In January 2014, the School of Economics and Business Administration (SEBA) achieved an important historical milestone when it was awarded AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) accreditation. With this new honor, SEBA joins an elite group of business schools recognized as representing the highest international standard of instruction and scholarship in business education.
“This is a watershed moment for our college,” said Saint Mary’s President James A. Donahue. “This accreditation confirms what we have long known—SEBA is a top-caliber business school that is among the best in the world.”
“Saint Mary’s College has a long tradition of offering quality undergraduate and graduate business programs—including the Bay Area’s first and largest executive MBA program,” said SEBA Dean Zhan Li. “Earning AACSB accreditation was an essential next step in our on-going efforts to become an internationally recognized business school for developing individuals who think globally and lead responsibly.”
With its first set of standards adopted in 1919, AACSB accreditation is considered the longest standing, most recognized form of professional accreditation business schools can earn. Challenging post-secondary educators to pursue excellence and continuous improvement through their business programs, AACSB provides internationally recognized, specialized accreditation for business and accounting programs at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral level. Less than five percent of the world’s business programs have earned AACSB accreditation.
SEBA’s accreditation represents a culmination of more than 15 years of work at SMC. To become AACSB-accredited, an institution must satisfy the eligibility requirements and meet the organization’s rigorous accreditation standards. The application and assessment process spans a long period of mentorship, self-assessment, re-alignment, and evaluation.
“Reaching our goal of accreditation was a team effort that required the full commitment and dedication of our faculty and staff, as well as the wider Saint Mary’s community” said Larisa Genin, associate dean of accreditation and undergraduate programs. “The AACSB accreditation process helped us design and implement a robust framework for proactively identifying and strengthening our processes for sustaining growth.”
Pursuit of the AACSB accreditation has transformed and strengthened SEBA in many ways over the past several years, including shaping the school’s vision, mission and strategic planning; bolstering the strength of its faculty; elevating attention to student support, experience and success; instituting new levels of assessment processes; increasing the school’s engagement with business communities and alumni; and creating a culture of excellence.
“The enhancements SEBA has made as a result of the AACSB process will benefit our students well into the future,” said Saint Mary’s College Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Beth Dobkin. “This outstanding achievement by SEBA faculty and staff truly demonstrates Saint Mary’s commitment to academic excellence.”
“Undertaking the AACSB accreditation process is often long and challenging,” said Dean Li. “However, the process has strengthened our ability to offer our students the best education possible, and has positioned us well for future success. I look forward to working with students, faculty, staff, alumni and local communities to further advance our School, as we continue to build upon this monumental success.”