Faculty and staff celebrated the department’s new status with sparkling apple juice during a department meeting.

Last winter, the Cal Poly Journalism Department joined the ranks of the other 117 programs around the world that are fully accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. Here’s what that means …

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The Cal Poly Journalism Department has been fully accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC), joining 117 programs around the world to receive such validation and affirming the department's commitment to excellence and the highest standards. 

“This accomplishment represents years of hard work by the faculty and staff to meet the rigorous demands of the accrediting process,” said department chair Brady Teufel. “In recognizing Cal Poly as one of the best universities for students to learn journalism and public relations, the council affirmed that we’re succeeding in our mission to provide students with an education that covers fundamental skills and concepts along with problem solving, critical thinking and innovation.” 

The accrediting process involved an external site team visiting classes, interviewing faculty and staff, meeting with students and administrators, scrutinizing facilities and equipment and digging into data regarding admissions, class sizes, demographics, learning objectives and more. 

ACEJMC assesses journalism programs along these nine standards: 

· Mission, governance and administration 

· Curriculum and instruction 

· Diversity and inclusiveness 

· Full-time and part-time faculty 

· Scholarship (research, creative and professional activity) 

· Student services 

· Resources, facilities and equipment 

· Professional and public service 

· Assessment of learning outcomes 

Former department chair Mary Glick led the effort over the past five years and was on hand when the council voted last May to grant full accreditation to the program. “I like to think of accreditation as an acknowledgement that our department is ‘firing on all cylinders,’” Glick said. “I'm so proud of the way we came together to accomplish this. Faculty, staff and students all played a role, supported by a group of dedicated alumni." 

Cal Poly is now one of eight journalism programs in the Cal State University system to be fully accredited by ACEJMC. Accredited programs, which are reviewed on a six-year cycle, are eligible for certain external funding and are more attractive to future students, prospective faculty and industry partners. Of the roughly 500 journalism and mass communications programs in the United States, less than one-fourth are fully accredited. 


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