CWU News

CWU College of Business Maintains Prestigious AACSB Accreditation

The Central Washington University College of Business has again earned the prestigious accreditation of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AASCB). Only five percent of business schools globally earn the coveted, quality-assurance designation.

The accreditation affirmation validated the work of the college to link students—and their classes—with the most current and emerging business trends and practices.

Kathryn Martell, CB dean, said that, following a rigorous three-day campus visit, the AASCB review team pointed to CWU’s unique and innovative programs, which provide hands-on experience to students. The team also praised the college’s close ties with industry, along with its highly engaged, committed faculty and staff. Other strong areas within the review included academic leadership, and a culture of collegiality and student commitment.

“We haven’t let challenging financial times keep us from continual improving our programs to launch our students’ professional and personal success,” said Martell.

As evidence of the acknowledged strengths, Martell noted the new CEO Speakers Series. During interactive classroom sessions and workshops, CWU students heard about real-world experiences and lessons learned by CWU alumna Christine Day, CEO of the food company Luvo; and Cashmere, Washington native, Hoby Darling, president and chief executive officer of Skullcandy, the audio and gaming brand.

In addition, management professor James Avey has been named the university’s 2016 Distinguished Professor for Research, CB students created marketing plans, while working directly with global business leaders, including Costco. And CWU students have access to short term summer business “boot camps,” including in accounting, human resources management, marketing, and sport business. They allow participants to visit leading companies to learn about best practices, gain hands-on experience and develop networking opportunities.

Robert Reid, executive vice president and chief accreditation officer of AACSB International, pointed out that just 761 business schools in 53 countries and territories around the world have achieved that status, which he said indicates “a great deal of commitment and determination.”

“Business schools must not only meet specific standards of excellence, but their deans, faculty, and professional staff must make a commitment to ongoing continuous improvement to ensure that the institution will continue to deliver the highest quality of education to students,” he explained.

More students are taking advantage of such quality education through CWU, as the CB recorded a 30-percent enrollment increase this year. That growth can be attributed, at least in part, to outreach efforts, including a recent Yakima event, loosely styled after the TV show “Shark Tank,” in which more than 300 high school and community college students participated in a day-long business idea competition.

Martell added, “We’ve worked very hard to realize the university’s tagline of ‘Learn. Do. Live.’”

Media contact: Robert Lowery, director of Radio Services and Integrated Communications, 509-963-1487,

May 5, 2016