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The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications voted to reaccredit the undergraduate program offered by the VCU School of Mass Communications at the group’s April 27-28 meeting in Arlington, Va.
Accreditation is granted after an extensive internal and external review based on nine standards that include administration, diversity and student services. According to the ACEJMC website, “To accredit is to assure basic standards of excellence,” with only about one in four mass communications program earning accreditation.
In its report, the site-visit team praised the school’s faculty, staff and students, as well as the education provided at VCU.
“Students were overwhelmingly enthusiastic about the faculty members and their professional experience that they bring into the classroom,” the report said.
Dr. Yan Jin, interim director of the School, said, “Reaccreditation confirms what our students, alumni and the media community have known for many years: That VCU has an excellent program in advertising, journalism and public relations education.”
The site team said the School’s faculty members keep “current in trends and issues in the media and professions that they bring into their classrooms.” In terms of scholarship, the team described the faculty group as “productive, and in some cases truly exceptional, and make meaningful contributions to the study of mass communication.”
The School’s faculty and staff members were applauded by the site visit team as “dedicated and hard-working and committed to making students and the program ever better.” Faculty members in the School are “very visible in the academic and professional communities of their specialties.”
The accreditation process occurs every six years and involves four steps: 1) a self-study conducted by faculty, staff and students; 2) a site visit of educators and professors; 3) a recommendation by the national accrediting committee; and 4) a final vote by the national Accrediting Council. Faculty and staff members conducted the self-study during the 2010-2011 academic year. The AEJMC site visit occurred in October, 2011.
The team concluded that VCU Mass Comm “delivers a quality professional education — and a quality broad, general education — to its undergraduates,” and has “a forward-looking and hopeful attitude toward the future.”
Dr. Jin said earning reaccrediation gives the School’s faculty and staff confidence about their mission.
“It is our tradition and collective vision to provide a real-world education that prepares students to go to work on the first day after graduation and continue to excel,” Jin said.
Accreditation site teams include distinguished mass communication academics, administrators and professionals. ACEJMC currently accredits 109 journalism and mass communications programs in the U.S. and one in Chile.