National organization certifies public relations curriculum

April 10, 2013 – The Public Relations Society of America certified the Virginia Tech public relations curriculum in April.

The PRSA board of directors approved a recommendation from the PRSA Educational Affairs Committee to grant the Department of Communication Certification in Education for Public Relations. The designation will be officially presented in Philadelphia in October during the 2013 PRSA International Conference.

Certification, which must be renewed every seven years, indicates that public relations instruction at Virginia Tech meets standards set by the Commission on Public Relations Education.

The Department of Communication applied for certification in April 2012 after a one-year curriculum review. Two evaluators, Robert Grupp, APR, and Robert Prichard, APR, Fellow PRSA, visited the Blacksburg campus Sept. 4-6. They attended public relations classes, interviewed students, talked to alumni and employers of public relations graduates, and met with faculty members in communication and other departments.

The evaluators recommended certification in a detailed written report to the Educational Affairs Committee.

The certification program, established in 1989, is a voluntary quality-assurance endorsement for public relations curricula at colleges and universities worldwide. Certified programs are in the United States, Canada, Europe, South America and New Zealand.

Nearly 40 undergraduate public relations programs, including two others in Virginia, are certified.