Division of Journalism gets limited accreditation

The Division of Journalism received a recommended provisional accreditation from the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

The site team cited noncompliance for one out of nine areas.

According to the report the school was in compliance with most items, including: curriculum and instruction, diversity and inclusiveness, full-time and part-time faculty, scholarship, research, creative and professional activity, student services, professional and public service and assessment of learning outcomes.

The only section the Division of Jounalism did not comply with was the mission, governance and administration policy.

The report also said “based on interviews with faculty members and administrators, it appears that there are a variety of communication problems within the school and division.”

James Hawkins, the dean of SJGC, shared his concerns over the recommendation.

In response to the lack of communication in the school the dean said that changes would be made before the committee.

“We have to be proactive and show them we have resolved the conflicts,” Hawkins said.

“I’m disappointed because I spent last two years trying to keep our program moving. I had to carefully use limited funds we had and it took a lot of time,” Hawkins said.

Some students are a little concerned about the recommendation.

“It puts the seniors graduating this spring on edge,” said Angela Pitts, 21, a senior public relations student from Miami.

Pitts said that students are going to want a degree from an accredited school. “It adds prestige.”

Despite the issues that led to the provisional accreditation, Hawkins wants students to remain positive.

“I want to assure the students that we are going to continue to build the highest quality program. I’m certainly pleased with most of the progress we have made,” Hawkins said.

But, that’s not enough for some students.

Summer Hall, a last semester graduate student from Yonkers, N.Y., is upset that provisional status is not the fault of the students.

“My big issue with this whole accreditation thing is that it’s not the students, it’s not the student-faculty relationship, it’s not the building, it’s the administration,” Hall said. “As a student, I was frustrated because I know I did my part.”

Hall, a newspaper journalism student says there is some good news that comes out of the report.

“I’m glad it happened because it forces the institution, Florida A&M University to take action.”

The accreditation team will meet in March with the accreditation committee in Chicago.

Dean Hawkins said the next step after the committee reviews the decision is a full accreditation council review.

The full council will meet in May at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg.

In 2000, the last site visit, the ACEJMC recommended provisional accreditation, but after one year the provisional title was removed.

The Division of Journalism became the first accredited program in 1982 at any Historically Black College and University.

Contact Mia Small and Sarah Chester at famuannews@hotmail.com