- The Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and UC Berkeley's journalism graduate school recently dropped their accreditor, the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, according to Inside Higher Ed.
- Brad Heem, Medill’s dean, criticized the accreditor, saying the school’s attempts to innovative its curriculum and approaches were being impeded by the agreement. He said was all the more important for the school to adapt to a changing media landscape.
- Critics of accreditation argue it is antiquated, and said accreditors had not done enough to prevent colleges from taking advantage of students, though this critique was more often leveled about for-profits or community colleges with low graduation rates.
It is doubtful that any news organization would distrust a Medill or Berkeley degree because the schools dropped ACEJMC, and it is important to note that dropping accreditation standards is not something which will likely take flight across the board. However, it is arguable that in an industry as tumultuous as journalism, accreditation may be all the more unnecessary as a uniform standard of competency becomes rarer in the wake of changing and emerging media institutions. Critics of accreditation apply that worry to other colleges, universities and disciplines; in graduate or undergraduate programs, particularly those specializing in liberal arts disciplines, how can you gauge how well a school has prepared its students in that field?
Some have suggested a better approach would be to focus on the outcomes, including graduation rates and job placements, though this could be complicated by the status and reputation of a university. An employer could possibly hire an applicant from a non-accredited university with the heft of these institutions, as opposed to an accredited university with less name recognition.