Research Competencies in Journalism

Expected by the ACEJMC

Excerpts from:

Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications ACEJMC Accrediting Standards. September 2003.

2. Curriculum and Instruction
9. Assessment of Learning Outcomes


Institutional Uniqueness

The Accrediting Council does not define specific curricula, courses or methods of instruction. It recognizes that each institution has its unique situation, mission and resources, and this uniqueness is an asset to be safeguarded. The Council judges programs against the objectives that units and institutions set for themselves and against the standards that the Council sets forth for preparing students for professional careers in journalism and mass communications.


Units should demonstrate that they meet the expectations defined for each of the indicators.


Each standard concludes with a list of various forms of documentation and evidence that the unit should include in its self-study report to demonstrate that it meets the expectations defined for indicators.

2. Curriculum and Instruction

The unit provides a curriculum and instruction that enable students to learn the knowledge, competencies, and values the Council defines for preparing students to work in a diverse global and domestic society.

Professional Values and Competencies:

The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications requires that, irrespective of their particular specialization, all graduates should be aware of certain core values and competencies and be able to:

    • understand concepts and apply theories in the use and presentation of images and information;
    • demonstrate an understanding of professional ethical principles and work ethically in pursuit of truth, accuracy, fairness and diversity;
    • think critically, creatively and independently;
    • conduct research and evaluate information by methods appropriate to the communications professions in which they work;
    • write correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the communications professions, audiences and purposes they serve;
    • critically evaluate their own work and that of others for accuracy and fairness, clarity, appropriate style and grammatical correctness;
    • apply basic numerical and statistical concepts;
    • apply tools and technologies appropriate for the communications professions in which they work.


c. Instruction is demanding and current; achievements in teaching and learning are recognized and valued.


    • Student records and transcripts
    • Syllabi and other course materials
    • Records and statistics on and evaluations of internships, with or without academic credit

9. Assessment of Learning Outcomes

The unit regularly assesses student learning and uses results to improve curriculum and instruction.


a. The unit defines the goals for learning that students must achieve, including the "Professional Values and Competencies" of this Council. (See 2. Curriculum and Instruction.)
b. The unit has a written assessment plan that uses multiple direct and indirect measures to assess student learning.
c. The unit maintains contact with its alumni to assess their experiences in the professions and to gain feedback for improving curriculum and instruction.
d. The unit includes members of journalism and mass communication professions in its assessment process.
e. The unit collects and reports data from its assessment activities and uses the data to improve curriculum and instruction.


    • A written statement on competencies
    • A written assessment plan
    • Alumni newsletters, surveys, reunions and other activities
    • Records on information collected from multiple measures of assessment and on the application of this information to course development and improvement of teaching

Last modified January 11, 2007
by Boris Teske, Prescott Memorial Library,
Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA 71272