The ACBSP Governing Boards have unanimously approved an increase of $100 per person for peer review evaluators and mentors, effective in 2017. This is the first increase in honorarium in ACBSP history, and is the Council’s way of saying thank you to this group of dedicated volunteers who are vital to the ACBSP accreditation process.
Approximately 127 mentors and 400 evaluators, all members who have gone through the ACBSP accreditation process at their own campus and have received specific mentor and evaluator training, assist the more than 90 campuses with business programs in candidacy for ACBSP accreditation. Peer review evaluators spend approximately 30 hours evaluating self-studies to determine what a campus is doing well, identify opportunities for improvements, and document issues that should be addressed during a site visit to a campus in candidacy. The evaluators then spend another three hours on a conference call so the team can come to a consensus on strengths, opportunities for improvements, and site visit issues before they travel to the campus.
Once an accreditation site visit is scheduled, a team of three evaluators travels to the campus on Sunday. The team meets Sunday evening to prepare for the campus visit on Monday morning. The team is on campus all day Monday collecting and evaluating evidence of the ways in which the business programs are meeting the ACBSP standards
for accreditation. Typically, when the team returns to the hotel they continue working together, sometimes well into the night, reporting conclusions and preparing for Tuesday. The team is on campus all day Tuesday and repeats the work from Monday, assessing more standards and criteria. Wednesday morning the team puts the finishing touches on a final draft of the feedback report, which they present to the administration, faculty and staff, listing the top ten strengths and top ten opportunities for improvement. The team members fly home and finalize their report for the site team chair. The chair reviews the report and submits it to ACBSP. The decision to grant accreditation ultimately rests with the ACBSP Associate Degree and Baccalaureate/Graduate Degree Boards of Commissioners, who meet twice a year to review accreditation decisions.
We calculate approximately 56 working hours volunteers commit to this evaluation process, not to mention the time away from home. This honorarium represents approximately $9.20 to $15.17 per hour, which is clearly not a large sum of money. These volunteers serve our members because they are passionate about ACBSP and the accreditation it offers. They are committed to quality and align with the ACBSP mission that states: “ACBSP promotes continuous improvement and recognizes excellence in the accreditation of business education programs around the world.”
The benefit of being a peer review evaluator or mentor for ACBSP is not monetary. The benefits come from the joy of helping others, the joy of learning from experience, the joy of networking, and the joy of doing something good for society. “Becoming an evaluator is very important to an educator or administrator who is seeking the knowledge for ACBSP accreditation,” said Steve Hallman, DBA, ACBSP Evaluator and Mentor.
“As a member of the business program understanding the continuous improvement process is a paramount activity for any service-minded educator. The long-term benefit for an evaluator is participating in the ongoing enhancements in the field, resulting in keeping their own institution current. Site mentors have acquired additional skills and knowledge, affording them the opportunity to share experiences and help reinforce the value of accreditation to business and educational environments,” he said.
This increase in honorarium is a way to say thank you to our volunteers for what they are doing to improve educational processes for hundreds of students, faculty, and administrators. If you are interested in becoming a mentor or evaluator for ACBSP, a training session is planned for ACBSP Conference 2017, this coming June in Anaheim. Visit the ACBSP Events page for more information.