JOMC Dept. Seeks Reaccredidation
The Department of Journalism and Mass Communication (JOMC) at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (N.C. A&T) is undergoing re-accreditation.
North Carolina A&T is one of the three schools in the state of North Carolina with a journalism program accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC). It is joined alongside Elon University and UNC at Chapel Hill.
Accreditation is voluntary for colleges and universities, as one can still graduate with a degree from a non-accredited program. Although voluntary, it aids to the validity and credibility of the university and its respective departments.
Accredited programs offer degrees that are widely accepted and highly respected by employers. Ninety percent of universities are not accredited by the ACEJMC, which sets N. C. A&T apart from the rest.
The ACEJMC voted to grant N.C. A&T full accreditation in 2012, after it received provisional accreditation in May 2010. According to the admissions department, student admission into JOMC gradually increased after obtaining full accreditation.
ACEJMC will select a team of peers to come in and examine JOMC. They will observe classes as well as talk to students to evaluate the department’s ability to meet accreditation standards. As stated on ACEJMC’s website, they will look for nine different standards when visiting the university. These standards include: an effective mission statement, a challenging curriculum, diversity, qualified faculty and staff, scholarships, student services, equipment, public service, and an assessment of learning outcomes.
Journalism Department Chairman, Yahya Kamalipour, stresses that the main goal is to achieve full re-accreditation. In order to achieve this goal, faculty and staff are busy at work ensuring everything is up to date for the ACEJMC’s upcoming visit in Jan. 2016. Accreditation regulations are beneficial to both students and staff, as they help ensure that a department provides an optimal learning environment. For example, accreditation will guarantee that certain courses will be offered to a maximum student-faculty ratio of 20 to 1. Employers also find comfort in knowing that a university is accredited because it guarantees that the department’s alumni received the best education possible.
If the department were to lose accreditation, Kamalipour’s faith in the success for the department will remain unwaivered. He was driven to the university because of it’s great potential. “Regardless of what a task is, do your best,” says Kamalipour, “There is no success without resources.”
Kamalipour has big plans for JOMC including establishing a graduate program and hiring full time academic professional advisers. While overwhelmed in preparation for the visit of ACEJMC, he is excited for what is in store for the department.
Former Vice President of Recruiting for Time Warner Cable, Seth Feit, moved to a higher position within Human Resources. Feit recruited students all over the country for positions at Time Warner Cable, including students from North Carolina A&T.
“When we would sit down to strategize the universities, we would target for our college relations program,” said Feit, “…the reputation and accreditation of the college was a significant factor in selecting [the school]—accreditation factors into the initial selection of a school to target.” Feit also commented on the importance of accreditation for graduates during a hiring season. Students stemming from accredited programs are held to a higher standard in the work force than those from non-accredited programs. “We did look at the quality of the students we got from those schools, hiring manager satisfaction, [and] how long they would stay at our company,” said Feit. The accreditation analysis will take place from Jan. 20-22, 2016. The Department of Journalism and Mass Communication will soon receive it’s evaluation results after the ACEJMC visit.
Jazmine Gathers – Contributor