As you search for a Master of Business Administration program, one of the factors to consider is accreditation. Not only do you want to verify that the program is accredited but also that the accreditation it holds is from a reputable accrediting agency.
When students are in accredited programs, they have access to federal aid like Pell Grants. Furthermore, some employers will only consider candidates with MBAs from accredited schools.
What Is Accreditation?
According to the U.S. Department of Education, accreditation ensures established standards for higher education, with the accrediting bodies defining and enforcing the standards. Educational institutions receive accreditation from accrediting agencies like AACSB.
The accreditation process is voluntary. Higher education institutions opt to undergo the thorough evaluation required for accreditation to validate the quality of their degree programs. The DOE does not set the operating standards for degree programs. Accrediting bodies set the standards and evaluate institutions based on those standards.
What Accreditation Should I Look for in an Online MBA Program?
The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International) — formerly known as American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business and the International Association for Management Education — accredits business schools. Since 1916, AACSB has been setting the standards for business education. It evaluates business programs at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels.
Ivy League schools like Harvard Business School and Yale University School of Management are AACSB-accredited. But the cost and admissions criteria of Ivy League schools put them out of reach for many students.
Fortunately, institutions like Texas A&M International University hold AACSB accreditation and provide MBA seekers with affordable options.
Top employers and universities recognize AACSB-accredited schools for their high standards. AACSB's rigorous accreditation process assesses an institution through benchmarks for research, curriculum development, teaching and student learning. AACSB describes its business and accounting accreditation standards on its website, granting accreditation to both online and on-campus programs.
What Happens If You Attend an MBA Program That Is Not Accredited?
Schools that lack accreditation either fell short of the standards or did not seek accreditation in the first place. Employers want to hire candidates whose knowledge meets standards deemed rigorous industrywide. Therefore, students with a degree from an unaccredited institution may struggle to find a job.
Moreover, attending an accredited institution makes it easier for students to transfer to another program should the need arise. An accredited MBA program may not accept credits from an institution that lacks accreditation, which could limit a student's options down the road.
Searching for accredited MBA programs also helps students avoid diploma mills that grant degrees and certificates for a fee to students who complete little to no coursework. A diploma mill cannot secure accreditation from AACSB or any other recognized accrediting body.
When you choose an accredited institution for your MBA, you can be sure of receiving a first-rate business education that is well-regarded by employers.
Learn more about Texas A&M International University's online MBA programs.
Sources:U.S. Department of Education: The Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs
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