Accreditation

Chico State’s Department of Journalism & Public Relations is nationally accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC). Only about 25 percent of programs across the country are accredited. In California, ours is the only accredited journalism program north of San Francisco.

What does being accredited mean?

A team of professionals and academics comes to our campus and talks to faculty, students and administrators. They look through our files, read our syllabi, tour our facilities, really dig into all aspects of our curriculum to ensure we teach important professional values and competencies. When we say, “we’re an accredited program,” that’s saying we have the seal of approval from ACEJMC.

What does hiring someone from an accredited program mean to an employer?

Your boss will be hiring someone with deep training in the fundamentals of good journalism including intense skills instruction as well as a broadly based liberal arts experience. In short, the company will be hiring someone who is ready to take on the professional world in news or strategic communications – but also ready to excel in the world at large.

What does this mean to you?

As a graduate you can set yourself apart from other prospective candidates by putting on your resume that you’re a graduate from a Nationally Accredited program.

Here’s an example:

California State University, Chico • Spring 2012
Department of Journalism & Public Relations
ACEJMC Nationally Accredited Bachelor of the Arts Degree,
News (or PR) Option
Minor

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The following information is from the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) Web site. Students or parents interested in more information on accreditation, check out the ACEJMC Student Center.

ACEJMC is the agency responsible for the evaluation of professional journalism and mass communications programs in colleges and universities. The Council offers this description of accreditation:

To accredit is to assure basic standards of excellence. Accreditation is a system of voluntary self-assessment and external review of educational institutions and of professional programs offered by those institutions. Accreditation provides an assurance of quality to students, parents, and the public. In the accrediting process, the performance of educational units is measured against national standards. Accreditation is an assurance of quality in professional education in journalism and mass communications. Students in an accredited program can expect to find a challenging curriculum, appropriate resources and facilities, and a competent faculty. Accredited programs may offer scholarships, internships, competitive prizes, and other activities unavailable in non-accredited programs.

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation offers the following statement on the nature of accreditation:

Accreditation in higher education is defined as a collegial process based on self- and peer assessment for public accountability and improvement of academic quality. Peers assess the quality of an institution or academic program and assist the faculty and staff in improvement. An accreditation of an academic program or an entire institution typically involves three major activities:

The faculty, administrators, and staff of the institution or academic program conduct a self-study using the accrediting organization’s set of expectations about quality (standards, criteria) as their guide.

A team of peers, selected by the accrediting organization, reviews the evidence, visits the campus to interview the faculty and staff, and writes a report of its assessment including recommendation to the commission of the accrediting organization (group of peer faculty and staff, professionals, and public members).

Grounded by a set of expectations about quality and integrity, the commission reviews the evidence and recommendation, makes a judgment, and communicates the decision to the institution and other constituencies if appropriate.