The CSUDH journalism program has earned a six-year accreditation by the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC), the primary educational association of journalism and mass communication educators, students, and media professionals.
The multi-year effort was spearheaded by Nancy Cheever, professor and former chair of the CSUDH Communications Department. “My primary goal was to do it for the students, because it’s going to open a lot of doors for them,” she says.
“Being able to put on your resume that you graduated from an accredited program is huge. It’s going to allow our students to get into better internships and get better jobs. It will also provide some prestige for our program, and hopefully will attract more students.”
“At Dominguez Hills, we are committed to raising the standards of excellence, as well as reflecting on how our faculty deliver academic and co-curricular learning experiences that align with best practices in discipline specific domains,” says CSUDH President Thomas A. Parham. “This accomplishment is yet another sign that our university’s academic core continues to improve and get stronger, and is a testament to the hard work and excellence of Dr. Cheever, the faculty, and her entire team.”
“Earning ACEJMC accreditation here at DH is a game-changing moment,” adds Tim Caron, interim dean of the College of Arts and Humanities. “This affirms the exceptional work that is being done by our faculty and students in the journalism program. In the current moment, there are few things more important than training high-quality journalists who are committed to fact-based inquiry and telling stories from diverse perspectives. This accreditation ensures that Dominguez Hills will continue to train journalists who will tell the important stories that we need to know about. I could not be prouder of our faculty and students for earning this distinction.”
Programs seeking accreditation must meet ACEJMC’s nine standards for governance and administration, curriculum and instruction, diversity and inclusion, full- and part-time faculty, scholarship, student services, resources, facilities and equipment, professional and public service, and assessment of learning outcomes. ACEJMC’s accreditation process can often take several years and involves an in-depth self-assessment of a program and the development of short-term and long-term strategic planning to achieve and maintain the accreditation standards.
CSUDH’s journalism program began the process in 2016 with an anticipated site visit and review in 2020. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic made a 2020 visit impossible, so the final review visit was postponed until the Fall 2021 semester. “The ACEJMC representatives were very supportive,” says Cheever. “The report they wrote was very positive. They found us compliant on all nine standards, which is very rare for a program getting its accreditation for the first time.”
The council voted unanimously to accredit CSUDH’s journalism program at their general meeting in Chicago, Ill., during the last week of April. The accreditation will last a full six years.
“It was a lot of work, but we and we did it,” says Cheever. “Now all of those standards are part of our practice. We’re doing everything that we say we’re doing, and it’s good because it makes the program even better. The ACEJMC loves what we are doing with our curriculum and our program, which is wonderful.”