College of Business, School of Accountancy achieve AACSB reaccreditation

Jul 7, 2020 | Business, Impact

Louisiana Tech University’s College of Business and School of Accountancy have been extended accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International — a hallmark of excellence in business education earned by less than 10 percent of the world’s business schools.

“AACSB accreditation is the highest standard of achievement for business schools worldwide,” said Dr. Chris Martin, Dean of the College of Business. “This reaffirmation confirms the high quality of the faculty, programs, and students we have in the College of Business. I couldn’t be prouder of the College’s accomplishments over the past five years.”

For more than a century, AACSB accreditation has been synonymous with the highest standards in business education. Today, only 870 institutions worldwide have earned AACSB accreditation, and only 190 institutions hold supplemental AACSB accreditation for their accounting programs.

Achieving accreditation is a process of rigorous internal focus, engagement with an AACSB-assigned mentor, and peer-reviewed evaluation. During this multiyear path, schools focus on developing and implementing a plan to align with AACSB’s accreditation standards. These standards require excellence in areas relating to strategic management and innovation; student, faculty, and staff as active participants; learning and teaching; and academic and professional engagement.

Since 2014, the College of Business has experienced unprecedented growth in program development, enrollment, fundraising, research, and external partnerships. Significant achievements highlighted in the report include:

  • Achieved ranking as a U.S. News & World Report best college at the undergraduate and graduate levels
  • Increased enrollment by 29 percent from Fall 2014 to Fall 2019
  • Improved College retention by more than 10 percent from Fall 2014 to Fall 2019
  • Increased fundraising from $281,000 and 101 donors in 2014-15 to $2.7 million and 1,100 donors in 2018-19
  • Strong placement rates, with 96 percent of undergraduates, 97 percent of MBA graduates, and 100 percent of MAcc graduates placing in a job/graduate school within six months of graduation (2017-18)
  • Opened the new, 20,000-square-foot wing of the College, designed to promote collaboration and outfitted with state-of-the-art technology including Ray’s Financial Trading Room
  • Re-energized the research culture in the College while maintaining a dual-focus on teaching and student success
  • Developed co-curricular programming to complement and enhance classroom learning

“Our strategic growth has positively impacted nearly every aspect of learning, teaching, and research. I’m grateful to AACSB and our Peer Review Team for recognizing the hard work of our faculty, staff, and students through the reaccreditation process,” Martin said.

While five-year Peer Review Visits typically provide the accreditation team with opportunities to engage directly with College stakeholders, this visit quickly changed to a virtual format due to the global pandemic.

“We were one of the first colleges in the U.S. to conduct a five-year visit virtually,” Martin said. “After the Governor issued a Stay at Home order for the state of Louisiana, we knew we would have to quickly find workarounds to make our visit a success. Over the course of just four days, we reworked the entire visit schedule and ensured each stakeholder group had the technology in place to attend virtually.”

Faculty, staff, students, administrators, alumni, and corporate partners joined one of four meetings that were running simultaneously in Zoom rooms. Since only essential faculty and staff were allowed on campus at that point, more than 100 stakeholders participated in the virtual format.

“By maintaining AACSB accreditation, we further illustrate our commitment to quality and continuous improvement,” Martin said. “We take great pride in providing students with innovative learning opportunities, conducting high-impact research, and actively engaging with our alumni and corporate partners. I look forward to continuing this tradition of excellence over the next five years and beyond.”