General Information

This section contains basic information about the operations of ACEJMC. Scroll through the sections, or click on the item you wish to see.


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The Nature of Accreditation | top

"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.

"Accreditation is an integral part of our system of higher education. Our system consists of both public and private institutions with a wide range of types of missions, from national research universities and regional comprehensive institutions to liberal arts colleges and very small faith-related colleges to community colleges and vocational institutions. The genius of this system is that, unlike other countries, we do not have mandatory national curricula for colleges; we do not have a national ministry of education that regulates academic standards; and students are free to choose what type of education they pursue depending on their ability and educational goals. Because it developed from this diverse set of institutions, accreditation is a flexible and adaptive process. Institutions that seek accreditation can do so from a wide range of accrediting organizations -- from national bodies that are oriented to a particular type of institution, to regional organizations that encompass a wide range of types of institutions, to specialized organizations that focus on a single discipline or profession."

Council for Higher Education Accreditation

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ACEJMC Mission Statement | top

The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications is dedicated to excellence and high standards in professional education in journalism and mass communications.  The Council endorses professional education that recognizes and incorporates technological advances, changing professional and economic practice, and public interests and demands. 

The Council believes that students can best prepare for careers in journalism and mass communications by studying in accredited professional programs at colleges and universities.  The Council embraces the value of a broad, multidisciplinary curriculum that nurtures critical thinking, analytic reasoning and problem-solving skills that are the essential foundation for journalism and mass communications education.

The Council is committed to freedom of inquiry, freedom of expression and freedom of the press as indispensable values in a free society.  It expects the professional education offered by accredited programs to encourage inquiry, dissent and free expression. 

To serve this mission, the Council has established educational requirements and standards and provides a process of voluntary program review by professionals and educators, awarding accredited status to programs that meet its standards.  Through this process, the Council assures students, parents, journalism and mass communications professionals and the public that accredited programs meet rigorous standards for professional education.

The Council recognizes and safeguards the individual nature of each accredited program.  It encourages educational innovation by programs in their efforts to meet accreditation requirements and standards to prepare students for careers in journalism and mass communication around the world.

-- Revised and approved by the Accrediting Council Aug. 23, 2013

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ACEJMC Vision Statement | top

Journalism and mass communications are among the most vital forces in the maintenance of society and are fundamental to a democratic government and a free society.  These forces transmit and interpret culture and bind society together; they seek to protect the rights of citizens and to inform and enlighten them as they pursue their public and private interests; and they embody the values of free inquiry, dissent and expression. 

Journalism and mass communications demand integrity, fairness, understanding and skill from both the professionals who practice journalism and mass communications and from the educators who teach the professionals of tomorrow.

To sustain its mission of fostering high standards for the educational preparation of journalism and mass communications professionals, the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications dedicates itself to provide leadership to:                 

  1. Establish, preserve and advance standards of excellence in journalism and mass communications education.

  2. Monitor and report on trends and developments in the fields served by accredited programs in journalism and mass communications.

  3. Provide a forum for journalism and mass communications educators and professionals to assess the effects of these trends and developments on professional practice and business models to ensure that educational requirements and standards are rigorous and current.

  4. Assist journalism and mass communications programs to understand professional and academic standards and to seek accreditation.

  5. Convey to students, parents, educators, journalism and mass communications  professionals and the public the value and benefits of accreditation and its role to ensure accredited programs meet rigorous and current standards of quality in professional education in journalism and mass communications.


    -- Revised and approved by the Accrediting Council Aug. 23, 2013

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The Purposes and Benefits
of Accreditation
| top

Journalism and mass communications are vital forces in democratic societies, and sound intellectual training and competence are essential for those who engage in them.

The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) is a voluntary agency that strives to stimulate and encourage sound educational programs in these fields. The Council seeks to define and gain wide acceptance for standards of education for careers in journalism and mass communications.

Accreditation serves students, parents, faculty, employers, universities, and the public at large. It is intended to ensure continued improvement in the quality of instruction in journalism and mass communications through re-evaluation, including a thorough and useful self-study, at six-year intervals.

