College of Business earns reaccreditation

The College of Business at Western Carolina University has received notice of full reaccreditationfrom AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Official announcement of reaccreditation came Wednesday, April 6, upon approval of the AACSB International’s board of directors. It concludes a period of extensive self-examination by faculty members in the WCU College of Business, followed by a visit from a peer review team and the recommendation of the organization’s accreditation maintenance committee.

Founded in 1916, AACSB International is the longest-serving global accrediting body for business schools that offer undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees in business and accounting.

Fewer than 5 percent of business schools worldwide earn this “distinguished hallmark of excellence in management education,” said Jerry Trapnell, vice president and chief accreditation officer of AACSB International.

To maintain accreditation, a business program must undergo a rigorous internal review every five years, at which the program must demonstrate its continued commitment to the 21 quality standards relating to faculty qualification, strategic management of resources, interactions of faculty and students, commitment to continuous improvement and achievement of learning goals in degree programs.

“It takes a great deal of self-evaluation and determination to earn and maintain AACSB accreditation,” said Trapnell. “Schools not only must meet specific standards of excellence, but their deans, faculty and staff must make a commitment to ongoing improvement to ensure continued delivery of high-quality education to students.”

Louis Buck, interim dean of WCU’s College  of Business, will speak at the AACSB conference later this month and participate in activities honoring institutions that have received initial accreditation or been reaccredited.

“Reaccreditation by AACSB International provides the official stamp of approval on the undergraduate and graduate degree programs in business offered at Western Carolina,” Buck said. “It confirms to our students, alumni, employees, and business and industry partners that our graduates truly are ‘business ready’ because they have learned and gained valuable experiences in programs judged to be of the utmost in quality.”

The College of Business is listed in a book published recently by the Princeton Review as among the nation’s best schools at which to earn a master’s degree in business administration. The educational services company features WCU in the 2011 edition of its guidebook, “The Best 300 Business Schools,” which is based on surveys of 19,000 students in business programs around the world.

In addition, the college’s online master’s degree program in project management is ranked No. 1 in the nation in quality and affordability by the distance education information clearinghouse

For more information about WCU’s College of Business, visit