This language makes it clear that AACSB views diversity through a global lens, and that each school is expected to interpret and apply diversity within its unique cultural context. The 2020 standards are not prescriptive in how diversity is defined at any school—that is the prerogative of the school. Neither are the standards prescriptive around admission criteria, as this is also the prerogative of the school. Thus, we do not view AACSB accreditation standards as conflicting with U.S. legislation, and we do not expect to make any changes to the standards at this time. AACSB’s core values include a deep and abiding commitment to diversity and equitable access to high-quality education, for everyone.
Accreditation Visits This Year
Schools with 2023–24 visits should be mindful of several focus areas, including visit modality, disclosure of student outcomes to the public, and measuring societal impact.
While the COVID-19 pandemic presented unprecedented challenges globally, business schools demonstrated grace and agility over the past three years in continuing to serve learners through high-quality business education. As the world has now moved out of the most critical pandemic stage, accreditation visits are nearly universally back to a face-to-face modality. However, the lessons we learned about how to conduct high-quality virtual visits will remain with us. Going forward, we have the tools and processes needed to conduct a virtual visit at any time if circumstances necessitate a change of plan. However, departure from a face-to-face visit requires AACSB’s approval in advance.
An area of the standards that schools should pay particular attention to is Standard 6.2, which requires public disclosure of academic program quality supporting learner progression and post-graduation success on a current and consistent basis. This information should be available on the accredited unit’s website, where it is clearly displayed and distinguishable from university amalgamated data. As a reminder from documentation for Standard 6.2, disclosures are not prescriptive but are informed by the school’s mission, strategies, and expected outcomes, and may include post-graduate learner success outcomes, admission data, retention and time-to-degree data, diversity and inclusion advances, particular program emphases, student learning outcomes, rankings data, experiential learning opportunities, meaningful societal impact, or other mission-specific outcomes.
A second area of the standards for schools to closely consider is societal impact. AACSB released a white paper on how to align with the expectations of the 2020 standards in February 2023. Measuring societal impact has also been a popular topic recently, and this paper walks you through how to write an impact statement that provides a roadmap to measuring your school’s societal impact efforts. To learn more, download AACSB and Societal Impact: Aligning With the AACSB 2020 Business Accreditation Standards.