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Letter: A clarification of accreditation

In response to Anne Burleson’s article in Monday’s Forum (July 7), stating that the University of North Dakota Communication Program is not accredited. As the UND’s communication student academic adviser, there needs to be clarifications to her reporting.

The article refers to the fact the School of Communication lost its accreditation in the early 1990s. As I quote Martha Potvin (then dean of Arts and Sciences in a Grand Forks Herald article of April 2009) after the school was dissolved, those statements are somewhat misleading.

“North Dakota newspapers continue to report that the prior School of Communication lost is accreditation in the early 1990s. The program has been continuously accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the national accrediting organization for all of UND’s programs. In the early 1990s, the school lost a voluntary accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC and has not sought that accreditation since.”

The students are graduating with the accreditation I received in 1970 as a UND broadcast journalism major.

Also, the ACEJMC has only about 100 Communication schools in this country that subscribed to this added accreditation (2008). In the past six years, the UND Communication Program has continually increased with undergraduate students from 272 to more than 325 – one of the larger Arts and Sciences College major enrollments. In addition, an online program was initiated in fall semester 2009, which has had rapid increase of enrollment – near 40 students now since its implementation of three in 2009.

Change is constant, and the Communication Program will continue to provide students with the education necessary in this “changing” world.

Kiefel is UND student academic adviser.