded AMBA accreditation for its MBA program, it joins a select group of leading business schools worldwide to have achieved the Triple Crown of business accreditations."

    If you are willing to settle for less then the University of Florida has two of the Triple Crowns:


    Guess AACSB alone is not good enough anymore :D

    What they all mean:


    Just my opinion
  10. mrw142

    mrw142 New Member

    I recently started classes at UMass, and I've enjoyed it in my brief experience, so I would recommend it. You can do a hybrid, you know. UMass would allow you to take up to two courses from another school like St. Mary's, so long as you can convince them that the coursework was equivalent. The accreditation issue may be a sticking point, however, so look before you leap. There are some very good schools in your area, however, and in my personal opinion, US-Davis stands out as well-known and convenient in that they offer a "working professional" MBA. The only question is: are you from Sac, planning to go to the Sac extension? If so, I'd just look into UCD, their reputation is much better-known nationwide.
  11. Han

    Han New Member

    Agreed!! Seems like the right option, in my opinion. If you want info on Grenoble, PM me, as November is fast approaching for this year's class start.
  12. eziggy3

    eziggy3 New Member

    Re: Re: AACSB

    My point is...He graduated from the University of MD, an AACSB school. He has been in the workforce for several years with several companies without even knowing about AACSB. How important can it be?
  13. Han

    Han New Member

    Re: Re: Re: AACSB

    Some companies it is, and some companies it is not. It is more of a variable in academia though.

    I think the overall point (from reading of thousands of postings), is when someone makes a comment, and then someone else replies with on person in this whole big wide world as the reason why the statement is not valid. My employer does not reimburse for non-AACSB schools, does that give to why everyone should go to an AACSB school - no, I am just one person, but if there was a study with a substantial sample size, then that would hold more reliability. I have read several studies, especially in academia, where it is the case, in industry, you have a stronger point, but I don't know of any substantial study done.
  14. eziggy3

    eziggy3 New Member

    Re: Re: Re: Re: AACSB

    I agree this is just one individual. I have just seen so much discussion on this topic. For as much as I have read on the importance of AACSB I expected that my friend would at least know what it is.
  15. TescStudent

    TescStudent New Member

    Re: Re: Re: AACSB

    I know people who have not heard of NEASC, even though they have graduated from schools accredited by this RA body. Nor have they heard of DETC. So how important can RA or NA accreditation be?

    Maybe you are right that AACSB is not very important (although I would personally look for it if I were looking at MBA programs), but the reasoning you used to come to that conclusion is not sound.
  16. Han

    Han New Member

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: AACSB

    I would suggest slapping your friend around :D
  17. mrw142

    mrw142 New Member

    No--hire me and sue him!

    It is hard to believe that a grad of such an esteemed program would be unaware of the gold standard accreditation for his field.
  18. Mike_UCD

    Mike_UCD New Member

    Thanks to everyone for the feedback. I post, leave for a couple days and come back to several replies. I am impressed with the number of responses and surprised at the different opinions. Needless to say, I haven't quite decided what direction to take, but I feel better informed.

    I wanted to share with you the response I received from AACSB - I really wanted to get the final word on whether accreditation was 'grandfathered' to previous graduates, etc. The response is pretty much what I expected, but I wanted to pass it along. This is particularly relevant to those of you considering a school that is planning to obtain AACSB accreditation or is currently in the process.

    My question to AACSB:

    I have a couple questions that I'm hoping you can assist me
    with! I was recently accepted into an MBA program through St. Mary's College of California in Moraga, CA. According to the staff, the college is planning to submit its application to AACSB for accreditation this fall. Can you tell me how long on average accreditation generally takes? Is accreditation 'grandfathered' to prior graduates (since I assume I will likely complete the program prior to accreditation)? Thank you so much for your time and input.

    AACSB's response:

    The process for accreditation may require from two to up to seven years, dependent on a number of factors. The accreditation belongs to the institution and does not transfer to the individual. However, if the institution is accredited at any point in the future you would be entitled to say that you hold a degree from an AACSB accredited institution.
  19. Katherine Gabriana

    Katherine Gabriana New Member

    SMC Grad

    I know that this thread is old but I would like to spread the word about SMC. I graduated from Saint Mary's College of California, and can say that it has a pretty good reputation within the bay area. Many of the professionals were management at Wells Fargo, Cisco, Qualcomm, among others.

    I was actually in the MS in Financial Analysis and Investment Management program. Many of the my professors also taught at Cal. 25% of the students from my cohort were from Cal undergrad, and there were graduates from UC Davis and Irvine as well. In terms of knowledge gained, it prepared me very well for the CFA Level I exam, which I just took and passed.

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