With its tradition of maintaining a high standard of education excellence, it’s not surprising that the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication has held professional accreditation since in 1948.
And in 2015, faculty and staff at Greenlee worked to continue that decades-old tradition as the school reached the six-year benchmark for reaccreditation.
A higher education program only receives reaccreditation when it maintains certain standards, and to director Michael Bugeja, it is the most valuable status any journalism and mass communication program can achieve. Since 1948, the school has received continuous accreditation from the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC), which sent a review team to Hamilton Hall Oct. 25–28.
During the October visit, the site team studied the school and drafted a report based on the nine ACEJMC standards.
Before the team stepped foot on campus, the school composed a comprehensive self-study report that encompasses the school’s activities over the accreditation period, including its mission, accomplishments and plans for the future.
During the site team’s visit members reviewed the self-study, visited with faculty and administrators across campus and prepared their own report recommending compliance on each of the nine standards and continuation of accreditation. Their recommendation was made to the ACEJMC Accrediting Committee and Council. The Committee will vote in March concerning the team’s recommendations and the Council will provide a final vote in May.
In her role as program coordinator, Alyssa Rutt helped to complete the self-study and prepared the school for the site team visit. She said there are nine standards a school must meet, including an inclusive and diverse curriculum, an environment that supports and rewards faculty research and innovation, and assessment practices that measure student learning and outcomes.
The process is significant, Rutt said, because it is important for school officials to know their current methods are fulfilling high standards. She said it is a very reflective process and an opportunity for improvement.
“For Greenlee, I think it’s not only important to keep up that tradition, but to keep that promise to our students that we are going to continually look at what we’re doing and to continually assess the learning environment they’re a part of from every angle to make sure students are getting the best experience possible,” Rutt said.
Bugeja agreed, “We’re not afraid of criticisms, because it will inspire change to help students and the industry more.
“I am confident that I am serving in one of the best journalism schools in the country, so I look forward accreditation in the same way a student looks forward to the final grade,” he said.
With the site team’s recommendation of no non-compliances and continuation of accreditation, the Greenlee School is in the best position possible heading into the Accrediting Committee and Council meetings in March and May.
Greenlee’s accreditation timeline
October 2015: Site team visits the Greenlee School and prepares the Site Visit Report
December 2015: Site Visit Report is finalized and submitted to ACEJMC Executive Director
March 2016: ACEJMC Committee reviews the Site Visit Report and votes on accreditation status based on the site team’s recommendation.
May 2016: ACEJMC Council reviews the Site Visit Report and ACEJMC Committee gives the final vote on accreditation status.
- May 2016: Official accreditation status is granted. The Council will grant one of three statuses: accreditation, provisional accreditation or denial.