An American Communication Association team has recommended full accreditation for the communication studies and the public relations and journalism majors, according to Dr. Jon Radwan, associate professor in the department of communication and the arts.
The final report will be released in two weeks.
The accreditation will last five years and is a sign of excellence at Seton Hall, Radwan said.
“It’s a mark of professional accreditation, it’s something a lot of other schools don’t have and we went through the labor of really looking closely at ourselves,” Radwan said. “And we measured ourselves against the 15 criteria.”
According to the ACA website, criteria for receiving the full five-year accreditation includes governance, curriculum, instruction, faculty, facilities and equipment, library, faculty scholarship, research and professional activities, public service, alumni, faculty evaluation, tenure and promotion, mentoring, due process, student organizations, budget and student advising.
As part of the process, the department put together a self-study of “over 30 sections and over 200 pages long” of data demonstrating that the department deserves the accreditation that not many other schools have, according to Radwan. “I think it’s something that sets us apart,” Radwan said.
He said that the Provost’s Office presented the opportunity for the accreditation when it offered a grant for the process “We’re especially thankful for the Provost’s Office for putting out the grant call,” Radwan said. “This never would have got started without their initial funding.”
According to Radwan, the Provost’s Office grant paid for “over half the funding” while the department funded the rest.
Radwan said he hopes that the accreditation will allow the University to raise the salary of the department’s adjunct staff.
“The adjunct staff is underpaid compared to competitor schools and we told (ACA) that,” he said. “They said, compared to national standards, your adjunct salary isn’t that out of line. And we said well yes, but we live in the New York metro area.”
Radwan also said that the accreditation, is a great boost for the department.
“It’s a real professional pat on the back for outsiders who know nothing about us to come and say wow, you have a high-quality curriculum, this is great,” Radwan said.
Radwan also said that once the department is officially accredited, it will the be allowed to use ACA logo and state that it has received this accreditation on brochures, the website and advertisements.
With the Certification in Education for Public Relations accreditation awarded in October 2012, this gives the public relations program the second accreditation this academic year.
The three ACA representatives to visit were: ACA Executive Director Dr. Phil Auter of University of Louisiana at Lafayette, ACA President Dr. Jim Parker of Vanderbilt University, and chief information officer Dr. John Malalala of University of Central Florida. During their visit, they interviewed students and faculty, and inspected labs and equipment, and observed classes
Tiffany Do can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.