Accreditation and assessment

The Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture is one of 113 select journalism and mass communication programs accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. The School’s undergraduate program was re-accredited in 2012 for a six-year term. (The School’s two master’s programs were not a part of the ACEJMC accreditation review.)

Accreditation is granted after an extensive self-study based on nine standards that include administration, diversity and student services. According to the ACEJMC website, "To accredit is to assure basic standards of excellence," with only about one in four mass communications programs around the country earning accreditation.

The most recent ACEJMC reaccreditation of the School occurred in 2012. In its 2012 report, ACEJMC’s site-visit team praised the School’s faculty, staff and students, as well as the education provided at VCU.

"Students were overwhelmingly enthusiastic about the faculty members and their professional experience that they bring into the classroom," the report said.

The site team said the School’s faculty members keep "current in trends and issues in the media and professions that they bring into their classrooms." In terms of scholarship, the team described the faculty group as "productive, and in some cases truly exceptional, and make meaningful contributions to the study of mass communication."

The School’s faculty and staff members were applauded by the site visit team as "dedicated and hard-working and committed to making students and the program ever better." Faculty members in the School are "very visible in the academic and professional communities of their specialties."

The team concluded that the School "delivers a quality professional education — and a quality broad, general education — to its undergraduates," and has "a forward-looking and hopeful attitude toward the future."

The accreditation process occurs every six years and involves several steps:

  1. An exhaustive self-study conducted by the faculty and staff;
  2. A multi-day site visit by media educators and professionals, during which they meet with faculty and campus leaders, visit classes, complete their report and make a recommendation for full accreditation, provisional accreditation or denial of accreditation;
  3. A meeting of, and recommendation by, the national Accrediting Committee; and
  4. A meeting of, and final vote by, the national Accrediting Council.

The Robertson School is seeking to be re-accredited in 2018. The ACEJMC site team visit occurred in late October 2017. The site team's findings and recommendations will be discussed in open ACEJMC meetings in Chicago in March and April 2018. The Accrediting Council will vote during its April 2018 meeting.

“To our school, being accredited is a hallmark for strong quality, a differentiator from many similar programs and an assurance to the School’s stakeholders — students, parents, alumni, the media industry and the university community alike — about its commitment to excellence,” said Hong Cheng, Ph.D., director of the Robertson School.

See the VCU Robertson School Curriculum Grid in Google Docs. (Opens in a new window. Allows for detailed data sorting.)

ACEJMC’s Nine Accrediting Standards
ACEJMC's Twelve Required Professional Values & Competencies