San Diego State University’s School of Journalism and Media Studies has once again proven to be one of the finest programs in the nation.
The journalism, public relations and advertising disciplines were all approved for reaccreditation by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. The three academic programs have held this honor since 2009 — an impressive feat, because the School of JMS only became a separate academic unit in 2007.
“ACEJMC accreditation puts us in the top 25 percent of journalism schools nationwide, which is very prestigious,” said Bey-Ling Sha, professor and director of the School of Journalism and Media Studies. “This is important because accreditation provides third-party validation that we offer a high-caliber program here at SDSU.”
Best of the best
The programs are judged on nine standards that test the program’s strength in everything from faculty and curriculum, to diversity and extra-curricular opportunities for students.
In addition to external validation of the program, accreditation offers several direct benefits for current students, including limiting JMS lab courses to 20 students for a better learning experience; and opportunities for scholarships and internships that are only available to students in ACEJMC accredited programs.
“Since we went through the rigorous process of reaccreditation, it basically keeps doors open for our students for opportunities that they would not normally have,” Sha said.
The reaccreditation process began in 2013 and included an in-depth self-study written by JMS faculty and an on-campus visit by an ACEJMC site team in spring 2015.
“The entrepreneurial-thinking, hard-working faculty are keeping ahead of the twists and turns in the industry to ensure the curriculum is a blend of the highest quality conceptual and skills instruction,” the ACEJMC site team said in the report where they suggested full accreditation of the program.
Two specific highlights of the site team’s report included the up-to-date curriculum and the quality of research and scholarship done by current JMS faculty. The JMS faculty have been recognized with 26 awards and honors for their work in the last six years.
“The fact that we are so strong in curriculum and faculty scholarship really reflects our School’s embracing of the teacher-scholar model at SDSU,” Sha said.