In April 2018, the Robins School of Business received its confirmation of reaccreditation from The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

“The school has to meet 12 different standards, and it’s a quality assurance process that we are delivering the quality of education that we say we are,” said Jim Monks, associate dean of undergraduate business programs and director of assessment and accreditation.

He, along with Darrell Walden, chair of the accounting department, led the reaccreditation process for the business and accounting programs.

It’s a five-year process, but made easier Monks says by the dedication of the Robins School faculty and staff.

“We have high quality faculty that are committed to the education of our students, in addition to being so student-focused, so we’re able to put out a level of research that is quite impressive given the amount of time we spend teaching and working with our students,” Monks said.

The standards for accreditation include assurance of learning, faculty qualifications, adequate resources to support school functions, and strategic planning. Monks says the Robins School meets these qualifications because of the high standard of learning that goes on outside the classroom.

“There’s a lot that goes on in this building beyond standing in front of a class. We have great classroom instructors, but we also offer numerous experiential learning opportunities that enhance students’ education,” Monks said.

In the reaccreditation presentation, he recounted student experiences at international competitions, the professional development conference, Q-camp, a road trip to Wall Street to network with alumni, study abroad programs, faculty-student research, and the award-winning clubs on campus.

“I think we execute the teacher-scholar model very well,” Monks said. “We also have a hands-on philosophy, ensuring that students engage in experiential learning as well as learning in the classroom.”

Walden prepared the presentation for the accounting program, and said its high-caliber students set the program apart.

"Our high-quality accounting program graduates the majority of accounting majors CPA-ready in four years and not five years like other programs," Walden said. "Richmond graduates’ CPA exam pass rates significantly exceed Virginia and national averages over the last five years according to NASBA. Over 80% of job-seeking graduates are hired full-time by top CPA and consulting firms."

The AACSB review team visited campus in March, with representatives from Brigham Young University, Santa Clara University, Villanova University, and Lehigh University. Monks says meeting with them helps clarify the strengths and weaknesses of the Robins School.

“We had a really good review team, and that process can be helpful with receiving feedback on best practices and what other leading institutions do that’s outside the formal review process,” Monks said.

The review team provided an opportunity for Robins School leadership to reflect on the accomplishes of the past five years, and learn how to grow from them.

“It forces you to be self-examining, and I think that’s valuable,” Monks said.

You can find out more about the AACSB accreditation process here.