The associate professor of strategic communications was one of four members on the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications accreditation site visit team to evaluate the University of Idaho in October.
Jessica Gisclair, associate professor in the Strategic Communications Department, served as a member of the accreditation site visit team at the University of Idaho, founded in 1889 by an act of the 15th and last territorial legislature, from October 13-15.
Other team members included Peter Bhatia, editor and vice president of the Detroit Free Press and Freep.com, David R. Davies, professor and director of the School of Mass Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern Mississippi, and Tim Bajkiewicz, associate professor of broadcast journalism at Virginia Commonwealth University. Bhatia served as chair of the site visit team.
The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) is the agency responsible for the evaluation of professional journalism and mass communications programs in colleges and universities in the United States, Puerto Rico and outside the country. The council currently has 112 fully accredited programs, including Elon’s School of Communications.
“Service to the academy is an important role of site team members,” Gisclair said. “Our visits allow academic and professional colleagues to contribute to self- and peer-assessment of academic quality. Accreditation is voluntary and an essential part of higher education.”
Site visit teams are trained by the council and chosen by the executive director in consultation with the organization’s officers. ACEJMC maintains a pool of potential team members, including female and racial/ethnic minority practitioners and educators. School of Communications Dean Rochelle Ford, Professors Paul Parsons and Kenn Gaither, and Associate Professor Don Grady have previously served as site visit team members from Elon University.
Gisclair said the visits allow for a thorough review of the unit and the institution concerning the quality of the program. “The team provides feedback and the result is a sharing of best practices that prepare students for future careers as media professionals,” she said.
Elon University’s School of Communications has been an ACEJMC-accredited program since 2006.