The Vancouver Island University School of Business has been awarded with accreditation by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), the leading specialized accreditation association for business education celebrating teaching excellence.
“We are very happy and proud to receive this accreditation,” said Mike Mann, VIU’s Dean, Faculty of Management. “It was a long process that involved many people. We have been working towards accreditation for three years. It’s a vote of confidence in our faculty, staff and students and it says a lot about all the services at VIU, both inside and outside of the School of Business.”
The ACBSP is an international organization that embraces the virtues of teaching excellence and emphasizes to students that it is essential to learn how to learn. VIU is one of only 3 ACBSP accredited business schools in Canada.
“VIU has shown strengths in the areas of leadership, strategic planning, student and stakeholder focus, student learning outcome assessment, faculty and staff focus, and process management around curriculum, business operations, support operations, and enrollment management,” said Steve Parscale, Director of Accreditation for the ACBSP. “This accreditation is evidence of their commitment to these areas of excellence.”
Commitment to continuous improvement is an important feature of ACBSP accreditation. Six areas of learning are examined – leadership, strategic planning, stakeholder involvement, measurement of learning, human resources and education processes. Accredited schools have demonstrated their goals, shown how they will be measured, the system(s) to gather data, the methods to analyze that data, the planning to make improvements, and the implementation of those plans. ACBSP wants to see that accredited schools are always working to improve.
“Accreditation is recognition for what we have accomplished so far and helps guide us on how we can continue to improve,” said Mann. “It requires us to question ourselves about what we are doing and what we can do better. It’s not just a one time thing – it is an ongoing process of continual improvement.”
“Accreditation with the ACBSP is important for so many reasons. It provides benefits to students, faculty members, the University, and stakeholders,” said Parscale. “The accreditation process is an organizational development and continuous improvement process that will ensure you are providing a quality education for your students.”
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. As of August, 2008, the ACBSP had granted 413 successful accreditations around the world.
Accreditation is a highly successful and well-tested system of quality insurance and quality improvement. The process of preparing an accreditation self-study enhances the focus on quality of student learning and renews a commitment to the educational mission
“This accreditation celebrates our attention to quality at VIU,” said Mann. “We hear from our students and alumni that they find our programs rewarding and useful in terms of getting a solid business education and in helping them find employment. And we hear from employers that they are very happy with our students, but it is encouraging to receive confirmation of our efforts from an external body like the ACBSP that we are doing a lot of things very well. That being said, we will always strive to improve.”