Public Relations program receives PRSA endorsement

Public Relations program receives PRSA endorsement

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Rowan University’s celebrated undergraduate and graduate public relations programs were recertified and certified, respectively, by the Public Relations Society of America this summer following a comprehensive four-day review.

The review, conducted by a public relations educator and a PR practitioner representing the national organization, included a visit to Rowan’s Glassboro campus and meetings with students, faculty, alumni, administrators and employers of graduates.

While on campus, the reviewers attended classes, master classes and special events, including the 40th anniversary celebration of the founding of the Rowan chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. Named for retired long-time faculty member Anthony J. Fulginiti, the chapter has earned more national awards than any other PRSSA chapter in the country and holds the distinction of being recognized as the nation's outstanding PRSSA chapter a record eight times.

The review culminated in a reissuing of the Certification in Education for Public Relations (CEPR) for Rowan’s undergraduate PR program and the initial CEPR for the Master of Arts in Public Relations.

Dr. Sanford M. Tweedie, dean of the College of Communication & Creative Arts (CCCA), said the credential speaks to a commitment to the field that Rowan has long been recognized for, one that has launched generations of students into rewarding careers.

“Recertification for the undergraduate program and initial certification of the graduate degree puts the stamp of approval on what we already know: Rowan’s public relations program and the Department of Public Relations & Advertising offer exceptional opportunities for students to become strong practitioners within the profession,” Tweedie said.

Housed in all new facilities at 301 W. High Street, a multi-million dollar facility in downtown Glassboro, the public relations program combines a theoretical grounding in communication with real-world experiences including internships and on-campus programming such as PRaction, a student-run public relations firm.

In issuing the certification and re-certification, the PRSA Board noted the program’s decades-long success, its commitment to the field and the success students and graduates have found because of it.

“The energy and excellence of the faculty, the enthusiasm of the students and the overall quality of the program could serve well as a benchmark for other programs nationwide and globally. The CEPR reviewers were much impressed with the quality of this public relations education program,” the final report noted.

Dr. Suzanne FitzGerald, chair of the Public Relations & Advertising department, said the PRSA endorsement was especially gratifying coming, as it did, at the start of a new school year. In addition to the new CCCA facilities at 301 W. High, the college recently expanded to the fast completing $400 million Rowan Boulevard project linking the main campus with the revitalized downtown.

“This is a very exciting time at Rowan, not just for our department and college but for the university and community,” FitzGerald said. “As Rowan expands downtown, ever more opportunities are being created for our students on campus and off. PRSA has recognized our commitment to the field and to our students’ success in it and, for that, we are really pleased.”