Accreditation Brings Solid Return on Investment for School of Business

Student walking near Alger Hall and a pink cherry tree

Rhode Island College School of Business granted seven years of accreditation from international organization.

The International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE) awarded Rhode Island College’s School of Business full accreditation, noting that the school has “demonstrated a commitment to continuous improvement, excellence in business education and advancing academic quality in its business programs and operations.”

“The benefit of accreditation to all stakeholders, including students, is that our academic programs and all aspects of operations have been subjected to intense external scrutiny relative to their overall quality and alignment with the expected standards of business education,’’ said Dean of the School of Business Jeffrey Mello.  “Through accreditation, students, their families and employers can be assured of both the quality and value of our academic programs. In addition, many employers seek to recruit students for internships and permanent positions only from institutions which have been accredited.”
Accreditation was granted for seven years through April 2027 for the School of Business, which currently enrolls 1,100 students. A compliance report must be submitted annually and an interim quality assurance report is due by November 2024, which marks the halfway point for the accreditation period.

Founded in 1997, IACBE’s accreditation process is mission driven and outcomes based. The organization accredits about 230 institutions in 20 countries and 1,800 business-related programs internationally. 

For more than two years, the School of Business collected data and prepared evidence that it met IACBE's nine accreditation principles: commitment to integrity, responsibility and ethical behavior; quality assessment of student outcomes; strategic planning; curriculum and learning opportunities; faculty qualifications; admission and academic policies and processes; resources supporting business programs; external relationships and innovation and continuous improvement in curriculum and management processes. 

To acquire accreditation, the School of Business initially produced an outcomes assessment plan, which detailed direct and indirect criteria for at least six separate and distinct learning objectives for each of the School of Business’ 10 degree programs. Subsequently, an IACBE accreditation member paid a visit to the campus to meet with RIC President Frank D. Sánchez and others to learn more about the college and obtain feedback on the plan. After IACBE commissioners approved the plan, a year-long self-study commenced.  For the study, the School of Business collected and evaluated data pertaining to the nine accreditation principles. An IACBE site team followed up with a two-day visit to campus to verify components of the study.

In particular, the site team praised the Bloomberg Lab and its incorporation into the curriculum, job placement success and career preparation work for students and the high percentage of scholarship, academic qualifications and ongoing professional development among faculty.

“IACBE is very much aligned with the mission and focus of Rhode Island College and provides an exceptional ‘fit’ for us, as evidenced by the presence of similar, peer institutions among its membership ranks,” such as Framingham State University and Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts and Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire, Mello said.