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Stony Brook University’s School of Journalism Awarded National Accreditation

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Stony Brook University's School of Journalism
Stony Brook University’s School of Journalism

Stony Brook University’s School of Journalism has been awarded national accreditation by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications in recognition of the school’s outstanding undergraduate program.

Stony Brook becomes one of 119 programs worldwide to receive such recognition. There are more than 500 programs in journalism and mass communications in the United States. The school, established in 2006, is the only School of Journalism in the State University of New York system.

“The school has hardworking and bright students, an uncommon faculty and an exceptional Dean,” noted Dr. Will Norton, Dean of the Meek School of Journalism and New Media at the University of Mississippi. Norton headed the team that visited the school as part of the accreditation process. “It is one of the programs that is rapidly assuming leadership in the preparation of outstanding media professionals.”

The vote by the Accrediting Council at its meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, on May 1 capped a 3-year process in which the school was required to address how it meets the council’s standards of excellence in nine categories: mission, curriculum, diversity, faculty, scholarship, student services, resources, professional and public service and assessment of learning outcomes. At the meeting, several council members praised Stony Brook for its rapid progress and singled out the school’s innovative curriculum in News Literacy.

“I am very proud that Stony Brook was one of the youngest journalism programs to ever apply for and receive accreditation,” said Stony Brook Provost Dennis N. Assanis. “I would like to thank Dean Howard Schneider, as well as the faculty and staff of the School of Journalism for their hard work.”

Following the completion of a 76,000-word self-study, Norton and two other academics and professional journalists visited the school for three days to review the program, talk with faculty and students, attend classes, tour facilities and meet with university officials. The team included Norton; Brooke Barnett, a professor and Associate Provost in the School of Communications at Elon University, and Howard Finberg, a business development affiliate of the Poynter Institute.

The school’s undergraduate director, Paul Schreiber, said, “It was an exhausting process, but it was very beneficial for the school. We became a much better program because of the effort we put into accreditation and the self-study.”

Dean Schneider said of the council’s recognition, “This effectively means we have joined the ranks of some of the very best programs in the country. It is a reflection of the quality of our faculty and students. We feel terrific about it.”

In addition to its core undergraduate and graduate program of about 300 majors and minors, Stony Brook’s School of Journalism houses three innovative centers: the Center for News Literacy, which has taught more than 10,000 students how to be more discerning news consumers; the Marie Colvin Center for International Reporting, and the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. Students work in a state-of-the-art, multimedia newsroom.

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