AKSOB’s Hospitality and Tourism Management Department First in the Region to Gain ACPHA Accreditation

LAU’S AKSOB Hospitality and Tourism Management department earns prestigious accreditation.

By Chirine El-Mchantaf

The program obtained the accreditation based on its incorporation of ethical and social engagement into student learning outcomes, its first-rate courses and the inclusion of industry stakeholders to enhance the student learning experience.

Setting a precedent in Lebanon and the region, the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) at the Adnan Kassar School of Business (AKSOB) has earned the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA), reflecting the quality of its course offerings and caliber of its faculty, academic staff, and students.

ACPHA, an organization that evaluates and accredits hospitality management programs, aims at assessing and enhancing the quality of these programs at the associate and bachelor’s degree levels.

Following a rigorous evaluation process, the program ensured a full seven-year accreditation (winter 2021-2028), based on its incorporation of ethical and social engagement into student learning outcomes, high-quality course offerings for both majors and non-majors, and the inclusion of industry stakeholders to enhance the student learning experience.

Praising the success achieved by the school’s faculty and academic staff, Dr. Wassim Shahin, Dean of AKSOB, said that this is another star earned by the school’s great team despite these hard times.

“The idea germinated with Assistant Dean, Dr. Guy Assaker, who proposed seeking this accreditation and flourished when AKSOB embraced the adventure giving our department of hospitality and tourism management an additional recognition to the AACSB one, making it the only department in the MENA region with both accreditations,” he said. “I am very proud of the team.” 

Provost George E. Nasr said that the accreditation demonstrates the exceptional quality of academics at AKSOB. “This is a fantastic achievement that reflects the strength and currency of our business programs, the amazing quality and dedication of our faculty and the world-class learning experience our students expect from a leading business school in the MENA region.”

Dr. Said Ladki, chairperson of the HTM department, remarked that the accreditation “was a distinguishing placement opportunity for our students and a fantastic recognition for LAU,” adding, “AKSOB is so proud to further differentiate itself by being ACPHA accredited.”

ACPHA’s accreditation standards require a structured program with sufficient operational independence to enable it to achieve its objectives, and a curriculum designed to meet the program’s mission and outcomes. They also entail excellence in areas relating to instructional resources, student support services and physical, learning, and financial resources.

The accreditation process included the filing of the application, the preparation of the self-study, the on-site visit, and the commission review, to assure the quality of the HTM program and help with its improvement by evaluating the program against ACPHA’s standards.

Bridging the gap between academia and industry, the evaluation process included a self-assessment held by AKSOB’s team of professors and academic staff and an appraisal by colleagues in the industry.

“The self-study report is a comprehensive document that reflects the hard work and insight of the faculty and should become a valued reference for ongoing program evaluation and planning,” said Lead Accreditation and Continuous Improvement Coordinator Samar Aad Makhoul.

LAU President Michel E. Mawad congratulated the school, its faculty, staff, students, and graduates, on their diligent work to secure the accreditation. “This achievement truly represents precious rays of hope and an affirmation that our faculty and staff represent the undeniable essence of resilience, continuity and faith in a brighter future,” he said.