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School of Mass Communication pursues historic national accreditation

February 14, 2014

After two successful evaluations were completed last month, Loyola University New Orleans is poised to become the first Jesuit university in the U.S. to hold national accreditation from both the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications as well as the Public Relations Society of America’s Certification in Education for Public Relations. Loyola’s School of Mass Communication is pursuing the two separate national distinctions simultaneously for its journalism and strategic communications programs.

So far, the school has passed the first hurdle to obtaining the highest approval for mass communication education. During a site visit to Loyola Jan. 12-15, a team from the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications recommended full compliance when evaluating Loyola’s School of Mass Communication on nine standards ranging from mission and governance to facilities and assessment. That recommendation will then go before an accreditation committee and finally to the full council in May for official approval.

The School of Mass Communication also completed the latest step towards attaining the Certification in Education for Public Relations Jan. 21-23 when a team dispatched by the Public Relations Society of America examined criteria such as the school’s curriculum, resources, facilities and university support of its programs. While the team left New Orleans with a favorable view, a final report is due out in the coming months. If successful, Loyola would join a group of only 32 colleges and universities with the national accreditation.

“We are putting Loyola’s mass communication education to the most rigorous test by pursuing two national accreditations this year because we believe in the strength of our programs and what we offer students,” said Sonya F. Duhé, Ph.D., Loyola professor and director of the School of Mass Communication. “Even though it’s been an arduous process five years in the making, we have never lost our focus on developing the School of Mass Communication into the elite program it is today.”

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