Charting Excellence

Charting Excellence

Here at the Lundquist College of Business, we are justifiably proud of the accreditation we hold from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Known as the highest accreditation for business schools, the designation means that the college is among the tiny fraction of the world's schools of business—at 736, less than 6 percent of the total of 13,000—to have earned this distinction. Even better, thanks to the fact that our accounting program is also AACSB-accredited, our institution belongs to an even more elite group of just 182 schools in the world to hold the double accreditation.

Ultimately, though, AACSB accreditation is about far more than simple bragging rights. The painstaking process of preparing for the reaccreditation review provides the college with a welcome opportunity for self reflection. It spurs us to constantly refine and challenge our methods and goals in all programs.

This spirit of inquiry and ongoing self-improvement has already made itself felt in our preparations for the college's next AACSB review, scheduled for 2017. Starting in 2014, the accreditation committee—led by senior instructor Beth Hjelm and Master of Accounting Program director Robin Clement—began charting the necessary steps for the undertaking. This spring, in a key part of the process, 58 faculty members participated in a daylong curriculum-mapping workshop spearheaded by Hjelm and Clement.

Core Focus in the Morning

The day's morning sessions saw undergraduate teaching faculty grouped according to the core courses they teach. Focusing on a single course, participants described their specific approaches to teaching the material; talked about how concepts are introduced, developed and mastered; and discussed ways that what they teach corresponds to the college's overarching educational mission. On a parallel track, faculty members from in the college's MBA program spent the morning working in a single group to examine that program's core curriculum. 

Afternoon Cross-Pollination

In the afternoon, faculty from each of the college's five departments came together in three cross-disciplinary groups. Participants looked for areas in which their coursework's content and goals intersected and for places where these connections could be strengthened. MBA faculty performed a similar exercise in a single group.

A Commitment to Education

For participants, the workshop served to confirm program strengths, open up new possibilities, and even reveal a few curricular redundancies. In other words, it worked exactly as its organizers intended.

“That our faculty come together to participate in these essential tasks speaks volumes about their dedication as teachers," said Dean Kees de Kluyver.

A second workshop—focusing on the coursework required for the college's majors and concentrations—is scheduled for this fall.