Accreditation Terminology

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Accounting Accreditation Committee (AAC)
Reviews the Initial Accreditation Eligibility Applications for accounting and assigns a Mentor to assist the applicant in the Initial Accreditation Process. The AAC also reviews and approves Initial Self-Evaluation Reports. They also appoint a Peer Review Team to assist the applicant in the Initial Accreditation Process, and reviews the initial accreditation recommendation.

Accounting Accreditation Committee Liaison
A member of the AAC who serves as the principal point of contact and communication between the AAC, PAC, Mentor, and peer review team in the initial accreditation phase, or between the AAC and the Mentor and Team Chair.

Accreditation
Recognition by AACSB International that an institution commits to fulfill its mission, and continues to sustain and improve educational quality of its undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degree programs according to the standards of AACSB International as interpreted by its Peer Review Team(s), accreditation committees, and the Board of Directors.

Accreditation Council
Members who have achieved AACSB International accreditation.

Accreditation Recommendation—Continuous Improvement Review
Peer Review Team recommendation can be extension of accreditation or a Continuous Improvement Review II. Continuous Improvement Review II Team recommendation can be extension of accreditation or focused review. Focused Review Team recommendation can be extension of accreditation, Focused Review II, or revocation of accreditation. The appropriate accreditation committee must review all team recommendations for concurrence.  Immediate revocation of accreditation for cause is an option at any time. Recommendations for extension of accreditation and revocation of accreditation must be considered for ratification by the Board of Directors.

Accreditation Recommendation—Initial
Peer review team recommendation to the Initial Accreditation Committee (IAC). The peer review team can recommend accreditation, a one-year deferral, or denial of accreditation. The team recommendation consists of a written team visit report that includes the recommendation and a standard-by-standard analysis and evaluation. Recommendations for initial accreditation and denial of accreditation must be considered for ratification by the Board of Directors.

Accreditation Statistical Reports
Reports provided to the applicant and Peer Review Team members for use as background information in the accreditation review.

Aspirant Groups
A list of schools that provides developmental goals for the applicant, represents management education programs or features that the applicant hopes to emulate, and places the vision and strategy of the applicant in context. The list may be of any number.

Business School Questionnaire (BSQ)
Request for annual data from AACSB International to all accreditation council members. Some of the data are included in the accreditation statistical reports.

Committee on Accreditation Policy (CAP)
Coordinates the work of the operating committees (AAC, IAC, CIRC) and authorizes improvements to the processes and procedures supporting accreditation activities. The CAP also reviews satisfaction of the Eligibility Criteria for schools in all stages of the accreditation process and determines the scope of an institution’s accreditation review. Lastly, the CAP reviews the accreditation standards and processes for continuous improvement changes.

Comparable Peers
A list of schools considered similar in mission and assumed to be appropriate for performance comparison. A minimum of six comparable schools must be provided.

Comparison Groups
Three types of comparison groups are involved in the accreditation process: comparable peers, a competitive group, and an aspirant group. Comparison groups provide relevant context for judgment, and inform strategic planning activities. Schools within the comparable peer group or aspirant group may be selected as PRT members.

Competitive Groups
A list of schools so directly competitive that conflict of interest considerations exclude their personnel from the review process of the applicant. The list may be of any number. Only those schools should be included where the direct competition for students, faculty, or resources is so compelling that the appearance of a conflict of interest is present.

Continuous Improvement Review
The process or set of activities and results required to maintain accreditation. This process is not a standard-by-standard review. It is an ongoing review which emphasizes continuous improvement to maintain the accreditation status. Accreditation is extended for five years with a review in the fifth year.

Continuous Improvement Review Committee (CIRC)
Appoints a Peer Review Team to assist the applicant in the maintenance of accreditation process, and reviews the continuous improvement review recommendation.

Continuous Improvement Review Application (CIRA)
The set of documents required for participation in the countinuous improvement review process.

Continuous Improvement Review Visit Report
The report written by the Peer Review Team for the applicant and for review by the appropriate accreditation committee.

Continuous Improvement Review II
Additional review conducted in the second year of the Continuous Improvement Review phase year on those standards-related issues specifically identified as deficient in the first year of the Continous Improvement Review.

Continuous Improvement Review II Team
Mutually agreed upon team consisting of one member from the Peer Review Team and one from (or appointed by) the appropriate accreditation committee.  The team evaluates resolution of specific standards-related quality issues.

Consultative Feedback (Initial Accreditation process)
Mentors are encouraged to provide consultative advice relevant to the expectation of continuous improvement. This advice is separate from the Initial Self-Evaluation Report recommendation.

