Revision aims to support business schools in today’s ranking efforts and help prospective candidates compare programs on leveled playing field
RESTON, Va., March 23, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), a global association representing leading business schools, today released an updated version of the Graduate Management Education Admissions Reporting Standards. The revision, led by a task force of 14 GMAC member schools, aimed to ensure the standards align with the shifting landscape of graduate business education and today’s best practices of identifying gender, race and ethnicity, and undergraduate majors, among other criteria commonly used in the admissions process.
According to GMAC’s annual survey on prospective students worldwide, candidates rely heavily on school websites and rankings in their program selection process. The 2023 survey of thousands of business school aspirants – to be published early next month – shows that school websites and published program rankings were the top two factors in the decision making of individuals considering applying for graduate business degrees. Informed by this finding, GMAC believes it is vitally important that the information presented to prospective students is anchored in a common definition of the terms used by schools and various publications in collecting the data for reporting.
“This work, initiated in response to a strong desire for consistency and transparency from the business school community we serve, is being done to create trust with and among business school admissions professionals, especially those who are new to the field. Without a doubt, adopting the standardized reporting criteria at a large scale would allow prospective students and rankings organizations alike to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges across the wide spectrum of program options available in the market today,” said Joy Jones, CEO of GMAC. “On behalf of the Council, I extend our sincerest gratitude to the task force for the time, effort, and care dedicated to revising and promoting the standards.”
“The task force invested many hours reviewing survey questionnaires and collecting data, as well as discussing proposed revisions over calls and with stakeholders at conferences, to address the tough questions from the business school community on how we can better reflect the many changes in the industry – and the society – we encounter today. For example, there is a growing acknowledgement and respect for identity preferences and an interest in segments like first generation and military students,” said Marci Armstrong, professor of practice, marketing at Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business and co-chair of the task force revising the standards. “Rest assured, we were fully aware of the stakes at hand and did not just rubber-stamp the new standards.”
In 2019, GMAC formed a task force to revise the MBA Reporting Criteria – first published by GMAC in 2000 and adopted by approximately 200 business schools – into Graduate Management Education Admissions Reporting Standards. The standards, subsequently endorsed by GMAC members in the summer of 2020, were meant to be revisited every two years to ensure they continue to guide business schools in distributing reliable, accurate, useful, and comparable admissions data for prospective students and rankings organizations. A new task force was organized at the beginning of 2022 to tackle the review and revision of the standards in three sections – school and program information, application process, and admissions reporting and class profile, supplemented by region and areas of study classifications.
“In the past three years – particularly in response to the global pandemic – our industry has innovated and grown tremendously. A prime example is the delivery of online programs,” said Nita Swinsick, associate dean of graduate & executive degree programs admissions at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and co-chair of the task force. “While the traditional on-campus, two-year MBA remains the most sought-after graduate management degree, there are a great number of programs offering a wide range of flexibility and length and still lead to successful business careers.”
“GMAC will continue to be a steward of the standards and will publish a list of schools and corresponding programs that decide to adopt and remain in compliance with the standards. Adopting and complying schools can also receive a badge from GMAC for use in their outreach materials to signal to candidates, ranking publishers and other stakeholders their compliance with the standards,” said Sabrina White, vice president of school and industry engagement at GMAC. “It is our hope that more members of the business school community – as well as ranking publishers – will begin leveraging these standards to benefit the people aspiring to better themselves and the world through graduate management education.”
Business schools, ranking agencies and other stakeholders worldwide that wish to obtain a copy of or start adopting the latest reporting standards may reach out to GMAC at [email protected].
The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) is a mission-driven association of leading graduate business schools worldwide. GMAC provides world-class research, industry conferences, recruiting tools, and assessments for the graduate management education industry as well as resources, events, and services that help guide candidates through their higher education journey. Owned and administered by GMAC, the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) exam is the most widely used graduate business school assessment.
More than 12 million prospective students a year trust GMAC’s websites, including mba.com, to learn about MBA and business master’s programs, connect with schools around the world, prepare and register for exams and get advice on successfully applying to MBA and business master’s programs. BusinessBecause and The MBA Tour are subsidiaries of GMAC, a global organization with offices in China, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
To learn more about our work, please visit www.gmac.com
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