Georgia Southern University’s public relations program within Communication Arts recently joined 52 schools recognized with Certification for Education in Public Relations (CEPR).
The Public Relations Society of America manages CEPR, and the review process follows standards established by the Commission on Public Relations Education. The review process involves practitioners and professors reviewing the program, conducting interviews, and visiting the campus. While one other school has received CEPR recognition within the state, Georgia Southern University is the first university sponsored by the Georgia Chapter of PRSA.
According to Lisa Muller, J.D., who coordinated the report and visit, “Much work went into preparing for the review, and we are thrilled to have had such a positive experience. This has been a work in progress, and after several departmental moves around campus, we decided that with our new home in Sanford Hall, it was time to apply.”
Interim Chair of Communication Arts Pam Sears, said, “I’ve had the opportunity to work with some of the public relations students in the past as well as with the public relations faculty, and I agree with the review team’s positive assessment of the program. This is a strong program, and CEPR recognizes the program quality.”
The review team interviewed administrators on campus, advisory board members, alumni, internship site supervisors, faculty members within the department, students, and other faculty across campus.
Chair of the Georgia Southern University Public Relations Professional Advisory Board, Don Rountree, said, “The CEPR designation validates what the Public Relations Professional Advisory Board has been focused on for our students, and that is cultivating and developing incredibly well-prepared graduates to enter the industry knowing they have a quality education in public relations that is truly best-in-class nationally and globally.”
Public relations was first offered as an emphasis program within Communication Arts in the mid-1970s, and became a major in 1996. Georgia Southern University’s public relations program is the current home to the Journal of Public Relations Education, with Pamela Bourland-Davis, Ph.D., as its editor. She also serves on the Commission for Public Relations Education. All public relations faculty are involved in professional and educational associations, and provide public relations support to a variety of community and global organizations.
Public relations is one of six degree programs offered within the department, including undergraduate majors in communication studies, multimedia film and production, multimedia journalism, theatre, and the graduate program in professional communication and leadership.