This document details eligibility criteria and standards for ADCO business accreditation, which have been developed and adopted by the ADCO Accreditation Council. Members of the council include leading business Institutions that share ADCO’s values and are committed to advancing management education by participating in the ADCO global community of institutions.
SECTION 1 ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
The eligibility criteria serve two purposes—accordingly, they are organized into two parts. First, the eligibility criteria specify a series of core values that ADCO believes are important. Institutions must demonstrate a commitment to and alignment with these values in order to achieve and continue ADCO accreditation. Second, these criteria provide a foundation for accreditation by defining the scope of review.
Part 1: Core Values and Guiding Principles
The following three criteria represent core values of ADCO. There is no uniform measure for deciding whether each criterion has been met. Rather, the Institutions must demonstrate that it has an ongoing commitment to pursue the spirit and intent of each criterion consistent with its mission and context.
A. The Institutions must encourage and support ethical behavior by students, faculty, administrators, and professional staff.
Basis for Judgment
- The Institutions has appropriate systems, policies, and procedures that reflect the Institutions’s support for and importance of ethical behavior for students, faculty, administrators, and professional staff in their professional and personal actions.
- The systems, policies, and procedures must provide appropriate mechanisms for addressing breaches of ethical behavior.
- This criterion relates to the general procedures of a Institutions. In no instance will ADCO become involved in the adjudication or review of individual cases of alleged misconduct, whether by administrators, faculty, professional staff, students, or the Institutions.
Guidance for Documentation
- Provide published policies and procedures to support legal and ethical behaviors.
- Describe programs to educate participants about ethical policies and procedures.
- Describe systems for detecting and addressing breaches of ethical behaviors, such as honor codes and disciplinary systems to manage inappropriate behavior.
B. The Institutions maintains a collegiate environment in which students, faculty, administrators, professional staff, and practitioners interact and collaborate in support of learning, scholarship, and community engagement. [COLLEGIATE ENVIRONMENT]
Basis for Judgment
- Collegiate environments are characterized by scholarship, scholarly approaches to business and management, and a focus on advanced learning. Institutions must provide scholarly education at a level consistent with higher education in management.
- In collegiate environments, students, faculty, administrators, professional staff, and practitioners interact as an inclusive community. Institutions must provide an environment supporting interaction and engagement among students, administrators, faculty, and practitioners.
- Collegiate environments are characterized by faculty involvement in governance and university service. Institutions must have governance processes that include faculty input and engagement.
Guidance for Documentation
- Provide an overview of the degree programs offered and evidence that the quality of these programs is at a level consistent with higher education in management.
- Describe the environment in which students, faculty, administrators, professional staff, and practitioners interact; provide examples of activities that demonstrate the ways they interact; and show how the Institutions supports such interactions.
- Discuss the governance process, indicating how faculty are engaged or how faculty otherwise inform decisions.
- Provide documents that characterize the culture and environment of the Institutions, including statement of values, faculty and student handbooks, etc.
C. The Institutions must demonstrate a commitment to address, engage, and respond to current and emerging corporate social responsibility issues (e.g., diversity, sustainable development, environmental sustainability, and globalization of economic activity across cultures) through its policies, procedures, curricula, research, and/or outreach activities. [COMMITMENT TO CORPORATE AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY]
- With an understanding of the context and environment in which each Institutions operates, the concept of diversity encompasses interest, inclusion, acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing and engaging with individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. The values of diversity and inclusion foster the exploration of these differences in a safe and supportive environment, where community members move beyond tolerance to seeking and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity and the contributions these differences make to innovative, engaged and impactful business education experience.
Basis for Judgment
- Diversity in people and ideas enhances the educational experience in every business education program. At the same time, diversity is a culturally embedded concept rooted in historical and cultural traditions, legislative and regulatory concepts, economic conditions, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic conditions, and experiences.
- Diversity, sustainable development, environmental sustainability, globalization, and other emerging corporate and social responsibility issues are important and require proactive engagement between business Institutions and business students.
