Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC)

The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, or ACEJMC, is the agency responsible for the evaluation of professional journalism and mass communications programs in colleges and universities. It has been housed at the University of Kansas since 1985, under the direction of Susanne Shaw.  

Accreditation is a system of voluntary self-assessment and external review of educational institutions and of professional programs offered by those institutions. Accreditation provides an assurance of quality to students, parents, and the public. In the accrediting process, the performance of educational units is measured against national standards. Visit the ACEJMC website to learn more. 

Mission Statement

The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications is dedicated to excellence and high standards in professional education in journalism and mass communications.  The Council endorses professional education that recognizes and incorporates technological advances, changing professional and economic practice, and public interests and demands.

The Council believes that students can best prepare for careers in journalism and mass communications by studying in accredited professional programs at colleges and universities.  The Council embraces the value of a broad, multidisciplinary curriculum that nurtures critical thinking, analytic reasoning and problem-solving skills that are the essential foundation for journalism and mass communications education.

The Council is committed to freedom of inquiry, freedom of expression and freedom of the press as indispensable values in a free society.  It expects the professional education offered by accredited programs to encourage inquiry, dissent and free expression.

To serve this mission, the Council has established educational requirements and standards and provides a process of voluntary program review by professionals and educators, awarding accredited status to programs that meet its standards.  Through this process, the Council assures students, parents, journalism and mass communications professionals and the public that accredited programs meet rigorous standards for professional education.

The Council recognizes and safeguards the individual nature of each accredited program.  It encourages educational innovation by programs in their efforts to meet accreditation requirements and standards to prepare students for careers in journalism and mass communication around the world.

— Revised and approved by the Accrediting Council Aug. 23, 2013

ACEJMC History

The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications is the agency formally recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) for accrediting programs for professional education in journalism and mass communications in institutions of higher learning.

The structure for evaluating and accrediting journalism and mass communications programs was established in 1945, when the American Council on Education in Journalism was formed. Its name was changed to the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications in 1980. The Council originally was an association of journalism education and newspaper organizations. Its membership now includes national and international associations representing newspapers, broadcasting, advertising, photo journalism, public relations, professional societies, and education in journalism and mass communications. Its three public members are affiliated with neither industry nor education in journalism and mass communications.

Membership on the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications is open to all membership associations of educators or professionals (including foundations related to such associations) that are involved with the professional education of students for careers in journalism, mass communications, telecommunications and other media. Admission to the Council is subject to approval by a majority of the Accrediting Council.

The Council is assisted in its work by the office of an executive director, an Accrediting Committee, an Executive Committee, teams that conduct site visits, and an Appeals Board. The executive director maintains records, provides assistance regarding the self-study process, provides names of persons who are qualified to serve as consultants to units, and arranges site visits and meetings for the Council.

The Council elects an Accrediting Committee composed of journalism and mass communications educators and industry representatives to advise it on the accreditation status of journalism and mass communications units. A majority of Accrediting Committee members are educators. The Committee meets each spring to make its recommendations based on the reports prepared by the visiting teams and responses from the institutions.

The members of a visiting team are persons competent to evaluate the units and curricula offered by a particular institution. The institution to be visited approves visiting team members before invitations are made to the individuals.

The Council consists of representatives of its member associations and of the public. Its rules give industry and educator members equal votes. The Council makes decisions about the accreditation of visited units, the periodic revision of its standards and procedures, and the publication of information about accreditation of journalism and mass communications programs. The Council usually meets twice each year.

The Council elects a president and a vice president from the representatives who compose it. The Council also selects its executive director. The president and vice president of the Accrediting Council and the Executive Director compose the Executive Committee. This committee assists the Executive Director and the Council president in responding to questions and in providing guidance and recommendations for decisions the president may have to make before the next full Council meeting.

The Appeals Board, appointed each year by the president, hears appeals from schools and departments regarding accreditation decisions made by the Council.


Contact

Susanne Shaw
Professor / Accrediting Council Director, ACEJMC
The University of Kansas
sshaw@ku.edu
785-864-3986
Stauffer-Flint Hall, room 109