Why is accreditation important?
If you have ever reviewed degree programs in depth, you may have noticed that most list some sort of program accreditation on their website. Accreditation can be a vital term for college prospects looking for high quality degree programs, since it is generally required for most career positions.
Accreditation is the process of reviewing a college’s degree program to ensure that it contains all of the necessary elements according to generalized standards. This thorough review process looks at the course list, instructors, and degree requirements and compares these factors to what is require for accreditation.
In order to maintain current with societal expectations and new research in the field, accreditation can occur regularly over the course of a program’s availability. As the standards change, schools may be expected to modify their programs to continuously meet these expectations.
As a student choosing a degree program, the choice of an ACEJMC accredited program can help you rest assured that you are making the right investment for your future. Our team has put together this guide to help you learn more about this type of accreditation and the programs currently available to you in the U.S.
How is accreditation earned?
When a college is interested in obtain accreditation for one of its degree programs, it must first prepare an official application and self-report. In this detailed report, colleges must give specific information about their program, the instructors, and the path to graduation.
Once the materials are received by the accreditation agency, professionals will take all of the documents received and conduct an intensive and collective review of the college’s application. This may involve several different professionals so that bias and researcher error are not factors in the decision-making process.
After all of the documentation has been properly reviewed, the accreditation agency will then conduct an on-site visit and examination of the school’s program. This on-campus meeting may consist of volunteers, accreditation agency staff, or collegiate peers of the institution.
The final step in the initial accreditation process is the final decision. The accreditation agency’s commission on approvals can meet and review all paperwork from the initial application, first review, and field visit. If the program is approved for accreditation, the university may then be notified of the decision.
Accreditation is not a terminal designation. In order for programs to maintain their accreditation, they must submit renewal documentation prior to the expiration of their current accreditation period. The ACEJMC currently accredits schools for a term of 6 years.
How do I know if my chosen program is accredited?
In the technological age that you live in, most universities offer detailed descriptions of their degree programs online. One university that currently offers an accredited Masters in Communication program lists the accreditation information for the program on the main degree web page.
In some cases, this information may not be as obviously placed as the college noted above. You can verify the accreditation information of your degree program either by contacting your school directly or searching for accredited programs through the ACEJMC website.
Benefits of choosing a ACEJMC accredited degree program
The ACEJMC accreditation council sets their standards based upon current technology in the field, as well as around the expectations of consumers and scholars in the field. It is the council’s belief that students participating in accredited degree programs have better opportunities for high quality learning and growth during their experiences.
There are many degree programs both campus-based and online that offer students degree programs without the guarantee of accreditation. These programs may be loosely based off of the recommendations for accreditation, without any true review process for their reliability.
Employers that hire recent graduates from communications degree programs often look for applicants that have received their education through accredited and reliable programs. The quality of accredited programs can lead to the development of able and knowledgeable professionals for entry into the field.
Taking the extra time to review the accreditation status of your chosen degree program can pay off for you as you transition into the workforce from your educational program. High quality educational programs can leave you with in-depth knowledge and experience that can help you jump-start your career in the best way possible.
Example ACEJMC Accredited Programs
Interested learners can browse through the ACEJMC’s 113 accredited degree programs through visiting the organization’s website. Our team has spent a significant amount of time reviewing the programs that have achieved accreditation through this agency in an effort to provide you with a few examples of what is available.
The ACEJMC accredits both bachelor’s and master’s programs in this field. Some schools only offer undergraduate accredited programs, while others offer both bachelor’s and master’s programs. If you are interested in transitioning from bachelor’s to master’s at one university, there are numerous options with varying specialties to choose from.
Take a look at some of the ACEJMC accredited programs currently offered to new students all over the U.S. These programs can be your gateway to success in the fields of communication and journalism.
- The University of Alabama – BA in Communication & Information Sciences, MA in Journalism & MA in Advertising and Public Relations
- Arizona State University – BA in Journalism and Mass Communication, BA in Sports Journalism, MA in Sports Journalism & MMC in Mass Communication
- Arkansas State University – BS in Multimedia Journalism
- California State University in Fullerton – BA in Communications
- Colorado State University – BA in Journalism and Media Communication
- The University of Connecticut – BA in Journalism
- The University of South Florida – BA in Mass Communication & MA in Digital Journalism and Design
- The University of Maryland – BA in Journalism, MA in Journalism & MJ in Journalism