STANDARD #4. Measurement and Analysis of Student

Learning and Performance

Business schools and programs must have an outcomes assessment program with documentation of the results and evidence that the results are being used for the development and improvement of the institution’s academic programs. Each business school or program is responsible for developing its own outcomes assessment program.


Use the following criteria to document the extent to which the business school or program meets the standard for Measurement and Analysis of Student Learning and Performance. Justify any omissions.

ACBSP believes that the learning outcomes of the education process are of paramount importance. Student learning outcomes cover a wide range of skills, knowledge, and attitudes that can be influenced by the educational experience. Therefore, when implementing a student learning outcomes assessment program, careful consideration must be given to the learning outcomes that are most important to the missions of the institution and business school or program and the level of the degree awarded. Accordingly, a business school or program must have established a learning outcomes assessment program to indicate the effectiveness of the process, as well as new directions it might take.

The diversity of educational institutions, coupled with other characteristics unique to a given college or university, suggests that learning outcomes assessments may be conducted differently at each school. While the emphases may vary, the learning outcomes assessment plan implemented must approximate the learning outcomes assessment standard herein described.

Criterion 4.1. The business unit shall have a learning outcomes assessment

To demonstrate compliance with this criterion:

  1. State the learning objectives for each program (MBA, Ph.D., BBA, AA, etc.) to be accredited. A program is defined as follows: a plan of study is considered a program when it requires a minimum of 12 credit hours of coursework beyond the CPC and/or is recorded on a student’s transcript (ex. Business Administration: major/concentration/option/specialization in Accounting, Finance, Marketing, etc.)

Note: Include learning objectives for each program. For example, for students completing the CPC courses and then 12 or more required credit hours in accounting, international business, or human resources, there must be measurable learning outcomes for the accounting, international business, and human resources programs.

  1. Describe your learning outcomes assessment process for each program;
  2. Identify internal learning outcomes assessment information and data you gather and analyze; (See Figure 4.1.) and
  3. Identify external learning outcomes assessment information and data you gather and analyze. (See Figure 4.1.)
  4. Identify formative and summative learning outcome assessment information and data you gather and analyze. (See Figure 4.1.)

Figure 4.1

Example of a Table for Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Data

To summarize for c. and d., above, you might list your internal and external data and information in a table similar to this:
Degree Program Internal Data and
External Data and
Summative Data and
Formative Data and

Criterion 4.2. To identify trends, the business school or program should report, at a minimum, three successive sets of periodic assessment results.

To demonstrate compliance with this criterion:

In tables and graphs, provide three to five consecutive sets of assessment results. Do not use course grades or grade point averages.

Note: You must have learning outcome competencies that are measurable in each core business program as well as competencies in each concentration (12 or more credit hours) associated with the core. As an example, you will have measurable competencies for the MBA program and if the MBA program has a concentration in International Business (12 or more credit hours) and you have an MBA with a concentration in Finance (12 or more credit hours) then you must have a measurable competency in both concentrations as well as the core.

Describe how these assessment results are made systematically available to faculty, administration, students, or other stakeholders, as appropriate.

Note: Ideally, report three to five years of trend data, but at a minimum, ACBSP requires three cycles of learning outcomes measurement data.

Criterion 4.3. Assessment plans should be designed to yield comparative information and data both over time and with respect to benchmarks and intended outcomes.

Report your comparative assessment results. (See Figure 4.2.)

Describe the business schools or program’s selection, management, and use of
benchmarking (comparing to best practices) or comparison (comparing with other
business schools or programs) information and data to improve overall performance.

Figure 4.2
Example of a Table for Comparative Information and Data

You may summarize by listing your targets/performance improvements in a table
similar to this:
Information and Data

Note: Results reported could be based upon a variety of assessment methods and should include current and past comparisons as developed in pursuit of Criterion 4.3. The methods used should reflect the school or program’s primary improvement objectives and together represent holistic appraisals of students (i.e., appraisals with respect to quantitative skills and communication skills, ethical awareness and global awareness, etc.).

Criterion 4.4. The business unit shall make use of the learning outcomes assessment results analyzed in criterion 4.2 to improve its educational processes in the interest of continuously improving student learningoutcomes. The business unit must describe specific improvements it has made to is programs based on information obtained from its learning outcomes assessment results for a minimum of three improvement cycles.

To demonstrate compliance with this criterion:

Identify specific program improvements based on what the business unit has learned from analyses of assessment results.


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