University's communication/journalism program earns accreditation

Shippensburg University’s communication/journalism program is one of 111 programs nationally and internationally to receive accreditation from the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC).

The department received accreditation from the association’s Accrediting Council at its recent meeting in Phoenix, Ariz. Shippensburg is the only member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education to be accredited and is one of the few accredited programs in the Mid-Atlantic region.

According to Dr. Barbara G. Lyman, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, “ACEJMC accreditation signifies our commitment and ability to provide programs of the highest quality at Shippensburg University. To offer a communication/journalism program with the stamp of this accreditation puts us in company with Penn State and Temple. At the same time, here at Shippensburg students can participate in, manage, and lead the various student media groups including the student-run radio, television, and newspaper as well as yearbook, gaining high impact experiences that prepare them for their futures. Thanks to an expert and dedicated faculty skilled in the latest forms of communication/journalism, including social media, Shippensburg University has a standout academic program as validated by ACEJMC.”

Dr. James H. Mike, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, noted that “Having the affirmation of our undergraduate communication/journalism program through ACEJMC accreditation is a testament to the hard work of our faculty and the engagement of our students. This recognition will help assure students and parents of our continuing dedication to maintaining a high quality and accessible educational experience in the Department of Communication/Journalism and across the College of Arts and Sciences.”

According to Dr. Joseph Borrell, associate professor and department chair, “Since the department’s founding four decades ago, Shippensburg’s communication/journalism faculty have focused on giving our students strong professional preparation for careers in media and public relations. I am proud to have this recognition from ACEJMC, which is a reflection of the hard work done by so many who have been building this popular program.”

The accreditation culminates a multi-year effort by the department to gain recognition of the program’s quality. The department received provisional accreditation in 2011 after an initial site visit. The process included completion of a full undergraduate program curriculum update, compilation of student and program data, and development of a departmental self-assessment report.

According to ACEJMC’s website, the organization “establishes educational requirements and standards and provides a process of voluntary program review by professionals and academicians, awarding accredited status to units that meet its standards. In this role, the Council assures students, parents, journalism and mass communications professionals, and the public that accredited programs meet rigorous standards for professional education.”

This voluntary accreditation involves a four-step process, including a rigorous self-evaluation and a site visit by a team of educators and professionals to assess curriculum, faculty, administration, students, facilities, and resources. According to the website, the review is based on nine standards and includes such areas as institutional diversity and the unique mission, situation, and resources of the program.