Siena Earns AACSB International Accreditation

Janet Gianopoulos In the Headlines

LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. —  AACSB International, The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business,announced in December that Siena College has earned international accreditation for its business school.

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

“AACSB warmly congratulates Siena College and Dean James R. Nolan for earning the highest achievement in business school accreditation,” said John J. Fernandes, president and chief executive officer of AACSB International. “We also commend the school’s faculty, directors, and administrative staffs for their dedication and commitment to continuous improvement that played an important role in helping their institutions earn initial accreditation.”

Siena president Kevin Mackin said he was gratified to receive the Dec. 20 news of accreditation.

“Our School of Business’s unrelenting effort to provide our students the best possible environment to learn was recognized today,” said Kevin.  “This is the highest achievement possible for business programs, thanks to the School of Business faculty and staff, as well as the countless other community members who diligently worked on this endeavor over the past five years.”

The global accrediting association announced that 11 other institutions from five countries also earned AACSB international initial business accreditation.

The institutions become part of an elite group that makes up less than 10 percent of the world’s business schools that have achieved business and/or accounting accreditation from AACSB International.

To earn AACSB accreditation, a business school must undergo meticulous internal review, evaluation, and adjustment — a process that can take from three to seven years. During this period, schools develop and implement a plan to help it meet the 21 AACSB standards that require highly-qualified faculty, as well as a commitment to continuous improvement and keeping curricula responsive to the needs of business. Accounting accreditation further requires the satisfaction of an additional set of 15 standards that are specific to the discipline and profession of accounting.

“It takes a great deal of self evaluation and determination to earn AACSB accreditation,” said Jerry Trapnell, chief accreditation officer of AACSB International. “Schools not only must meet specific standards of excellence, but their deans, faculties and staffs make a commitment to ongoing improvement that ensures that they will deliver a high quality education to students.”

Celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2006, AACSB International is the premier accrediting agency for bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and doctoral degree programs in business administration and accounting.

Siena’s Strengths and Practices 
Highlights of the AACSB Peer Review Team Report regarding Siena College include the following:

Commendation of strengths, innovations, and unique features

  1. The faculty of the School of Business provides a nurturing environment for their students which contributes to the growth and development of the students.
  2. The School of Business maintains a low average class size which fosters close student/faculty interaction.
  3. The School of Business has a strong and involved alumni and Dean’s Advisory Council who enthusiastically support the School.

Effective practices

  1. The school has a new state-of-the-art market trading room (the Hickey‘77 Financial Technology Center’s Will Raub’85 Trading Room) for which it is making effective use in the learning process.
  2. Forty to 50 percent of the students who graduate from the School of Business have participated in an internship while at Siena. Consistent with the Franciscan Values of the college, many of the internships are with non-profit organizations.
  3. The School of Business has established a close community of student and faculty scholars, known for collegiality and faculty/student engagement.
  4. The School of Business has taken initial steps to establish a well articulated course-embedded assessment program.
  5. The School of Business has a very active and involved Dean’s Advisory Council.