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Drake’s public relations program receives CEPR certification

 Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) announced on Wednesday that Drake has one of the top 50 PR programs in the world. 

Drake is recognized internationally for receiving the Certification in Education for Public Relations (CEPR) at Meredith Hall.

The global certification is reviewed annually by randomly selected professional and academic leaders. Last year during April, Drake was reviewed by a professor at Kent State University and a public relations professional from Montana. 

“Every few years, the managers of the program come around to access and evaluate the quality of the program, and Drake just got affirmed as having one of the top 50 PR programs globally,” said Eric Adae, an assistant public relations professor at Drake.  

The CEPR process is through two members of the PRSA Education Affairs Committee. The review is conducted by one full-time educator and one practicing professional. These two members visit the campus for two to three days and hold meetings with faculty, students, administrators and outside voters. They consider eight factors: curriculum, faculty, students, facilities, assessment, professional affiliations, relationships, and diversity and global perspectives.  

 “When we were thinking about going up for this, there were about 30-35 in the world, so it’s a growing program, which is excellent for PR education globally, but when we were thinking about what makes a really good program, we knew we had all [the] pieces here,” said Kelly Bruhn, associate dean of SJMC and professor of mass communication and public relations. 

This will mark the first time that Drake has been re-certified by public relations professionals. This event occurs every six years, and Drake has gone through the process twice now.  

“We learned a lot about how to prepare from our initial certification process, so we were able to reduce some of the stress this time. We have ample examples of how Drake’s PR program meets the standards set out by the CEPR committee, so we worked together to pull those together and make the case that our program is only [getting] better with age,” Jennifer Glover Konfrst, an associate professor of Drake’s public relations program. 

The hard work paid off for faculty and staff members of Drake’s public relations program.

“Certification means a great deal, because it serves as validation that what Dr. Bruhn, Dr. Adae and I are doing is valuable and meaningful to students. That is what’s most important — how students are served by this designation,” Konfrst said. 

Members of the PR faculty and staff team are now recognized internationally for their commitment to the PR program. 

“It just feels so good to be part of a team that is well recognized and among the very best and brightest PR programs in the world,” Adae said. 

Drake alumni can also benefit from this certification. 

“It also helps our alumni who can tout their education coming from one of the top 50 programs globally,” Konfrst said. 

International public relations professionals congratulate Drake over Zoom this Wednesday at Meredith Hall. Students and faculty members gathered around and ate pizza and cookies to celebrate the news. 

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