SDSU departments undergo evaluation in order to retain valid accreditation

Amy Barrick

Amy Barrick

Each year, different departments throughout SDSU are required to go through reaccreditation. Some students may not understand the importance of this process.

Being accredited means that the university and departments must commit to and comply with certain guidelines set by a commission or group of professionals and educators in education or a specific field of study. This is done to ensure that the accredited department is maintaining the standards of education set by the accrediting commission or group.

SDSU as a whole is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and holds institutional membership in many other educational associations as well. This means that the university must be evaluated about every 10 years in order to ensure that it meets certain criteria in order to hold its accreditation from this commission.

The university must fill out its own evaluation papers, followed by an evaluation by a group of educators and professionals who visit campus and complete an additional evaluation. These evaluations are then taken to a board that decides whether the university should be reaccredited or not.

This process takes much preparation. In fact, for the university’s reaccreditation in 2000-2001, Vice President of Academic Affairs Carol Peterson, who has taken SDSU through three cycles of reaccreditation, began preparing for the process three years earlier, in 1997.

However, specific departments must also regularly undergo reaccreditation. This happens for the individual departments more often then the university, about every three to four years. The process begins for individual departments usually a year or two in advance and usually additional funds are needed for the department for the preparation. Between two and three departments undergo reaccredidation each year. The university currently holds accreditation in fifteen different departments.

The journalism department is one department on campus that is currently preparing for reaccreditation. This department is accredited through the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, and has held accreditation since accrediting began almost 60 years ago.