In October 2012, the University of Minnesota School of Journalism & Mass Communication underwent the first steps in an extensive review by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC).
The accreditation process by ACEJMC begins with an intensive self-study: a complete evaluation of all the School's activities over a five-year period. Work began on this document in 2010 and was led by faculty member David Therkelsen. The report included detailed information about all facets of our program, including curriculum, outcome assessment, diversity, student services, facilities, outreach, faculty scholarship and service, and a number of other areas.
This nearly 300-page document (with more than 500 pages in supplemental material) was then sent to ACEJMC and five site team members appointed by the accrediting council in early fall 2012.
The site team was led by Christopher Callahan, dean and university vice provost from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication; Jan Slater, interim dean for the College of Media at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Pat Thompson, director of the Student Media Center at the University of Mississippi; and Ward White, strategy officer at Edelman.
At their visit in mid-October, the site team evaluated the School, its programs, faculty and adjunct instructors and the facilities.
In their report, the site team cited the following as strengths of the program: highly productive research faculty, fully engaged students, professional practicums, a collegial environment among faculty and between students and faculty, impressive facilities and a four-year graduation rate at nearly 80 percent.
The site team did identify a few areas for improvement such as adjunct faculty diversity, a lack of public relations faculty and additional staff support for the tracking of internships and career development.
After its review, the site team is recommending full accreditation to the national accrediting committee. The site team's report will be presented to the accrediting committee in March 2013. If the committee concurs with the site team, it will go to the full accrediting council in mid-May 2-13 for a final review and vote.