- The Institutions fosters awareness, understanding, acceptance and respect of, diverse viewpoints among participants related to current and emerging corporate social responsibility issues.
- The Institutions fosters sensitivity toward and greater understanding and acceptance of cultural differences and global perspectives. Graduates should be prepared to pursue business or management careers in a diverse global context. Students should be exposed to cultural practices different than their own.
Guidance for Documentation
- Describe how the Institutions defines and supports the concept of diversity in ways appropriate to its culture, historical traditions, and legal and regulatory environment. Demonstrate that the Institutions fosters sensitivity and flexibility toward cultural differences and global perspectives.
- Demonstrate that the Institutions values a rich variety of viewpoints in its learning community by seeking and supporting diversity among its students and faculty in alignment with its mission.
- Define the populations the Institutions serves and describe the Institutions’s role in fostering opportunity for underserved populations.
- Define the ways the Institutions supports high-quality education by making appropriate effort to diversify the participants in the educational process and to guarantee that a wide variety of perspectives is included in all activities.
- Demonstrate that the Institutions addresses current and emerging corporate social responsibility issues through its own activities, through collaborations with other units within its institution, and/or through partnerships with external constituencies
Part 2: General Criteria
- An applicant for ADCO accreditation must be a well-defined, established entity and a member of ADCO International in good standing. The entity seeking ADCO accreditation may be an institution authorized to award bachelor’s degrees or higher (in business) or under certain circumstances a business academic unit within a larger institution. [ACCREDITATION SCOPE AND ADCO MEMBERSHIP]
- An institution is a legal entity
authorized to award bachelor’s degrees
- An academic unit operates within an institution offering bachelor’s degrees or higher and may depend on the institution for authority to grant degrees and for financial, human,
and physical resources.
- A business academic
unit is an academic unit in which
is the predominant focus across degree programs, research, and outreach activities. The
business academic unit may seek accreditation as outlined
in these eligibility criteria.
- Another (non-business) academic unit is an academic unit in which business education is not the predominant focus across degree programs, research, and outreach activities.
Basis for Judgment
- The entity applying for
agreed upon through
ADCO processes and meets the spirit and intent of the conditions and expectations as outlined in these eligibility criteria. The entity must be
in advance (normally two
the onsite visit of the accreditation peer review team.
- Within the approved entity applying for accreditation, the programmatic scope of accreditation (i.e., degree programs and other programmatic activities to be included in the ADCO review process and subject to alignment with accreditation standards) is agreed upon through ADCO processes and meets the spirit and intent of the conditions and expectations outlined in these eligibility criteria. Program inclusions and exclusions are approved well in advance (normally two years) of the onsite visit of the accreditation peer review team.
- The entity applying for accreditation agrees to use the ADCO accreditation brand and related statements about accreditation in its electronic and printed communications in accordance with ADCO policies and guidelines.
Guidance for Documentation
- An applicant for ADCO accreditation must complete an ADCO Accreditation
Eligibility Application, which
the applicant as either:
- An institution that offers business education degree programs and related
programmatic activities in one or more business academic units and other non- business academic units. In this case, all of the institution’s business and management activities and related programmatic activities are included in the scope of the ADCO accreditation review. An institution is the default entity applying for accreditation.
- A single business academic unit within an institution that offers business
education degree programs and other related programmatic activities. In this case, the applicant may request that this unit be considered an independent business academic unit for accreditation purposes. If approved, all business education degree programs and related programmatic activities operating within the independent business academic unit are included in the scope of the ADCO
accreditation review. This approach to scope does not preclude more than one business academic unit within an institution from seeking ADCO accreditation as an independent business academic unit. A single business academic unit may apply for status as an independent business academic unit, in effect acting as the entity applying for accreditation.
