Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship continues reaffirmed accreditation


Courtesy of Kent State University

Kent State has the AACSB accreditation and the AACSB accounting accreditation.

Anthony Zacharyasz, Reporter

For 58 straight years, the Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship has been given accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

AACSB accreditation ensures that colleges with business programs meet the highest standards within the respective realms, including educational tools, resources and curriculum.

Kent State has not only been accredited with the AACSB accreditation, but also the AACSB accounting accreditation.

Generally, universities not only have a college of business but also have a separate college or school geared toward accounting that stands out when given AACSB accreditations, said Deborah Spake, dean of the Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship.

Kent State does not have a separate school of accountancy, but offers degrees and programs driven toward the discipline.

Joni Bowen is the director of strategic communication and external affairs for the Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship. (Courtesy of Kent State University)

“It’s not super common for colleges to have both accreditations and we’re less than 1% of business schools in the world to have dual accreditation,” said Joni Bowen, the director of strategic communication and external affairs for the Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship.

In order for a university to receive dual accreditation, the educational institution must earn the standard accreditation of business first before being eligible for further specialized accreditation, Spake said.

The standards to meet the accreditation have changed and evolved since the beginning of the accreditation’s existence in 1916. With accreditation reaffirmation every five years, it is important to consistently meet these standards and expand upon them, Spake said.

Spake has been the dean of the College of Business since 2013 and has seen growth in the college and the programs the university has to offer for students interested in the various disciplines of business.

Over the last five years, enrollment numbers for the college in the fall at the Kent campus were::

  • 2018 – 3,067
  • 2019 – 3,014
  • 2020 – 2,931
  • 2021 – 2,907
  • 2022 – 2,937

“Every five years we’re meeting these high standards that AACSB sets,” Spake said.

In the most recent amendments implemented into the AACSB criteria in 2020, eligible universities have to include a form of societal impact that is deemed positive whether that is on a regional, national or international level, Spake said.

The accreditation also gives eligibility to the university’s national business honors society, Beta Gamma Sigma. Without the accreditation, the business program would not be operable, Spake said.

“It’s important to keep that accreditation because we want our honor students to have an opportunity to join this international society,” Spake said.

Deborah Spake is the dean of the Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship. (Courtesy of Kent State University)

AACSB also looks at factors and measures of quality like faculty members producing scholarly research, improvement within classroom engagement and environment, student graduation rates and retention rates.

“Another benefit is for parents and students knowing that they are going to an accredited business college,” Spake said. “Students and parents can be assured that they are going to get a very high-quality business education.”

The construction of a new building, renaming of the college and the addition of majors, like business analytics, have all been enhancements contributing toward the continued accreditation and success of the college, Spake said.

Spake is familiar with the AACSB organization, as she acts on the advisory committee that initiates other universities looking to receive the AACSB accreditation for the first time. That is a separate committee from the one that reaffirms educational institutions with the accreditation, like Kent State.

Moving forward, Spake looks to build upon the college and continue receiving the AACSB accreditation.

The college is in the process of splitting its management and information systems department into two departments due to their growth over recent years. Business analytics will become a part of the department of information systems and management will become its own, stand-alone department, Spake said.

Due to the success of the programs the college will grow from five to six departments, Spake said.

“The college is made up of our people and our faculty and staff are excellent,” Spake said. “Excellent folks that help our students everyday, provide top tier education and who help make these changes mentioned.”

Anthony Zacharyasz is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected]