Wednesday, January 16, 2008

What's accreditation mean?

The departments of Mass Communications, Social Work and Business are in the process of applying for accreditation by their respective specialized professional agencies. To this end, each area has drafted an action plan which has been presented to administration.

Dr. Andrew Lee has been working on the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications proposal. The process takes three years but will, in the end, be worth it. “It’s a prestigious honor because of all the universities in the United States, only 110 are accredited – and only 9 are HBCUs,” said Lee.

“It opens doors for our students and provides an incentive for major corporations to give funds to the school. ACEJMC accreditation is one of the stipulations for receiving funding for major corporations,” according to Lee.

In the business department, Dr. Khaled Sartawi and his colleagues are reaching for accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business – International.

“It’s a five-year process,” said Sartawi. “You have to demonstrate that you are providing top-notch business education and providing access to the same technology available at major businesses. This means hiring the best faculty, who also do research. You have to immediately adjust your curriculum to meet the requirements.”

Seeking specialized accreditations benefit Fort Valley State University in the short term as well as the long term. “Having this accreditation,” explained Sartawi, “draws both top faculty and top students. The best students want to attend accredited institutions and the best companies want to hire those students. So it has an impact on everything.”

Only ten percent of business schools worldwide carry the AACSB stamp of approval, according to Sartawi. Fifteen of them are HBCUs.

For more on the debate, see a fellow blogger's post at:

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