In School of Communications

The BYU School of Communications has been reaccredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC). The Council voted unanimously at its spring meeting in Phoenix on May 1 to grant reaccreditation, accepting the recommendation of a site team that visited campus in October 2014.

Following that site visit, members of the evaluating team told School Director Ed Adams that, in its combined forty years of experience evaluating schools, it had “never seen an advertising program” like BYU’s.

“It is outstanding. Truly the best we have ever seen.” The site team added that the School’s public relations program is “right with it—among the best.”

Overall, site team members said students’ “opportunities for social media analytics are advanced, compared to what other accredited programs are able to provide.”

Site team members praised the faculty as “current and digitally competent” and “remarkably collegial,” showing respect equally for scholarly and professional contributions.

The team was also impressed with facilities in the Brimhall Building, particularly classrooms, labs, state of the art equipment, and shared space that foster collaboration, research, and creative work.

The vote to reaccredit BYU was the culmination of a rigorous, year-long self-study and peer review process in which the School was evaluated on its adherence to ACEJMC’s values and standards. To be accredited by ACEJMC, schools must demonstrate a commitment to scholarship, freedom of inquiry and freedom of the press, as well as to diversity and inclusiveness. Additionally, curricula must balance preparation for professional practice with a liberal arts education, while adhering to the council’s twelve professional values and competencies.

ACEJMC makes its judgement on nine standards: the unit’s mission, governance and administration; curriculum; diversity and inclusiveness; qualifications of full-time and partite faculty; scholarship, research, creative and professional activity; services provided to students; resources, facilities, and equipment; professional and public service; and, finally, assessment of learning outcomes.

self-study-coverThe School’s self-study report was written by Dr. Adams, associate director Dr. Dale Cressman, and professor emeritus Dr. Laurie Wilson. The 370-page document was designed and produced by Warren Bingham.

In its review, the Council noted the School’s recent progress on the diversity and inclusiveness standard, particularly efforts to increase the number of women and minorities. Adams attributes much of that success to Cressman’s initiatives: “Dale’s leadership on recruiting female adjuncts and minority students, and creating an exchange with Morgan State University, a historically black college, directly led to passing this important standard.”

The Council accredits 114 academic units in journalism and mass communications nationally and internationally. Accreditation evaluations take place at six year intervals. BYU has been continuously accredited since 1985. It is the 17th largest accredited program in the country and the only one in Utah. Since the ACEJMC site team visited campus, the Department of Communications was redesignated as the School of Communications.

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