Tweaking Standard 3: Accrediting Council moves to strengthen language in diversity standard again

By George L. Daniels

Nearly 30 years after diversity became one of the standards by which journalism and mass communication units are evaluated, proposed changes to accreditation standards would require schools to focus on “domestic” minority groups and explicitly state how they define diversity.

The changes to Standard 3 “Diversity and Inclusiveness” are among those contained in an overall revision of the standards used by the Accrediting Council on Education and Journalism and Mass Communication. A vote on the changes is set for August 24. If approved, the revised standards would take effect in 2013.

In the meantime, the Council is inviting comments about the proposed revisions. Comments can be directed to Cindy Reinardy at the ACEJMC office at or during an open session 8:15 to 9:45 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 9, at our upcoming AEJMC convention in Chicago. Focusing on domestic minority groups is yet another step in an ongoing effort to ensure diversity in the pipeline from our classrooms to mass media industries.

What was then Standard 12 was first created in 1984 to address “Minorities and Female Representation.” It was squarely focused on recruiting and retaining minority students and faculty. Then in 1992, the standard was revised to add a component that stressed the need of diversity in a journalism and mass communication curriculum. In 2003, ACEJMC revised all of its standards and the 12th Standard became Standard 3 “Diversity and Inclusiveness.

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