JMC recommended for reaccreditation


Bruce Zake and Scott Galving help photojournalism students learn how to develop a workflow at the FocalPoint meeting Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014.

Jessica Darling

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication was recommended for reaccreditation after a site team representing the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC) visited during the week of Jan. 19.

The site team arrived about two weeks ago for a three-day evaluation of the JMC program at the Kent State campus. 

“The site visit went over very well,” said JMC director Thor Wasbotten. “If you read the report you would see that, we believe, for the first time in probably 30 years, our school was found in compliance on all nine standards.”

Before the site team visited, the school prepared a self-evaluation based off of the nine standards set by the ACEJMC. Those standards include: mission, governance and administration; curriculum and instruction; diversity and inclusiveness; full-time and part-time faculty; scholarship: research, creative and professional activity; student services; resources, facilities and equipment; professional and public service; and assessment of learning outcomes.

The reaccreditation process occurs every six years to ensure the school is still in compliance with the standards. It also highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the school.

“Where they were concerned is our faculty diversity,” Wasbotten said. “As we hire faculty, we have a policy within our school to always have a member of our Diversity and Globalization Committee as a member of every search committee.”

Another weakness listed on the report is the Digital Media Production sequence, which was also listed as a weakness six years ago.

“It was listed as a weakness, but for a different reason,” Wasbotten said. “The reason six years ago was truly talking about the equipment itself widespread.” 

Since then, JMC has invested in the equipment the students use for digital media production.

“There is an audio room downstairs,” Wasbotten said. “There are really four rooms with five audio spots. Three of them are new since 2008. The one that I think really they drew into question is one that I have meetings set up already with potential donors to help us improve that space.”

In addition to meeting with potential donors, Wasbotten said he will meet with students in the Digital Media Production program Wednesday.

“I will be talking to them about their thoughts, their ideas, and I surely hope that they are open with me and tell me about the things they’re either concerned about or the things they’re grateful for too,” Wasbotten said. “When it comes to our faculty being current, and our faculty works extremely hard to do that, we will continue to work with our faculty, and those who support digital media production, to ensure that they’re able to teach in a way that the students are expecting.”

The school currently has plans in action to address the weaknesses listed in the site team report. The final decision on whether JMC will receive reaccreditation will come in early May.

Contact Jessica Darling at [email protected].