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“What I am Working on Today” Blog

Re-Accreditation, There and Here!

October 20, 2015

Michael Bugeja, director,
Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication,
Iowa State University of Science and Technology

[1] So much has happened since my last ASJMC post because for the past two months I have been working increasingly on re-accreditation—both as a site team member visiting an accredited institution and as host of a site team set to visit the Greenlee School in a week’s time. That’s why the post is titled “there” and “here.” Let me begin stating right off that every administrator of a mass communication program (typically advertising, journalism [all forms], and public relations) should be involved on some level with the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications [2].

The benefit of being a site team member involves a more intimate knowledge of ACEJMC values and competencies [3]. In addition, you’ll be exposed to what other programs are doing. Innovation is contagious. You’ll see a practice elsewhere that you can institute in your home department or school.

The benefits don’t end there, however.

Also you’ll get to work with some of the finest minds in our various fields, including professionals from newsrooms, agencies and stations. They will give you valuable tips on improving your operation to meet industry standards.

Site team chairs are experienced leaders, and team members come with their own areas of expertise. You’ll be working 10-12 hours per day with them on a site visit, verifying what the self-study stated and analyzing it first-hand in interviews with students, faculty, internship providers, alumni and administrators.

I just returned from such a site visit where I had the chance to work alongside long-time friends and colleagues and meet new ones.

But that’s not the end of the story for me, or the end of this post, because beginning on Sunday, Oct. 25, the Greenlee School will be undergoing its own re-accreditation site visit.

Final preparations are taking shape. In fact, we just distributed the official schedule to all who have a role in our re-accreditation.

This Friday, two days before the site team arrives, we will have a faculty meeting to go over the entire process. That process began for us two years ago at a retreat when we assigned each of the nine ACEJMC standards [4] to our standing committees. We also appointed our program coordinator, Alyssa Rutt, to set deadlines for each committee and keep tabs on progress.

The committee would send Alyssa and me a draft of its standard, and I would add what I could from my director files and edit according to AP Style. Alyssa would mark passages that were unclear or needed attribution or more facts. We also had help from other faculty with copyediting skills so that the School went through each draft multiple times, looking for errors, misspellings and style inconsistencies.

Then near-final drafts were distributed to all employees for more revisions and edits. The entire document was approved in a faculty meeting.




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