In August 2004, with support and encouragement from the dean and superintendent, the Department of Economics and Business submitted an accreditation plan to AACSB—International, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. AACSB is the premier accrediting agency for business programs around the world. The department is now in its third year of a five year pre-accreditation process. Beginning next year, we will embark on a year long self-evaluation study that culminates with a peer review team visit. The peer review team will determine if the department meets accreditation standards.
AACSB standards are grouped into three domains: strategic management, participants, and assurance of learning. The centerpiece of strategic management is the mission statement. The department spent considerable time and effort developing a mission statement that describes our unique approach to business education.
The participants domain is divided into two components—faculty and students. It is not coincidental that these components are addressed directly in the mission statement. Take a look at our current faculty and you will get an idea of the quality of people we have been able to attract. Most of you will notice immediately the increase in faculty members since you were here.
The assurance of learning domain is the assessment component, an important part of which is the Major Field Test in Business. This test is administered each year to graduating first classmen. The Class of 2007 scored in the top 5% of all schools taking the test. While this year’s result is astounding for a small school such as VMI, it is the second year in a row that we have scored this well. Click here to see full details.
One final note on accreditation: if we achieve this distinction, VMI will be one of the smallest schools to be accredited by AACSB—International.