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CU master's program could lose accreditation
The newsgathering program in CU’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication risks losing its accreditation. The announcement was made last Monday.
Of course, Gary Stump didn’t know this when he enrolled in the program last fall. “I think we’re all a little bit surprised,” he said. Stump, a student in the newsgathering program, is one of about 45 concerned students.
“It makes it a little tumultuous right now for those of us who are in the program,” said Breanna Daxter, another newsgathering student.
Paul Voakes, dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication also showed concerned. “The accrediting committee…surprised me and voted seven to five,” he said.
Every six years, the school is evaluated by the Accreditation Council for Education of Journalism and Mass Communication. It looks at nine different performance standards. “For the undergraduate program, they found us out of compliance on only one of the nine. For the master's program they found us out of compliance for three of the nine and that’s what created problems for us,” Voakes said.
The newsgathering program fell short in administration, assessment and diversity. The undergraduate program also failed to meet the Administrative standard. However, it received provisional reaccreditation, or rather, two years to fix the problems cited in the accreditation evaluation.
For Stump, this could mean a less valuable degree. “It might take away from the validity of your degree or the prestige of your accomplishment,” he said. But other students are more optimistic.
“I don’t think that accreditation is going to have any impact on the education we’re going to get at the school or the degree we’re going to have,” Daxter said.
Either way, newsgathering students will have to wait until the end of the month to see if the accreditation decision is made final. Voakes will appeal the decision at the last accreditation meeting scheduled for April 29th and 30th.