Information Systems Education Journal

Volume 12

V12 N3 Pages 39-58

May 2014

Communicating the Value of Program-Level Accreditation for Information Systems in the College of Business

Jeffry Stephen Babb
West Texas A&M University
Canyon, TX 79016, USA

Amjad Abdullat
West Texas A&M University
Canyon, TX 79016, USA

Abstract: Undergraduate programs in Information Systems continue to face challenges to offer a curriculum that is both rigorous and relevant. Specialized college-level accreditation, such as AACSB, and program-level accreditation, such as ABET, offer an opportunity to signal quality in academic offerings while also remaining relevant to local stakeholders and constituents. Programs in schools with AACSB may face challenges in maintaining relevance as meeting local stakeholder needs may be challenged when a very technical program exists alongside other less technically-incline programs as all programs work to assisting the college in meeting its mission-driven needs. This paper makes the case that program-level accreditation can complement school-level accreditation, but the path to success must be carefully managed. The culture and characteristics of ABET and AACSB are discussed with a perspective drawn from recent experiences in initial accreditation for both. Data regarding each accreditation is examined to determine why more Information Systems programs are not accredited, or seeking accreditation, now that it has been over 10 years since Information Systems programs started to be accredited by ABET’s Computing Accreditation Commission. Several threats, challenges, imperatives, and opportunities regarding operating under both accreditations are discussed from the perspective of a school and program seeking both accreditations nearly simultaneously. This paper holds the position that the benefits of both accreditations can outweigh the limitations, but IS programs seeking ABET accreditation (particularly if AACSB accreditation is in place or being pursued) must be prepared to communicate the value of program-level accreditation.

Keywords: accreditation, assessment, continuous improvement, ABET, AACSB, Stakeholders

Download this article: ISEDJ - V12 N3 Page 39.pdf

Recommended Citation: Babb, J. S., Abdullat, A. (2014). Communicating the Value of Program-Level Accreditation for Information Systems in the College of Business. Information Systems Education Journal, 12(3) pp 39-58. ISSN: 1545-679X. (A preliminary version appears in The Proceedings of ISECON 2013)