Consultative Feedback (Initial Accreditation visit)
Peer review teams are encouraged to provide consultative advice relevant to the expectation of continuous improvement. This advice is separate from the accreditation recommendation.

Degree Programs
Undergraduate, master's, doctoral, and other equivalent degrees awarded by an institution.

Diversity
In its mission, a school should define the populations it serves, consider its role in creating opportunities for under-served groups, and show how it endeavors to make sure that a variety of perspectives are included in all educational activities.

Effective Practices
Exceptional practices that demonstrate leadership and high quality continuous improvement in management or accounting education, noted by the Mentor in his/her summary report and/or the Peer Review Team in its Visit Report.

Eligibility Application
Application submitted to the Initial Accreditation Committee to establish whether an institution meets the criteria to be eligible for accreditation by AACSB International.

Exclusion of Program(s)
Programs excluded from the accreditation review as described in the eligibility section of the accreditation standards.

Executive Summary
Background information provided by the applicant, which can be up to five pages in length, including a list of self-proposed effective practices.

Fifth Year Continuous Improvement Report
Report includes materials to inform the Peer Review Team before and during the Fifth Year Continuous Improvement Review.

Final SER
Report submitted to the PRT detailing how the applicant meets the standards for accreditation by AACSB International.

Focused Review
Additional review for up to two years beyond the Continuous Improvement Review II.

Focused Review Team
Mutually agreed upon team consisting of one member from the Continuous Improvement Review II Peer Review Team and one from (or appointed by) the relevant accreditation committee. The Focused Review Team evaluates progress and resolution of specific standards-related quality items identified by the Continuous Improvement Review II Visit Report.

Gap Analysis
A systematic analysis of the applicant's strengths and weaknesses relative to each of the AACSB standards for accreditation and relative to the applicant's unique mission and strategic management objectives.

Initial Accreditation
Accreditation granted for a five-year period with a review in the fifth year.

Initial Accreditation Committee (IAC)
Oversees the intial accreditation process, which includes the review of the Eligibility Applications for business, Self-Evaluation Reports, and Initial Accreditation team report and the assignment of the mentor and the initial accreditation peer review team.

Initial Accreditation Committee Liaison
A member of the IAC who serves as the principal point of contact and communication between the Initial Accreditation Committee and the Mentor, and/or Peer Review Team.

Initial Self-Evaluation Report (iSER)
A plan that establishes the agenda for meeting the AACSB standards for accreditation and achieving the mission and objectives of the applicant seeking accreditation.

Institution
The member organization of AACSB International. Usually a larger academic organization than the business school being reviewed.

Mentor
Individual assigned to assist an applicant during the Initial Accreditation Process. The Mentor reviews the Eligibility Application and facilitates development of the initial Self-Evaluation Report (iSER) and provides comments and recommendations to IAC (or AAC).

Mentor Summary Report
A summary report drafted by the Mentor subsequent to the on-site visit to the applicant institution. The report consists of three distinct sections: the standard-by-standard summary report, the eligibility criteria recommendation report and the Mentor visit schedule.

Peer Review Team (PRT)
The accreditation visit team, normally chosen from the submitted Comparable Peer or Aspirant Groups. The PRT performs the accreditation review and makes a recommendation to the appropriate accreditation committee.

Peer Review Team Chair (Initial Accreditation)
Individual who chairs the initial accreditation review visit and assumes the responsibilities from the Mentor in monitoring the applicant’s progress through the final two years of the initial accreditation process.

Previsit Letter
Letter written by the PRT to the applicant based on the final Self-Evaluation Report recommending whether or not a visit should take place. The letter typically includes requests for information to be submitted before a visit takes place as well as information that should be available during the visit. The previsit letter typically includes a standard-by-standard analysis of the final Self-Evaluation Report.

Revocation of Accreditation
Loss of membership in the Accreditation Council.

Scope of Accreditation
The degree programs that are included in the accreditation review.

Self-Assessment
A systematic analysis of the school’s mission, faculty, students, curriculum, instructional resources, operations, intellectual contributions, and processes, which provides the basis upon which a realistic and comprehensive Self-Evaluation Report can be developed.

iSER Recommendation (Initial Accreditation)
Mentor recommendation to the Initial Accreditation Committee (IAC). The Mentor can recommend acceptance or non-acceptance of the iSER by the Initial (or Accounting) Accreditation Committees. The Mentor recommendation consists of a written report in the form of the iSER Review Template.

Strategic Management Plan
The systematic planning and implementation for the prioritized use of resources to accomplish the stated mission.

Withdrawal of Application by Applicant
Action available to applicant any time prior to consideration by the Board of Directors. In the case of an accredited school in the maintenance of accreditation process, withdrawal from the process is also withdrawal from the Accreditation Council.