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College of Business accounting program earns prestigious accreditation

March 2, 2007
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The Idaho State University College of Business has proven once again that it offers much more than your average business and accounting education, and has joined other prestigious institutions upon its academic re-accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

     “This is a completely independent, in-depth assessment of our programs, and further evidence of the quality of them,” said Dr. Bill Stratton, dean of the ISU College of Business. “And, this puts us in the elite of accounting programs.”

Among approximately 1,500 business programs in the United States, 663 are affiliated with AACSB and 435 are accredited by that body. ISU is one of only 168 schools to be accredited in both business and in accounting among a total of 1,021 schools world-wide that are AACSB members. The re-accreditation is for both the ISU College of Business bachelor and master degree programs.

The college received its professional accreditation review in early November by a team from AACSB International. The peer review team, consisting of three deans and a chair of accounting from accredited schools of business, was on campus for parts of three days examining records and speaking with students, university administrators, faculty, and members of the College of Business Advisory Council.

The peer review team submitted favorable reports on both the ISU business and accounting programs to the AACSB accreditation committees, which passed favorable reviews on to the AACSB Board. The college was notified in December that both programs had received continuing accreditation for another six years.  

“It was a very rigorous procedure,” Stratton said. “We had to provide them with tons of data, but we passed the accreditation after the first visit. Less than 20 percent of accounting programs have had their accreditation continued after the first visit.”

Dr. Robert Picard, ISU accounting chair, attributed the college’s success to “insightful leadership, heavy faculty involvement and taking the (AACSB) standards seriously.”

 “As a result of this last accreditation visit, our accounting program has been held up and used as an example of a high-end, well-run program,” Picard said.

In the letter ISU received from the AACSB that informed the college it had been re-accredited, Arthur Kraft, AACSB board of directors chair pointed out many positive attributes of the ISU program.

Strengths and effective practices included: both faculty and students enjoy the opportunities for one-on-one interaction that are provided by the small class sizes in both the undergraduate and graduate programs; the faculty have embraced opportunities provided by the assessment process to develop cases that are designed to improve student writing, thinking and technology skills in many of their required accounting classes; and the college, with input from the department of accounting, has integrated a series of one-hour courses designed to improve student writing, critical thinking, and technology skills.

The accounting department received its own set of commendations including: The faculty members in the department appear to be very collegial and satisfied with the system of allocating the resources that are available to them; the department strongly supports the endeavors of the ISU Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, the honorary organization for accounting, finance and computer information systems students and professionals; the department has an energetic, enthusiastic and engaged Accounting Advisory Board; and the department has fully and effectively integrated ethics into much of the curriculum at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Picard pointed out other highlights of the accounting program. Its SPUDS – Thinking Outside the Shoebox Project is designed to heavily integrate technology into courses and use that technology to simulate “real world” experiences. The annual Accounting Career Vision Symposium provides an opportunity for accounting majors and all students who are interested in exploring accounting as career path to learn about the many opportunities in the profession.

For more information on the ISU College of Business and its programs, call (208) 282-3585 or visit www.isu.edu.

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