The United States Sports Academy is taking the next steps toward earning accreditation for its sports management degree programs 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.

Recently, the Academy welcomed to campus ACBSP mentor Dr. Kathleen Cornett, who advised the institution on the accreditation process and reviewed data that had been collected by Academy faculty and staff ahead of the visit. Following Cornett’s visit, the Academy was advised that it could move forward in the process.

The next step for the Academy is completion of a self-study by December 2020, followed by an evaluation and site visit from ACBSP early in 2021.

“ACBSP accreditation is a paradigm shift for the Academy,” Academy Vice President of Academy Affairs 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.

“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.”

“This was a very successful visit and I’m glad to be able to recommend that the Academy move forward with the accreditation process,” Cornett said. “ACBSP accreditation would be important for the Academy because it validates the quality of accredited programs. To have ACBSP accredit your sports management program would be a validation of the quality of what the Academy offers its students.”

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.