The SOJC has been re-accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC), after a year-long self-study process for the school that included a visiting site team evaluation in mid-February and a vote by the ACEJMC accrediting council in late April.
“The School of Journalism and Communication has seen significant—and in some cases extraordinary—progress since the last accreditation review six years ago…,” the site team’s report reads. “The progress over the last six years builds on the long-time strengths of the school, most significantly a dedicated, passionate, productive and accomplished faculty from a wide variety of disciplines, a strong alumni base, outstanding relationships across the campus,[and] a highly student-centric culture….”
The school has been accredited by the ACEJMC since 1947 and is among a select group of journalism programs accredited since the beginning of journalism education accreditation. The process for re-accreditation takes place every six years. During the re-accreditation process, the school is evaluated on nine standards: Mission, Governance and Administration; Curriculum and Instruction; Diversity; Full-and Part-Time Faculty; Scholarship, Research, and Professional Activity; Student Services; Professional and Public Service; and Assessment.
A detailed self-study including information on each of the standards was compiled by SOJC faculty and administration and delivered to team members before the February visit. While on campus, the team met with faculty and students of the SOJC as well as other UO faculty and administrators, visited classes, examined records, and toured the Allen Hall Transformation-in-progress.
“Accreditation is important to our students, faculty and alumni. Only 109 of the more than 500 journalism programs in the United States are accredited by ACEJMC. The rigorous self-study and review process and the academic and professional standards that are the heart of the accreditation process help us create a high quality learning experience for students. The fact that we are accredited creates opportunities for our students and is a external endorsement of the quality of the SOJC,” Edwin L. Artzt Dean Tim Gleason said.
In its report, delivered to both Gleason and UO Interim President Robert Berdahl at the end of the visit, the team found the school to be in compliance on eight of nine standards, with assessment being the one standard out of compliance. The school has been working to develop and implement assessment plans in its professional majors and will continue to do so.
“Good assessment in education requires a clear set of goals defining what we what students to learn and then establishing measurement tools to see if the goals have been achieved. We have been working hard on assessment for several years and have made great strides. We are working to address the concerns raised in the report and will finish putting a solid assessment plan in place in short order. ” Gleason said.
Gleason calls the overall finding of the site team “very positive.”
The visiting team was chaired by Chris Callahan, Dean of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University and included Bonnie Brownlee, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, Indiana University School of Journalism; Joel Kaplan, Ombudsman, Center for Public Broadcasting and Assoc Dean for Professional Graduate Studies, SI Newhouse School of Public Communication, Syracuse University; Kathleen Kelly, Professor of Public Relations, College of Journalism and Communication, University of Florida; Jim Parker, Director of Internet Opportunities, KPIX-TV, San Francisco; and Bruce Vanden Bergh, retired Professor and Chair Emeritus, Department of Advertising, Public Relations and Retailing, Michigan State University.