Nicholls mass communication national accreditation reaffirmed

THIBODAUX – The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication has formally reaffirmed the national accreditation of the Nicholls State University Department of Mass Communication.

Dean Joe Foote of the University of Oklahoma, who headed the on-site visiting team last fall, on March 17 reported to a screening committee that his four-member team had found the Nicholls program, headed by Dr. James Stewart, in full compliance with all nine council standards.

The council on Friday formally accepted the committee’s approval recommendation, with 20 members voting yes and none voting no.

The department first gained national accreditation in 1994 and has had it reaffirmed every six years since. The only other Louisiana institutions with national mass communication accreditation are LSU, Grambling, Southern and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

In its 45-page report, the on-site committee listed the following strengths:

• A faculty and administration that provide exceptional service to students through quality advising and student media opportunities;

• A remarkable collegial atmosphere among faculty and students;

• Service to the campus that is respected and appreciated throughout the university;

• Committed, competent, compassionate leadership that has earned respect among students, faculty, peers in other departments and administrators across campus; and

• Strong faculty and alumni commitment to South Central Louisiana.

Dean Foote’s on-site team included faculty members from Tennessee and Mississippi and the retired editor of the Orlando Sentinel.

“The visiting team was impressed by our academic program and by our student majors, faculty, alumni and university personnel who, with no direct connections to the mass communication program, spoke highly of the department,” Stewart said.

The visiting team sat in on several classes, interviewed mass communication students and faculty members, and met with faculty from across the campus. They also met with the college dean and top university administrators, including President Stephen Hulbert.

The department’s self-study and its appendix consisted of about 400 pages, representing months of research, statistics gathering, writing and documentation.

Standards concerned mission, governance and administration; curriculum and instruction; diversity and inclusiveness; full- and part-time faculty; scholarship (research, creative and professional activity); student service; resources, facilities and equipment; professional and public service; and assessment of learning outcomes.

For additional details about the Department of Mass Communication, go to