Kent State Public Relations Major Earns Endorsement from Leading Professional Organization
Kent State University's undergraduate public relations program has once again demonstrated its commitment to excellence, receiving re-certification from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). The re-certification, granted Nov. 1, 2023, affirms that Kent State’s public relations program not only meets, but surpasses national standards, and distinguishes it as the only public relations program in Ohio holding both CEPR and AEJMC accreditation.
“I know that we have something special happening here in Kent State's public relations program,” said public relations major Maddie Goerl, ’24, president of PRSSA Kent. “To be continually recognized for the hard work that our faculty, staff and students put in daily feels amazing. This certification put Kent State on my radar when I was looking into colleges, and I know that this will continue to draw students in from around the country."
In 2016, Kent State's undergraduate public relations program achieved the Education for Public Relations (CEPR) certification, joining an elite group of fewer than 50 programs from around the world. Re-certification takes place every six years, and in March 2023, a team from PRSA's Education Affairs Committee visited Kent State for a comprehensive evaluation.
The re-certification is a testament to the program's continued dedication to meeting and surpassing the high standards set by PRSA. The PRSA certification process evaluates programs on eight standards, including curriculum, faculty, resources and facilities, assessment, professional affiliations, diversity and global perspectives and more.
The reviewers commended Kent State's program on several fronts:
- An exceptionally strong, innovative curriculum emphasizing both theory and practical application
- Opportunities for students to develop digital analytics and communication expertise, coupled with required internships that better prepare students for their careers
- A focus on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging as a potential “model for other programs”
- “Highly engaged faculty dedicated to coaching and supporting students at all levels”
- A robust PRSSA Chapter described as a "force multiplier."
The reviewers also praised the student agency, Flash Communications, which works with Kent State’s central communications and marketing office, as an outstanding practical experience for students and recommended exploring additional opportunities with IdeaBase, Kent State’s student-powered design agency.
“A major benefit from the recertification process is having outside professionals review our program and determine if we are preparing students for their careers in the most optimal manner,” said Senior Lecturer Tim Roberts, who led re-certification efforts. “While we work hard to keep pace with industry and societal trends, listening to external voices is required to ensure we are doing the best for our students.”
Professor Michele Ewing, APR, Fellow PRSA, praised public relations students and alumni for their role in building a strong program.
“It's crucial to note, while our faculty and staff are committed to providing an exceptional educational experience, the dedication and talents of our students and alumni drive the heart and soul of the PRKent program," she said.