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AACSB Accredited: Telfer Shapes Future Business Leaders

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Telfer has answered the call of future business leaders. One that asks for quality education, modern perspectives on business practices, and diversity in the workplace. After weeks of preparation and support from a reputable peer review team, the Telfer School of Management has proudly renewed its AACSB accreditation. Telfer rejoins 27 other accredited Canadian business schools, and more than 950 across the globe, in promising to offer top quality education and preparation to its students. 

What is the AACSB Accreditation? 

The AACSB accreditation is historically known worldwide as one of the highest recognitions awarded to a business school. For over a century, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) has been identifying schools that continuously improve the quality of their business education, embrace changeAACSB logo and innovation, and prepare students to become top leaders.  

AACSB recognizes the impact businesses have on society and the people that surround them. Performing this quality assurance allows prospective students to make educated choices about the business education they want to receive and find a school that aligns with their values. 

The Telfer School has, once again, met these rigorous standards with pride and maintains its standing as one of only 2 business schools in Canada to achieve a triple crown of accreditations. The other two accreditations the Telfer Schools holds are AMBA and EQUIS

Applying for Re-accreditation: A Meticulous Process 

Obtaining this type of status is no easy feat. It’s one that requires a team of passionate and dedicated individuals who believe in what AACSB stands for: innovation, engagement, and impact; and months of preparation. Earlier this year, a 50-page report was submitted to the organization outlining the school’s strategic plan and self-assessment. 

Following this report, the peer review team (PRT) visited the Telfer School. The team included Dr. Sanjay Sharma, Dean of the Grossman School of Business (University of Vermont); Dr. Harjeet Bhabra, Dean of the Sobey School of Business (Saint-Mary’s University); and Keith Rollag, Professor at Babson College. A few members of Telfer’s Strategic Leadership Cabinet such as Ian Telfer, Former CEO of Goldcorp Inc; Justine Hendricks, CEO at Farm Credit Canada; Marjolaine Hudon, Regional President of the Royal Bank of Canada; and Rob Ashe, Cabinet Chair, welcomed the team to campus 

"As an alumnus and Chair of Telfer’s Strategic Leadership Cabinet, I have witnessed first-hand how Telfer shapes the future business leaders of Canada and beyond. It was an honour to welcome the members of the peer review committee and I look forward to collaborating with the talented faculty, staff, students, and alumni of Telfer to uphold AACSB standards.” - Rob Ashe, Executive Partner at Bridge Growth Partners and Telfer BCom '82. 

The visit allowed the peer review team to witness the school’s plan in action through thoughtful discussions with professors, administrative staff, members of the leadership team, and most importantly, former and current students. Ensuring that the report holds true.  

“Telfer was fortunate to have welcomed an excellent team of peer reviewers whose perspectives will help continue to move the school forward. My thanks to all the participants who took time out of their busy schedules to meet with the peer review team and share their unique views on the Telfer experience.” – Isabelle Paquet, Quality Assurance Manager, Telfer School of Management 

A successful visit is key to receiving the AACSB accreditation. It is evident that those who walk through the doors of 55 Laurier Avenue East are an embodiment of the Telfer School’s mission.  

Noteworthy Best Practices and Initiatives 

At its core, the AACSB accreditation highlights business schools that are committed to improving business practices through modern curriculums and social initiatives, offering a top-notch education.  

Following the visit, the PRT came to a verdict: Telfer exceeds AACSB expectations in many ways.  

AACSB places a premium on having a clear vision, mission, and strategic plan. The team felt that the school’s strategic plan is “ambitious and comprehensive.”. This includes Telfer’s vision that future business leaders who emerge from this institution will have all the necessary skills to build a “greener, healthier, happier, wealthier and more prosperous Canada for all.” 

“This is a true validation, by an independent external body, of Telfer's excellence.” – Stéphane Brutus, Dean, Telfer School of Management 

Some key initiatives stood out to the PRT such as curriculum changes; equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) initiatives; and the Executive Master of Health Administration (EMHA) program. 

Curriculum Changes 

Two main changes made to the curriculum impressed the team:  

  • Reducing the number of core courses in the undergraduate program allowing for flexibility to take more out-of-faculty courses and obtain a minor in a non-business area 
  • New Bachelor of Commerce course sequence which offers the possibility to study and earn a degree in two business options 

Overall, the curriculum changes will allow students to become well-rounded individuals and gain diverse knowledge. This emphasizes the faculty’s student-first orientation. 

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives 

Here are the Telfer EDI initiatives highlighted by the peer review team: 

  • The Annual MBA Diversity and Inclusion Case Competition MBA students competing at the Diversity and Inclusion case competition.

  • 18 scholarships with a total value of $455,500 to improve diversity amongst student body 

  • Indigenous scholarship offered to students in the EMHA program 

  • The Triple-I Lab (Inclusion, Interaction, and Intervention) 

  • The Empowering Women Initiative: The Role of Emancipative Forces in Board Gender Diversity 

  • Obtaining over $4M in funding for EDI research projects in efforts to become a top-tier research institution 

Educational institutions have a role to play when it comes to EDI. Telfer has taken on this responsibility. 

Executive Master of Health Administration 

The peer review team named two impressive aspects of the EMHA program: 

  • EMHA students at a lectureFirst and only program of its kind in Canada designed to prepare seasoned business executives to become leaders in healthcare 

  • Strong support by the Health Program Advisory Board, featuring members such as the CEO of The Ottawa Hospital and the CEO of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). 

The creation of this program works towards Telfer’s vision for a healthier Canada and demonstrates the importance of lifelong learning when shaping leaders of the future. 

What’s Next? 

With the extension granted, the Telfer School has a duty to uphold standards of an AASCB accredited institution. This means remaining flexible and embracing ongoing change in business, providing quality programs, and inspiring students to change the world. This starts at home, building “Business for a Better Canada.”  

About the Author

Emmanuelle O'Bryan est une étudiante bilingue au B.Com., option marketing. Au cours de son stage de travail dans le cadre du programme co-op, elle s'est spécialisée en marketing de contenu au sein de l’équipe de transformation numérique et d’engagement à Telfer.<br/><br/>Emmanuelle O'Bryan is a bilingual BCom marketing student at Telfer. During her CO-OP work term, she was a Content Marketer on the Digital Transformation and Engagement team.