Northwestern business department earns reaccreditation

The Northwestern College business department has been formally granted reaffirmation of accreditation by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE). The IACBE is nationally recognized by the Council for Higher Education as the leader in mission-driven and outcomes-based programmatic accreditation in business and management education.

In its report following an October site visit to Northwestern, the IACBE specifically recognized these strengths of the NWC business department programs:

Exceptional facilities that support students and faculty
The introduction of micro-credentials based on students’ experiential learning
An exemplary approach to assessment and continuous improvement.

Dr. Jiying (Jenny) Song, assistant professor of business at Northwestern, says the reaccreditation represents a significant vote of confidence.

“The key phrases associated with this reaffirmation of accreditation are excellence, best practices and accountability,” she says. “Current and future Northwestern business students can be confident they are receiving a standout education that is aligned with the most cutting-edge business practices worldwide and that employers are also aware of this fact.” Song noted that Northwestern is the only Christian college in Iowa to receive IACBE accreditation.

Northwestern’s business department is comprised of eight full-time faculty members and four adjunct faculty. The IACBE accreditation covers the department’s majors in accounting, business administration (with concentrations in agribusiness, finance, international business, management and marketing), business education, and economics. During the 2021–22 academic year, 266 Northwestern students majored in at least one of the department’s programs, an increase of more than 18 percent from 2015–16, the time of the last reaccreditation.

To receive accreditation, the business department was required to complete a rigorous self-study, undergo a comprehensive peer review, and demonstrate compliance with the following accreditation principles of the IACBE: commitment to integrity, responsibility and ethical behavior; quality assessment and advancement; strategic planning; business curricula and learning opportunities; business faculty characteristics, activities and processes; student policies, procedures and processes; resources supporting business programs; external relationships; and innovation in business education.

Accreditation by the IACBE ensures that Northwestern’s programs are considered high quality and that the department is functioning effectively by producing excellent student-learning outcomes. The NWC business department first earned accreditation in 2006.