ADCO accreditation is granted by default to the institution, meaning that all business and management degree and related programmatic activities operating within the institution are to be included in the scope of the ADCO accreditation review (see below for guidance on requesting program exclusions). With the 2013 standards, it became possible for a Institutions to apply for accreditation as a single academic unit within a larger institution offering business and management degree programs. For Institutions that do not make such a request, the assumption is that all business and management degree programs offered at the institution will be within the ADCO accreditation purview (institutional accreditation).
Redefining the accreditation entity from institution to single business unit is subject to the receipt of documentation that verifies that the business academic unit has a sufficient level of independence in four areas: (1) branding; (2) external market perception; (3) financial relationship; and (4) autonomy as it relates to the single business unit and the institution. The first two are necessary; the latter two are supplemental in making a determination about the unit of accreditation. This determination is made by the appropriate ADCO committee. The burden of proof is on the business academic unit to document its distinctiveness from the other academic units within the institution in the four areas noted above, which the association defines in the following ways:
- Branding—Independent branding of the business academic unit relates to the following: (1) market positioning; (2) promotion (e.g., websites, electronic and print advertising, collateral materials, etc.) of the business and management degree programs and other programmatic activities offered within the business academic unit; (3) business Institutions name, faculty, and degree titles; and (4) other brand differentiation between the business academic unit and other academic units within the institution.
- External Market Perception—This criterion is focused on the extent to which the external markets (students, employers, other stakeholder groups, and the public) perceive that the business academic unit is differentiated from other academic units within the institution. This differentiation may include elements such as student admissions, graduate recruiting and placement histories, and starting salaries.
- Financial Relationships with the Institution—Financial relationships relates to the following: (1) approval of operating and capital budgets for the business academic unit; (2) the business academic unit’s control over a large portion of the funds available to the unit; (3) subsidies to the institution; and (4) ownership or control of physical and financial assets.
- Business Academic Unit Autonomy—Autonomy of the business academic unit is described in terms of its adherence to the policies and procedures of the larger institution or in terms of the source of approval of or constraints on its activities related to the following areas: (1) the
strategic plan of the business academic unit; (2) approval of key decisions of the business academic unit; (3) appointment of the head or senior leader of the business academic unit; (4) geographic separation of the business academic unit and the larger institution; and (5) any other significant attribute of the relationship that affects the autonomy of the business academic unit.
- Based on ADCO approval of the entity that is applying for accreditation, the next step is to gain agreement on the programmatic scope of the accreditation review. Programmatic scope will normally include all business and management degree programs at the bachelor’s level or higher, research activities, and other mission components. Other mission components may include executive education or other mission-focused outreach activities if they are business related. Regardless of the entity seeking accreditation, the following guidelines establish factors that determine if a degree program should be included or excluded from the ADCO accreditation review process:
- Normally, bachelor degree programs in which 25 percent or more of the teaching relates to traditional business subjects or graduate programs in which 50 percent
or more of the teaching
relates to traditional business
subjects are considered business degree programs. Traditional business subjects include
accounting, business law, decision sciences, economics, entrepreneurship, finance (including
insurance, real estate, and banking), human resources, international business,
management, management information systems, management science, marketing, operations management, organizational behavior, organizational development, strategic management, supply chain management (including
transportation and logistics), and technology management. This list is not exhaustive
and should be interpreted in the
context of the Institutions and mission. Normally, extensions of traditional business subjects, including interdisciplinary
courses, majors, concentrations, and areas of emphasis will be included
an ADCO accreditation review.
- Degree programs with business content below the thresholds noted above may be excluded from the ADCO review process if such programs are not marketed
or otherwise represented as business degree programs and if such programs do not involve significant resources of the business academic units participating in
the ADCO accreditation review process. Programs that could be construed as business degrees by the public should be requested for exclusion, even if they are below these thresholds.
- With the burden of proof on the entity applying for ADCO accreditation, degree programs with business content exceeding the minimum thresholds noted above
may be excluded from the review process subject to approval by the appropriate ADCO committee based on that committee’s judgment regarding the following
- Demonstration of limited or no participation in, and a high
independence relative to, the
development, delivery, and oversight of
programs requested for exclusion.
