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Assurance of Learning

What you should know:

What is Assurance of Learning?

Assurance of Learning (AoL) is the methodical process, evaluation, and analysis of information about your degree program and/or major to enhance the program and to improve student learning outcomes. To make sure we are delivering on these promises, we have devoted to the Assurance of Learning initiative that will require the you to demonstrate, before graduation, that you have, indeed, acquired the foundational knowledge, expertise, and skills that we have identified as "overarching learning objectives" and "specific learning outcomes"-for your cumulative undergraduate business student experience and for your degree program and major.

Why the College of Business is committed to Assurance of Learning?

As a college, we are concerned about the quality of the undergraduate business education we are providing to you. We care because:

  • We want to make sure you have the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors you need to succeed, and which current and future employers will value.
  • We want to enhance our reputation as the business school of choice among urban, public business schools and continue to be acknowledged as one that meets the highest of quality standards.
  • We want to exceed the standards and processes for excellence required by the bodies that accredit our school: the AACSB International - the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), and the State of Florida, particularly through its mandated Academic Learning Compacts.

What is Accreditation?

Accreditation in higher education is a voluntary, non-governmental process that includes an external review of a school's ability to provide quality programs. It is helpful in many aspects, from ensuring that you are learning relevant material to allowing students and the University access to funding. Accreditation reviews include self-evaluations, peer-reviews, committee-reviews, and the development of in-depth strategic plans. It also includes reviews of a school’s mission, faculty qualifications, and curricula to ensure currency and relevance.

Is the Assurance of Learning (AoL) exam required for accreditation?

Yes! Student learning is the central activity of higher education. Definition of learning expectations and assurance that graduates achieve learning expectations are key features of our academic programs within the College of Business. In accordance with standards established by the Florida Board of Governors through their Academic Learning Compacts, The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the College has established Assurance of Learning goals that evaluate how well it accomplishes its educational objectives. AACSB requires the use of direct (course‐embedded) measures rather than the use of surveys (indirect measures). Direct measures can be objective tests or other demonstrations of the mastery of skills, knowledge and abilities in the general curriculum or business‐specific areas. For course‐embedded measures, the work of individual students (not student teams) is to be used to assess student outcomes, (exception: assessing “teamwork” as a learning goal). A student’s course grade is not sufficient to measure achievement of the specific learning goal and program objectives.

In order to implement this initiative, the College has established an AoL exam requirement for all students taking MAN 4720 Strategic Management. This class has been identified as the capstone class for all Business and Accounting students and should ideally be taken in the final semester. FIN4486 Financial Risk Management is designated the capstone class for Finance majors.  Additional specific capstone classes have also been identified for all majors and you may also be required to take additional AoL exams in other courses. Please note these are College of Business requirements, the University may have additional requirements that are in addition to these.

How do our students benefit from the Assurance of Learning?

The objectives and outcomes we want the students to accomplish, which cover areas such as critical thinking, analytical thinking, global thinking, ethical thinking, information technology, and communication skills as well as business content/discipline knowledge, also will enable our faculty to improve the quality of their instruction and by extension, your own learning. We do this by continuously finding innovative ways to improve student learning and achievement.

You will be assessed on the extent to which you have met these requirements throughout your study with us, but especially toward the end of your program at the College. Some of this assessment will take place in your courses—like answering embedded questions in course-scheduled exams, enrolling in a capstone course, orally presenting your assignments, or taking a specialized exam. The college, department, or course instructor will notify you in advance of testing procedures that will be used to assess your learning. In addition, you will be notified by the College or on your individual course syllabi if and how the results of these assessments will affect your grade in a course. Importantly, your eligibility to graduate will not be affected.


What Is the purpose of the Assurance of Learning Exam?

The purpose of the AoL exam is to ensure that the College of Business is transparent and accountable to its constituencies and to assist the College and its faculty to improve programs and courses. Graduates of the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) or Bachelor of Accounting (BACC) are expected to demonstrate certain student learning outcomes and this exam partially assesses these competencies. You will be given a mandatory exam, which will be administered on campus. 

Are there more than one AoL exam?

Several types of AoL exams are administered at the College. In MAN 4720 you will each only have to take one of them when you take this course. Your score will be based on your performance. Students scoring 80% or higher will receive 5 points on this exam, 70-79% will receive 4 points, 60-69% will receive 3 points, 50-59% will receive 2 points and 40-49% will receive 1 points. Below 40% will not receive any points. The exam tests you on knowledge, skills and attitudes gained throughout your course of study. While you don’t have to study for it, you are expected to put a good faith and effort to provide your best. Nevertheless, a guide that describes the core body of knowledge a student graduating with an Undergraduate degree in Business is provided in this document. MAN 4720 is the capstone class for Management, Human Resource Management, and International Business majors.  You will take the exam in the capstone classes of other majors as well.

How do we schedule the AoL exams?

Online Students You may be required to come on campus to be proctored or to arrange with an approved proctor at your expense to be assessed in the Assurance of Learning process.

In-class Students You will be assessed in at capstone class.

What are the various types of AoL exams administered in Man 4720?

The Accreditation Office will assign you to write one of the AoL exams as follows:

a) A multiple choice core AoL exam based on ACG 2021, ACG 3301, BUL 4310, CGS 3300, FIN 3403, MAN 3025, MAR 3023, QMB 3200, MAN 4504, MAN 4720

b) A multiple choice AoL exam that assesses your Quantitative Analytical skills

c) A computer based Information Technology AoL exam before the end of the semester. Details will be provided in your class by a DSIS professor.

What is my role as a student?

As a student you also need to take responsibility for your learning! Many of us are busy with our job and family commitments.  However your role is to ensure that you make the best of your education and use it as a foundation for a lifetime of learning and career advancement.  This means you must do your part in being engaged with FIU both in class and through the co-curricular activities like student organizations and other events.  When you take the AoL exams you should be pro-active, do a refresher on the material that will be tested, engaged, and do your best!  The only way FIU’s reputation will grow if both student and faculty work together to enhance your learning and eventually your job performance!

What functional knowledge and core competencies are employers looking for in exceptional Business graduates?

Students who graduate with a Bachelor in Business (BBA) from the Landon Undergraduate School of Business or a Bachelor of Accounting (BACC) from the School of Accounting at the College of Business have been educated in a broad range of knowledge and skills as a basis for careers in business and to contribute positively in the larger society.

Graduates will achieve the knowledge and skills for successful performance in a business environment that is global in scope, thus requiring the intellectual ability to organize work, make and communicate sound decisions, react successfully to unanticipated events, be prepared to interact with persons from other cultures and to manage in circumstances where business practices and social conventions are different than the graduate’s native country. Graduates will also develop learning abilities necessary to promote higher-level intellectual capabilities.  Graduates will attain general curricular and management-specific student learning outcomes as follows:

A. General Curricular Knowledge & Skills

B. Management-Specific Functional Knowledge & Skills