Further, accreditation provides administrators and faculty with the stimulation that comes from exchanging viewpoints with persons outside their own institutions and outside the academy. The accreditation process provides a forum for hearing and acting on complaints by students, faculty, and the public.

Finally, it ensures that journalism and mass communications education continues to provide both breadth and depth of exposure to the liberal arts and sciences.

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The History and Structure
of ACEJMC
| top

The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications is the agency formally recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) for accrediting programs for professional education in journalism and mass communications in institutions of higher learning.

The structure for evaluating and accrediting journalism and mass communications programs was established in 1945, when the American Council on Education in Journalism was formed. Its name was changed to the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalis m and Mass Communications in 1980. The Council originally was an association of journalism education and newspaper organizations. Its membership now includes national and international associations representing newspapers, broadcasting, advertising, photo journalism, public relations, professional societies, and education in journalism and mass communications. Its three public members are affiliated with neither industry nor education in journalism and mass communications.

Membership on the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications is open to all membership associations of educators or professionals (including foundations related to such associations) that are involved with the professional education of students for careers in journalism, mass communications, telecommunications and other media. Admission to the Council is subject to approval by a majority of the Accrediting Council.

The Council is assisted in its work by the office of an executive director, an Accrediting Committee, an Executive Committee, teams that conduct site visits, and an Appeals Board. The executive director maintains records, provides assistance regarding the self-study process, provides names of persons who are qualified to serve as consultants to units, and arranges site visits and meetings for the Council.

The Council elects an Accrediting Committee composed of journalism and mass communications educators and industry representatives to advise it on the accreditation status of journalism and mass communications units. A majority of Accrediting Committee members are educators. The Committee meets each spring to make its recommendations based on the reports prepared by the visiting teams and responses from the institutions.

The members of a visiting team are persons competent to evaluate the units and curricula offered by a particular institution. The institution to be visited approves visiting team members before invitations are made to the individuals.

The Council consists of representatives of its member associations and of the public. Its rules give industry and educator members equal votes. The Council makes decisions about the accreditation of visited units, the periodic revision of its standards and procedures, and the publication of information about accreditation of journalism and mass communications programs. The Council usually meets twice each year.

The Council elects a president and a vice president from the representatives who compose it. The Council also selects its executive director.

The president and vice president of the Accrediting Council and the Executive Director compose the Executive Committee. This committee assists the Executive Director and the Council president in responding to questions and in providing guidance and recommendations for decisions the president may have to make before the next full Council meeting.

The Appeals Board, appointed each year by the president, hears appeals from schools and departments regarding accreditation decisions made by the Council.

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Officers and Executive Director’s staff | top

President, Accrediting Council
David Boardman
Dean and Professor
School of Media and Communication
334A Annenberg Hall, Temple University
2020 N. 13th St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19122
(215)204-4822
dboardman@temple.edu

Vice President, Accrediting Council
Doug Anderson
Dean Emeritus, College of Communications, Pennsylvania State University
Senior Research Professor, Walter Cronkite School
of Journalism and Mass Communication
Arizona State University
555 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85004
(602)496-5555
daa7@psu.edu

Chair, Accrediting Committee
Will Norton
Dean, Edwin and Becky Meek School of Journalism and New Media
University of Mississippi
University, MS 38677
(662)915-7146
Fax: (662) 915-7765
Email: hwnorton@olemiss.edu

Vice Chair, Accrediting Committee
Christopher Callahan
Dean and University Vice Provost
Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Arizona State University
555 North Central Ave., Suite 302
Phoenix, AZ 85004-1248
(602)496-5012 Fax: (602)496-5116
Email: Christopher.callahan@asu.edu

Executive Director
Susanne Shaw
Stauffer-Flint Hall
1435 Jayhawk Blvd.
University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS 66045 - 7575
(785) 864-3986
Email: sshaw@ku.edu

Assistant to the Executive Director
Cindy Reinardy
Stauffer-Flint Hall
1435 Jayhawk Blvd.
University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS 66045 - 7575
(785) 864-7640
Email: creinardy@ku.edu

Office Staff
Cheryl Klug
Stauffer-Flint Hall
1435 Jayhawk Blvd.
University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS 66045 - 7575
(785) 864-3973
Email: cklug@ku.edu

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