The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) unanimously voted to grant reaccreditation on April 25 at a virtual meeting. The council’s vote is the last step in the reaccreditation process, which began in fall 2019 with the submission of the department’s self-study. It was followed by a site team visit to campus last November and a vote of ACEJMC’s Accrediting Committee in March. The reaccreditation lasts for the next six years.
“In the site team’s report, we were praised for our dedicated faculty, our student-centered, high-quality instruction, our diverse and engaged student body, our civic engagement, and our strong ties to the communication industry that produce opportunities for students,” said Deborah Silverman, associate professor and chair of the Communication Department. “Reaccreditation is a voluntary process that we believe is important. It sets Buffalo State apart and is one of the reasons the Communication Department enjoys the high enrollment that it does.”
About 500 students are enrolled in five degrees programs within the Communication Department, including the three programs reaccredited by ACEJMC.
Currently, Buffalo State is one of only 117 schools in the country—or just 15 percent of all institutions offering instruction in this professional field—to hold the prestigious ACEJMC accreditation.
When the department was originally accredited in May 2008, it was the only communication department within the State University of New York (SUNY) to hold that distinction. Since then, Stony Brook University has also received the accreditation. The other schools in the state that are ACEJMC accredited are the City University of New York, Columbia University, Hofstra University, Iona College, New York University, St. Bonaventure University, and Syracuse University.
Schools seeking accreditation or reaccreditation must first complete a self-study that reviews various factors including its academic programs, faculty staffing, facilities, and student services.
In November 2019, a site team headed by Brad Rawlins, professor and interim director of the School of Media and Journalism at Arkansas State University, spent four days on campus. The reviewers found the following strengths:
- Faculty who possess a balance of professional and academic experience and who care passionately about student learning and preparing students for professional careers.
- An energetic, innovative, and caring chair who has a vision for improving the department.
- A diverse and engaged student body.
- A well-respected department that provides leadership on campus in civic engagement, student diversity, and collaboration with other units.
- Excellent part-time faculty members who are exceptionally qualified and who bring professional and academic experience to the classroom.
- Strong industry ties that produce opportunities for students.
- Newly renovated facilities in Buckham Hall that provide improved space for computer labs, faculty offices, and some production facilities.
The ACEJMC Council consists of representatives from both educational and professional organizations in the communication field.
Professional organizations include the American Advertising Federation, the American Press Institute, the Arthur W. Page Society, the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the News Leaders Association, the Public Relations Society of America, the Radio Television Digital News Association, and the Society of Professional Journalists.
Educational organizations include the American Journalism Historians Association, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication, and the Broadcast Education Association.