Oh sure, the T-shirt is funny.
The lack of quality education behind it? Not so much.
Going back to college as an adult is no laughing matter. It takes time, effort, dedication, commitment and a whole host of other things to go back to school—especially if you’re juggling work, home, family and life responsibilities, too.
The payoff is well worth the effort, though, since a college degree can help you fast-track a job promotion or launch a new career.
It’s wise to do your homework when deciding where you’ll pursue your degree. These days, just about anyone can offer a degree for a fee (think degree mills and diploma houses). Instead, make sure you enroll in a college or university known for high academic quality.
How? By choosing one with academic accreditation.
Academic accreditation helps ensure that the college or university of your choice delivers quality education while also being committed to continuous improvement.
According to the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), an accrediting body that provides specialized accreditation for business programs (including some of Franklin University’s business programs), only half of U.S. college and university business programs are accredited.
That means you cannot just assume accreditation: You have to look for it. You have to ask for it.
Academic accreditation is a real and tangible way for you and your current or future employer to be assured of the academic excellence behind your degree. While the accreditation process varies by accrediting body, it always follows a well-defined and comprehensive methodology to ensure that the college or university meets key standards while demonstrating high-quality, measurable results.
Here are some other secrets from the IACBE for discerning academic quality standards in business education.
The college or university should:
- Strive for higher levels of performance
- Engage in a strategic planning process
- Employ an outcomes assessment process to promote continuous program improvement
- Encourage innovation and creativity
- Create meaningful connections to the business community
- Use best practices curricula
- Ensure that students are prepared for a changing global business environment
For many universities with both program-specific and general accreditations, ensuring academic quality goes beyond the degree program to also include the quality of the overall learning experience and availability of student resources. Do your homework and make sure you enroll at a university that seeks continuous improvements toward better student learning outcomes and greater teaching effectiveness so that the time you invest in going back to school isn’t merely for show.