The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) visited the Shippensburg University Department of Communication/Journalism this week. As a result, the department has been recommended for full accreditation. A final vote will be made by the full council in May 2013.
“Accreditation in higher education is defined as a collegial process based on self- and peer assessment for public accountability and improvement of academic quality,” according to the ACEJMC website.
ACEJMC accredits more than 100 programs in journalism and mass communications. Only two other universities in Pennsylvania have full accreditation — Penn State University and Temple University.
Will Norton Jr. and Judy VanSlyke Turk are the two members from the ACEJMC who came to SU. They sat in on communication/journalism classes, spoke with students individually and in groups, spoke with faculty and staff and met with the student media groups.
The council came to SU 18 months ago and had given the department a provisional accreditation score because it did not satisfy all nine of the required ACEJMC standards.
The nine standards are mission, governance and administration; curriculum and instruction; diversity and inclusiveness; full-time and part-time faculty; scholarship, research, creative and professional activity; student services; resources, facilities and equipment; professional and public service; assessment of learning outcomes.
There were three standards that had not been satisfied the first time around, so when the council visited SU this week, they were specifically looking at curriculum and instruction, diversity and inclusiveness and assessment of learning outcomes.
Since the last visit, the department reevaluated teaching strategies and assessment in order to fulfill the standards ACEJMC suggests.
According to the ACEJMC website, programs that are accredited may offer scholarships, internships, prizes and other activities that would not be available in non-accredited programs.