Cal Poly San Luis Obispo -- October 17, 2003

Cal Poly Graphic Communication Department Receives National Accreditation

Concluding more than a year-and-a-half of preparation, including a site visit by a team of industry and education experts, Cal Poly's Graphic Communication Department received national accreditation, becoming one of only three graphic arts programs nationwide to receive this distinction.

The other two programs are at Ferris State University in Michigan and Florida A&M University.

The Accreditation Council for Collegiate Graphic Communications (ACCGC) made the recommendation, concluding that "Cal Poly's Graphic Communication Department meets or exceeds the accrediting expectations in all areas."

Cal Poly's academic program was evaluated in 14 areas: mission statement, goals and objectives, governance/administration, financial support, equipment and facilities, staff support services, curriculum, instruction and evaluation, internships/practicum/co-ops, industry advisory committee, faculty, faculty evaluation, student records and advising, and graduate placement and follow-up.

The accreditation process involves reviewing qualitative and quantitative evidence obtained through a self-study and facts substantiated by a three-member visitation team.

The Cal Poly Graphic Communication Department self-study and related accreditation preparations were spearheaded by professor Penny Osmond, who spent more than a year organizing and bringing together the material that ultimately led to the accreditation award. Official recognition and a plaque presentation took place at the recent ACCGC board of director's meeting in Chicago.

"The process of preparing for an accreditation review is both challenging and rewarding," Osmond said. "As a department, we continuously strive to find the right formula for success. By receiving accreditation, we've found that our efforts are paying off."

In awarding full accreditation status to the Bachelor of Science degree program in graphic communication, beginning with the 2003-2004 academic year, the ACCGC formally recognizes the department as "having a viable program in promoting and advancing the technology and profession of graphic communications."

The site visitation team report points to many positive attributes of the Graphic Communication Department that resulted in accreditation. The accreditation is for a five-year period, after which it will be
reviewed for renewal.

Graphic Communication Department Head Harvey Levenson said, "Having received national accreditation endorsed by respected peers in education and industry is yet another milestone for a department that has been serving the graphic communication profession for nearly 60 years. The credit belongs to the enerations of faculty and staff who collectively built the department and established its reputation. Our mission statement includes pursuing excellence in education through theoretical and experiential methods of discovery, applying and articulating fundamental print and imaging technologies, and applying aesthetics and management excellence in graphic communication."

Cal Poly's Graphic Communication Department was founded in 1946. Approximately 300 students are enrolled in the bachelor's degree program, which includes concentrations in printing and imaging management, electronic publishing and imaging, design reproduction technology, and individualized study.

"Cal Poly is a very competitive university, and our graphic communication students are typically selected from among the top 10 to 15 percent of their high school or junior college graduating classes," Levenson said.

With more than 33,000 square feet of modern laboratories, the Graphic Communication Department represents one of the best-known programs of its kind in the nation and is the largest in the western United States. It has one of the largest industry endowment and support programs in graphic arts education with the vast majority of its equipment and facilities having been donated by industry.

The Graphic Communication Department faculty members are internationally known as professors, scholars, researchers, consultants and authors.

(NOTE TO EDITORS: For a photograph of the plaque presentation, please contact Jo Ann Lloyd at (805) 756-1511 or jlloyd@calpoly.edu.)


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