The United States Sports Academy took the next step toward earning accreditation for its sports management degree programs after hosting a virtual site visit for a team from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), one of the world’s leading business school accreditors.

In early 2019 the Academy became a candidate for accreditation from ACBSP, a leading organization offering accreditation services to business degree programs focused on teaching and learning. Becoming a candidate starts the accreditation process, and candidates must develop an action plan for meeting ACBSP’s standards and criteria. Last year the Academy hired a consultant to help guide the institution through the accreditation process.

Student Services StaffFollowing the recommendations from its ACBSP consultant Dr. Carlos Aquino and the completion of a self-study, the Academy welcomed an accreditation team of evaluators to campus for a virtual site visit in March. The Academy hopes to have its accreditation approved later this spring after ACBSP sends a team to campus for the final evaluation in April.

Indiana Wesleyan University faculty member Dr. Jeffrey Boyce worked as the accreditation team’s chairperson. He said the Academy is one of the only schools to seek out ACBSP accreditation for its sports-specific management program.

“There are a variety of benefits for schools that become accredited by ACBSP,” Boyce said. “Our focus is on continuous improvement. It doesn’t matter how good your school is now, it can always be better. ACBSP accredited schools are afforded input, guidance, and professional development benefits so that they can continue to improve.”

“ACBSP accreditation is a paradigm shift for the Academy,” Academy Provost Dr. Tomi Wahlström said. “Rather than focusing on offering sports management programs to sports professionals alone, this accreditation will help us to offer sports management as an option to management professionals. We are excited to soon be accredited because of the added diversity we bring to ACBSP in sports management.

“Sport is a multi-billion-dollar industry and there are many management positions available in the field. Rather than getting an MBA with an emphasis in Sports Management from a typical business school, students will be better prepared for these careers by getting a Master of Sports Science (M.S.S.) or Doctor of Education degree from us. We are a genuine sports university, and we know sports better than business schools do. ACBSP accreditation will demonstrate that we also know business and management, and we may very well soon be the first and only sport management program in their roster.”

Founded in 1988, the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) is a global business education accrediting body and the only organization to offer accreditation to all levels of collegiate business educational degree programs from associate to doctoral.

ACBSP ignites a standard of excellence with an accreditation process based on the Baldrige Education Criteria for Performance Excellence. By evaluating aspects of leadership, strategic planning, relationships with stakeholders, quality of academic programs, faculty credentials, and educational support, ACBSP assesses whether or not business programs offer a rigorous educational experience and commitment to continuous quality improvement.