When searching for the best graduate program, prospective students often rely on a school’s accreditation status to judge its quality. If you are looking to advance your career in construction to the highest management levels by earning a master’s degree, you may have noticed that some leading programs are accredited by the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE). Although there are over 70 baccalaureate programs accredited by ACCE, only five master’s programs in the country have received this accreditation, including Louisiana State University’s Master of Science in Construction Management (MSCM) Online.
This accreditation may have a clear impact on which institution you choose, but what does ACCE accreditation actually mean? What does it say about what you can expect from a school’s construction management degree program and the program’s standards? And how will earning a master’s degree from an ACCE-accredited program like LSU’s benefit your career or even the construction industry as a whole?
What Does Accreditation Mean?
The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) defines higher education accreditation as “a collegial process of self-review and peer review for improvement of academic quality and public accountability of institutions and programs. This quality review process occurs on a periodic basis, usually every 3 to 10 years.” Basically, accreditation councils and organizations use structured criteria of evaluation — both self-evaluation by the school and external evaluation by the accreditation body — to measure and ensure a school’s quality and achievement in teaching and student learning and current relevance to that program’s field.
What Does ACCE Accreditation Tell You About a Program?
Simply stated by ACCE: “The mission of ACCE is to be a leading global advocate of quality construction education; and to promote, support, and accredit quality construction education programs.” ACCE accomplishes this mission through rigorous evaluation of school organizational structure, teaching standards and accountability, program curricula and content, specified learning outcomes, student work, and student achievement. ACCE accreditation tells you that a construction management degree program meets the highest standards of quality education and relevance to current industry practices, technology and trends.
What Are the Benefits of ACCE Accreditation?
By ensuring high standards and promoting continued improvement in construction management education, ACCE accreditation benefits many sides of the construction industry. At the most basic level, students can trust the quality of the education they are investing their time and financial resources in, the knowledge and skills they will gain, and the positive impact on their future employment options and ability to perform on the job.
More and more employers in the construction field are looking for management-level employees with a graduate level education in all aspects:
- Best practices.
- Current technologies.
- Leadership skills.
- Communication skills.
- Organizational management.
Employers can be confident that applicants with degrees from ACCE-accredited master’s programs have received a thorough education addressing all facets of construction management.
In promoting and ensuring high quality education, the benefit of ACCE accreditation stretches beyond the student and future employer. Programs like LSU’s MS in Construction Management Online can help push the field forward, improving the profession as a whole. In this way, holding schools to a high standard of education through accreditation can benefit the construction industry in general.
Going to graduate school can be a substantial investment, even considering the convenience and savings of online programs like LSU’s MS in Construction Management. Yet earning a master’s degree in this field can help you ascend to and be effective at the management level, which generally equates to substantially higher salaries. ACCE accreditation is the benchmark for quality and high standards in construction management education, recognized by CHEA and professionals alike. ACCE accreditation can be useful in choosing a degree program with confidence.
Learn more about the LSU online MSCM program.
Have a question or concern about this article? Please contact us.