Certification for Education in Public Relations (CEPR) is a cooperative effort between leading practicing professionals and educators through PRSA Educational Affairs. CEPR is “the global standard in public relations education,” as some 40 academic programs in Canada, Europe, New Zealand, South America and the U.S. have the distinction of PRSA endorsement.
Deborah Saline is one of a select group of public relations professionals and academicians asked by PRSA to review the curriculums and outcomes of college and university public relations programs. CEPR provides a process for higher education institutions to measure their academic outcomes in public relations to ensure that they are offering students the best, most current education possible.
Saline is part of some 13 teams joining other PRSA professionals this spring to review more than 26 academic programs for either initial certification or recertification. She will review Brigham Young University’s public relations program in late March. If the review is successful, the program leaders will be recognized at PRSA’s International Conference in the fall.
“We review every aspect of a college or university’s PR curriculum then interview faculty and alumni relative to expect outcomes during three days of arduous review. We also want to meet with university or college leadership to determine how others outside the department view their public relations program,” says Deborah. “Our task continues with extensive documentation of our findings, recommendations for enhancements or changes and finally a recommendation to the PRSA board of directors to either credential the program or not.”
Deborah has participated in four other reviews including the University of North Carolina; Ferris State University, Michigan; Seton Hall University, New Jersey; and Drake University, Iowa.