The AACSB had approved new accounting accreditation standards based on work done in consultation with NASBA and the AICPA, Education Committee Chair Raymond Johnson announced at the April NASBA Board meeting. Approximately one-third of the CPA candidate pipeline has graduated from schools with AACSB accounting accreditation. Dr. Johnson explained the new standards will include several substantive changes: Beginning next year, the AACSB’s accounting review teams will include practitioners. There will be more flexibility relating to faculty qualifications. Quality control over teaching modalities are embedded in the standards related to assurance of learning.

Both faculty and students are to adapt to emerging technologies as well as the mastery of current technology. “The standards talk about developing ‘technological agility ’, which is the student’s ability to nimbly change as technology does,” Dr. Johnson reported. This ability could be achieved through the accounting or business program. He noted the AACSB’s accounting and business standards are tied, as they are “changing simultaneously in a positive way.”

Dr. Johnson also drew the Board’s attention to a proposal to have NASBA’s Executive Directors’ portal provide those Boards that have academic integrity issues with accredited institutions to use NASBA as a clearing house. Regional and programmatic/specialized accrediting bodies as well as the majority of national accreditors have a mechanism to report issues identified by higher education stakeholders, and NASBA could vet complaints and pass them on to the accrediting bodies. Examples of issues might be:

  • Accepting transfer credits from an institution that is not accredited.
  • Increasing the credit hours associated with a course without changing the underlying course content.
  • Concerns about program quality or course quality based on concerns about not following accreditation policies or standards.

    The Education Committee is proposing that Boards be able to report to NASBA via a secure on-line delivery method. The report would identify the institution or quality of the education concerns and NASBA would compile this information and review it with subject matter experts and legal counsel, and then provide feedback to the Board. Ultimately the Board would determine if the issuance of a formal complaint to the accrediting body is warranted. Or NASBA might file the complaint on behalf of the State Board. NASBA could maintain a database of all reported problematic institutions, associated complaints from the Boards and if action resulted from the initial complaint.

    Progress on transcript transparency has been going slowly, Dr. Johnson reported to the NASBA Board, based on initial discussions with the American Council on Education.

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