Last week, Inside Higher Ed reported that both The Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism voluntarily dropped their accreditation with the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC).
Brad Hamm, Medill’s dean didn’t mince words in a note to alumni. He wrote, “As we near the 2020s, we expect far better than a 1990s-era accreditation organization that resists change — especially as education and careers in our field evolve rapidly. All fields benefit from a world-class review process, and unfortunately the gap between ACEJMC today and what it could, and should, be is huge.”
Berkeley’s journalism school dean, Edward Wasserman, stated his school’s decision was made in part because it only confers graduate degrees and most of the programs accredited by ACEJMC offer undergraduate degrees.
It might be an understatement to say that times have been turbulent for journalism schools and they’re clearly in need of rapid innovation to retain any type of relevance in today’s industry. We doubt any employer is going to have doubts about either well-respected program with or without this council’s accreditation. Besides, we’re confident either school could quickly regain ACEJMC accreditation if they so desired it.