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WKU public relations program earns renewal of international certification

WKU’s public relations academic program in the School of Journalism & Broadcasting has earned renewal of its international Certification in Education for Public Relations (CEPR) by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

Conferred at the 2011 PRSA International Conference in Orlando, Fla., the WKU PR major was one of six programs honored this year for earning or maintaining the distinction.

“With the certification renewal, WKU’s PR major has again earned national recognition as a leader in public relations education,” said Dr. Loup Langton, director of the School of Journalism & Broadcasting and the Center for 21st Century Media at WKU.  “This distinction reflects the hard work of our SJ&B faculty, staff and students in keeping the major a competitive, evolving area of study that continues to meet the needs of a changing public relations industry.”

According to the Public Relations Student Society of America’s (PRSSA) website, 30 public relations programs in the world, 26 in the United States including one other in Kentucky, carry the distinction of CEPR. Two universities earning the distinction for the first time in 2011, Wisconsin/Oshkosh and Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn., will be added to the website list.

Previously earned by the WKU public relations major in 2004, the program was evaluated on eight standards: PR curriculum, faculty, resources, students, assessment, professional affiliations, relationship with university, and diversity and global perspectives.

PRSA, through its Educational Affairs Committee, conducted the certification review process. An on-site review was administered by two accredited PRSA members, a full-time educator and an APR-credentialed practicing professional, who spent two days interviewing faculty and students, visiting classes, and touring campus facilities.

About WKU’s public relations major: The WKU public relations major is one of five majors in the School of Journalism & Broadcasting also nationally accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education for Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC), most recently in 2010.  Being accredited means the school adheres to high standards, including emphasis in liberal arts and sciences education in the attainment of a professional communications degree. The other ACEJMC-accredited majors are advertising, broadcasting, news/editorial journalism, and photojournalism.  Other SJ&B majors include mass communication and film.  The public relations major prepares students for a variety of careers in agencies, corporations, and nonprofit and governmental organizations.

About CEPR: Certification in Education for Public Relations (CEPR) is a voluntary program of quality-assurance endorsement for studies in public relations at colleges and universities worldwide.  Established by PRSA in 1989, CEPR is a program with standards based on recommendations of the Commission on Public Relations Education.

Contact: Vicki Bagwell, (270) 745-5834.

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