Certification would indicate that public relations instruction in the Department of Communication meets standards set by the Commission on Public Relations Education.
Robert Grupp, APR, and Robert Prichard, APR, Fellow PRSA, recommended the status after visiting the Blacksburg campus Sept. 4-6. The two 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 site-visit report and certification recommendation goes to the PRSA Educational Affairs Committee for consideration. If that panel accepts the team’s recommendation, the Virginia Tech application would go to the PRSA board of directors for final action. The continuing review process could take several months.
The department applied in April for certification. 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.
Certification must be renewed every seven years. Thirty undergraduate public relations programs, including two in Virginia, are certified.
Grupp is president of Grupp Global Partners LLC, a New York City-based public relations agency. Prichard has been adviser since 2009 to Lindsey and Asp, the student-run advertising and public relations agency at the University of Oklahoma. He is national academic adviser for the Public Relations Student Society of America.