The School of Journalism and Mass Communication Recommended for Reaccreditation
This week, a site team representing the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) recommended the School of Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC) for full accreditation after a three-day visit to evaluate the program.
“We are very thankful for a generous and supportive report by the site team,” said JMC Director Thor Wasbotten. “It demonstrates the commitment of our faculty, staff and students to create a stronger School.”
Prior to the site team visit, JMC prepared an extensive self study which provided evidence of the School’s performance for the nine standards established by ACEJMC: mission and governance, curriculum and instruction, diversity and inclusiveness, faculty, scholarship, student services, resources and facilities, professional and public service, and assessment of student learning.
During its visit, the site team had the opportunity to meet with the School’s faculty, staff and groups of students, as well as university leaders. Through those meetings, the team gained a better understanding of JMC’s culture and curriculum, and noted the passion for teaching and learning expressed by both faculty and students.
“Students offered praise for the availability of instructors. They consistently spoke positively about how helpful faculty members are,” the report stated. “The faculty spoke with equal enthusiasm about their students.”
In addition to dedicated faculty and students, the School’s commitment to diversity and inclusiveness was recognized and underscored in the site team’s report.
“The students with whom the site team met reflect a clear sensitivity to issues of diversity and inclusion, and it appears these are woven into the School’s fabric.”
During the 2008-2009 site visit, JMC was found in compliance on Standards 1-8 and in noncompliance on Standard 9: assessment of student learning. In August 2013, the JMC faculty developed and approved a new assessment plan that focused on learning outcomes and multiple ways to measure success.
“The report, although very complimentary, also mentioned things that we need to work on,” Wasbotten said. “We are looking forward to turning those challenges into strengths.”
The chair of JMC’s site team was David Boardman, dean and professor of the School of Media and Communication at Temple University. Team members included Jackie Jones, department chair at the School of Global Journalism and Communication at Morgan State University; David Kurpius, associate vice chancellor at Louisiana State University; and Carol Pardun, professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of South Carolina.
The site team presented its report to Kent State University President Beverly Warren at the conclusion of its visit. There are two remaining steps in the accreditation process. In March, the Accrediting Committee will review the site team’s report and can either uphold the recommendation or overturn it. Once a decision is made, the Accrediting Council will make a final decision in May.
ACEJMC accredits more than 100 programs in journalism and mass communication, and JMC is the only accredited program in Northeast Ohio.