PR program receives international accreditation
Seton Hall University’s public relations program will receive Certification in Education for Public Relations accreditation on Oct. 13, 2012.
The accreditation is internationally esteemed and will elevate the degrees of Seton Hall PR pro- gram graduates. It will be received at the CEPR presentation ceremony, at the annual Public Relation Society of America conference on Saturday in San Francisco.
Accreditation is earned through the PRSA’s Educational Affairs Committee. The two-part process has a 40-page application and a two-and-a-half-day site visit from a PRSA review team.
Dr. Kathleen Rennie, faculty member of the Department of communications and the arts said the process leading up to the review took almost a year.
“We were really deserving of the CEPR and it was something I had wanted to do for a while,” she said. “Seton Hall’s program has been a stellar program for many years. We knew it internally but we wanted to let everyone else know it.”
Rennie began the application process in summer 2011 and submitted the letter of intent on Jan. 5, 2012.
The application asked everything from educational philosophy, to program goals, to the names of 50 alumni.
It was not until April 2012 that the review team came to SHU. According to Rennie, they interviewed a wide range of students, alumni, and faculty members, including professors who are not PR professors, but teach PR students in their classes.
“It was a serious, smart, objective, review of PR students across the board,” Rennie said.
Reviewers were able to attend “ROPE in Success,” an annual celebration of PR.
According to Rennie, this event helped embody what is done here at SHU: “Help leaders learn PR.”
After judging the program against the eight standards laid out by the Educational Affairs Committee, Seton Hall earned the accreditation.
“Overall, this is a very strong program that offers a thorough education to public relations students who, along with faculty, continue to raise the bar for public relations education,” reviewers wrote in the official report.
“It is no easy thing to get,” Judy Phair, educational chairs committee co-chair, said. “That only 34 schools have earned it is a testimony.”
The accreditation shows the rest of the country that Seton Hall’s PR program is one of the best in the country, according to Phair and Rennie.
It also elevates the status of a degree in public relations from Se- ton Hall, for current students and alumni, according to Rennie.
“CEPR will help Seton Hall’s PR program shine even brighter,” former PRSSA chapter president, Ashley Manz said. “It shows the rest of the country that Seton Hall is the place to become a PR Superstar.”
Rennie utilized PRSSA and Manz to play an instrumental role in helping Seton Hall earn accreditation last year. “I picked them [the reviewers] up from the airport and was the first one to chat with one of the reviewers,” Manz said, “I was 100 percent sure that we were going to get the certification. We had an outstanding year.”
“I was never as proud of our students as I was during that review,” Rennie said.
Reviewers commented on the maturity, smarts, and professionalism of the students.
The hard work Manz put in led Rennie to request that she accompany her to San Francisco for the presentation.
Meeting the pair in San Francisco to receive the accreditation is Angela Chitkara, adjunct professor and Founder and CEO of US India Corridor Inc.
Only four other schools will be accredited this year and Seton Hall is the third in New Jersey, after Monmouth University and Rowan University, to receive the accreditation.
Erin Williams can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. edu.