Baccalaureate Program in Digital Media at the University of Houston Earns National Accreditation

After completing an extensive self-study and hosting a site visit by a three-member team of industry and education experts, the Digital Media program at the University of Houston received national accreditation beginning September 1, 2010. This program is among eight, baccalaureate level, graphic communications related programs nationwide to have received this distinction. The seven other programs are at Ferris State University, Florida A&M University, California Polytechnic State University, California University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania College of Technology, University of Wisconsin-Stout, and New York City College of Technology. The Graphic Arts Technology associate level program at Rock Valley College, Rockford, Illinois is currently under accreditation review by ACCGC.

The accrediting agency, Accrediting Council for Collegiate Graphic Communications, Inc. (ACCGC), awarded the academic accreditation. The ACCGC is an independent body professionally supported by leaders in the collegiate educational area and by the management personnel in the graphic communications industry. The ACCGC Council Board of Directors is comprised of 11 educators and eight industry personnel in the graphic communications field and is dedicated to the improvement and recognition of collegiate level curricula in graphic communications. ACCGC is a 501 (c)(3) tax exempt body and is supported through industry contributions and educational accreditation fees.

A formal presentation was made and a recognition plaque were given to faculty and administrative representatives from the University of Houston during the October 3, 2010 annual ACCGC Board of Directors meeting that was held during Graph Expo 2010. The ACCGC annual board meeting is always held at McCormick Place in Chicago during the Graph Expo and Print shows which are the largest graphic communications expositions held annually in the United States.

Dr. Jerry J. Waite, Professor and Program Director at the University of Houston stated:

"The ACCGC accreditation process was one of the most effective activities I've experienced during my professional career. By encouraging my colleagues and me to focus on what's most important—student learning—we were able to not only gain national recognition but also a much better instructional program at the same time."

A plaque recognizing the six-year accreditation was presented to Dr. Waite during the ACCGC October 3, 2010 Board of Directors meeting. The accreditation period is retroactive to September 1, 2010 and continues through August 31, 2016.

In their "Visitation Report," the team stated that "The Digital Media degree program has an appropriate mission, well aligned with missions of the Information and Logistics Technology Department and the College of Technology at the University of Houston." In addition, they stated that "The program had been well thought out and a detailed student outcomes assessment plan had been developed."

The mission of the ACCGC is to provide viable, credible, and defensible accreditation standards that can be used to promote and encourage sound associate and baccalaureate level education programs in graphic communications. In the accreditation process, the ACCGC strives to stimulate the exchange of ideas between administrative and instructional personnel in academia and within the graphic communications industry.

The ACCGC reviews qualitative and quantitative evidence obtained through an institution's self-study and facts substantiated by a three-member campus visitation team in determining the accreditation status of an institution's graphic communications program. The academic program is evaluated in 14 areas: Mission Statements and Curricular Outcomes, Competency Identification and Assessment, Governance/Administration, Financial Support, Equipment and Facilities, Staff Support Services, Curriculum, Instruction and Evaluation, Internships/Practicums/Cooperative Study, Industry Advisory Committee(s), Faculty, Faculty Evaluation, Student Records and Advising, and Graduate Placement and Follow-up.

For more information about the ACCGC, contact Ervin A. Dennis, Managing Director, at ea.dennis@cfu.net The Council's web-site address is www.accgc.org.

For more information about the University Houston, Digital Media program, contact Dr. Jerry J. Waite, Professor and Program Director, at jwaite@uh.edu, (713) 743-4089.

Press Release – University of Houston, Digital Media Program