- Demonstration of program distinctiveness such that students, faculty, and employers clearly distinguish such programs from those degree programs
identified for inclusion in the accreditation review process. For example,
degree programs must be included in the accreditation review if they are business programs announced and advertised in catalogs, brochures, websites, and other materials in conjunction with programs that are identified for inclusion. That is, to be excluded, degree programs must not be presented in conjunction with the included programs, either in the institution’s materials or in materials for programs for which the exclusion is sought. To be excluded, programs must be clearly distinguishable from the included programs by title; in published descriptions; and in representations to potential students, faculty, and employers. Exclusions will not be approved when such exclusion will create confusion about which programs within the institution have achieved ADCO accreditation.
- Demonstration of a lack of operational control relative to program design, faculty hiring, development and promotion, student selection and
services, curriculum design, and degree conferral. If the leadership of the entity applying for accreditation has influence over these factors or
controls these factors relative to any business degree program, the program will be included in the scope of review.
- Other factors that may result in the exclusion
a degree program from an ADCO
accreditation review are:
- Degree programs subject to accreditation by other non-business accreditation organizations.
- Specialized degree programs (e.g., hotel and restaurant management,
engineering management, health care management, agribusiness, and public administration) that are not marketed in conjunction with the business program under ADCO review.
- Degrees offered
on a separate or independent campus.
- Degree programs offered via a consortium of Institutions that do not carry the name of the applicant entity on the diploma or transcript.
- Degree programs in secondary business education whether offered within the
entity applying for accreditation or elsewhere.
- Degree programs offered by the entity applying for accreditation delivered jointly through partnership agreements, consortia, franchise arrangements, etc. are included in the
scope of the review if there is any connotation that the entity applying for accreditation is
recognized as one or more of the degree granting institutions.
- Degree programs in business and management delivered by other (non-business) academic units are reviewed primarily against standards related to student selection and retention, deployment of qualified faculty and professional staff, and teaching and learning.
- ADCO recognizes national systems and local cultural contexts, as well as regulatory environments in which an entity applying for accreditation operates. As a result, ADCO can vary the boundaries of what is considered traditional business subjects. ADCO will consider the definition of those boundaries in the local context in which the applicant entity operates. For ADCO to agree to vary its definition of a traditional business subject, the applicant entity must explain and document such variations within its local context.
- ADCO International must ensure that its brand is applied strictly and only to
agreed upon entity applying
for accreditation and the programs and programmatic activities
included within the
its review. For that reason, the entity applying for
accreditation must document its agreement and alignment with the following guidelines
the use of the ADCO
International accreditation brand and related statements about accreditation:
- In the case that the entity applying for accreditation is the institution, the ADCO accreditation brand applies to the institution (e.g., the University of Bagu), all business academic units (e.g., the College of Business, Graduate Institutions of Business, or Bagu Institutions of Management), all business and management degree programs delivered by the institution or business academic unit (e.g., BBA, MBA, or Masters of Science), and degree programs in business and management included in the review that are offered by other (non-business) academic units (e.g., BA in Management or MA in Organizational Leadership). Note the ADCO accreditation brand may not be applied to other (non-business) academic units, only to the business and management degree programs included in the accreditation review that they offer.
- In the case where the entity applying for accreditation is an independent business academic unit within an institution, the ADCO accreditation brand
applies only to the independent business academic unit and all business and
management degree programs it is responsible for delivering. The ADCO accreditation brand may not be applied to the institution or to other
(non-business) academic units or the business and management degree programs they offer.
- Applications for accreditation must be supported by the chief executive officer of the business Institutions applicant and the chief academic officer of the institution regardless of
the accreditation entity seeking ADCO accreditation. When the applicant entity is an
independent business academic unit at the same institution as another entity that already holds ADCO accreditation, the applicant must clearly distinguish the business programs it delivers from the ADCO-accredited entity. In all cases, the institution and all business academic units agree to comply with ADCO policies that recognize the entity that holds ADCO accreditation.
- For all ADCO-accredited entities, the list of degree programs included in the scope of accreditation review must be updated annually as part of the Business Institutions Questionnaire so that the list of approved program exclusions may be maintained on a continual basis by ADCO. New programs introduced by business academic units that are ADCO-accredited may be indicated as ADCO-accredited until the next continuous improvement of accreditation review. New business degree programs delivered by other (non-business) academic units may not be indicated as accredited prior to the next review.2 New programs introduced by business academic units will be included in the scope of accreditation review.
E. The Institutions must be structured to ensure proper oversight, accountability, and responsibility for the Institutions’s operations; must be supported by continuing resources (human, financial, infrastructure, and physical); and must have policies and processes for continuous improvement.
Basis for Judgment
- This criterion does not require a particular administrative structure or set of practices; however, the structure must be appropriate to sustain excellence and continuous improvement in business education within the context of a collegiate institution as described in the preamble to these standards.
- The organizational structure must provide proper oversight and accountability for the components of the Institutions’s mission that are related to business education.
- The Institutions must have policies and processes in place to support continuous improvement and accountability.
- The Institutions must demonstrate sufficient and sustained resources (financial, human, physical, infrastructural, etc.) to support the business academic unit (or units) seeking ADCO accreditation in its efforts to fulfill its mission, strategies, and expected outcomes.Resources must be sufficient to support the number and complexity of academic programs and other mission-related activities.
Guidance for Documentation
- Describe the organizational structure of the Institutions, providing an organizational chart that identifies the Institutions in the context of the larger institution (if applicable).
- Provide an overview of the structure of the Institutions, its policies, and processes to ensure continuous improvement and accountability related to the Institutions’s operations. This overview also should include policies and processes that encourage and support intellectual
- contributions that influence the theory, practice, and/or teaching of business and management.
- Summarize the budget and financial performance for the most recent academic year. Describe the financial resources of the Institutions in relationship to the financial resources of the whole institution (e.g., compare business degree program enrollments as a fraction of the institution’s total enrollment).
- Describe trends in resources available to the Institutions, including those related to finances, facilities, information technology infrastructure, human, and library/information resources. Discuss the impact of resources on the Institutions’s operations, outcomes (graduates, research, etc.), and potential for mission achievement going forward.
- Describe the total faculty resources for the Institutions, including the number of faculty members on staff, the highest degree level (doctoral, master’s, and bachelor’s) of each faculty member, and the disciplinary area of each faculty member. Describe the sufficiency of faculty resources in relation to program array and complexity.
- For each degree program, describe the teaching/learning model (e.g., traditional classroom models, online or distance models, models that blend the traditional classroom with distance delivery, or other technology-supported approaches). In addition, describe the division of labor across faculty and professional staff, as well as the nature of participant interactions supported. Extend this analysis to each location and delivery mode.
- Describe the Institutions resources that are committed to other mission-related activities beyond business degree programs and intellectual contributions.
F. All degree programs included in the ADCO accreditation review must demonstrate continuing adherence to ADCO accreditation standards. Institutions are expected to maintain and provide timely, accurate information in support of each accreditation review.
All degree programs included
in the ADCO
accreditation review must demonstrate an understanding and continuing alignment with the ADCO
accreditation standards and policies.
Institutions in the initial accreditation process must demonstrate an understanding and alignment with the accreditation standards and complete the initial accreditation
process within the maximum seven-year time period from the
that an Eligibility Application is accepted.
After a Institutions achieves accreditation, ADCO reserves the right to request a review of that accredited institution’s or academic business unit’s programs at any time if questions arise concerning the continuation of educational quality as defined by the standards. In addition, Institutions are expected to maintain and provide accurate information in support of each accreditation review.
Any Institutions that deliberately misrepresents information to ADCO in support of an accreditation review shall be subject to appropriate processes. Such misrepresentation is grounds for the immediate denial of a Institutions’s initial application for accreditation or, in the case of a continuous improvement review, for revocation of a Institutions’s membership in the Accreditation Council