Thanks to Tom Weir and his assessment team

My first job for CSJMM is to make a presentation for the 3 deans at GIPA (Georgia Institute of Public Affairs) as well as GIPA’s rector, Giorgi Margvelashvili, about “total quality management.” After talking with Baadur Koplatadze, I understood that TQM is basically the same as program assessment, which is one of the standards for accreditation by the ACEJMC. Fortunately (for me) the School of Journalism and Mass Communications completed an assessment plan and report as part of its re-accreditation in spring 2011. Even more fortunate (again, for me) is that Tom Weir and a committee of USC faculty members did an excellent job creating the plan and writing the report. I shared several of the SJMC’s supplemental materials with CSJMM, and I prepared a PowerPoint presentation for my meeting with GIPA’s administration.

I also borrowed an idea from the British system of education—external examiners. If CSJMM adopts this idea, then it would pay for journalism school faculty member(s) and/or administrator(s) from another country—probably Armenia or Turkey—to visit for a few days at the end of the school year. These external examiners then read/view and assign a grade to a portfolio of work from each graduating student. If the examiners’ grades consistently differ from the grades students received from CSJMM, then an internal investigation would occur.

I was part of an investigating team at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda in 1996 because the faculty had assigned significantly lower grades than the external examiners to a particular student. After reviewing the case, I had sided with the external examiners—Makerere’s faculty members had been unfair to this student.


About keithrkenney
Keith Kenney is a professor of visual communication at the University of South Carolina. He is living in Tbilisi, Georgia, for a year. This blog is about several topics. "CSJMM-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management in Tbilisi, Georgia. "USC-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SJMC) at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. CSJMM and SJMC are recipients of a "Journalism School Partnership" program grant from the US Department of State. The purpose of this $750,000 grant is to improve CSJMM and ensure its sustainability. "Tbilisi, Georgia" is about Susanna Melo and my experiences in Tbilisi. "Columbia, SC" will be about our experiences in our home town--Columbia--when we return home. "Georgia" is about Susanna and my experiences when we travel in Georgia outside of Tbilisi. "United States" is about our experiences traveling in the US. "Films and Photography" is about two documentary films I'm working on in Georgia. One story follows how Adishi handles the rapid tourism that is being developed in Svaneti. The other story follows Tamaz Jalagania, who is a craftsman of swords and guns, an opera singer, and an extraordinary storyteller. "Scholarship" is about my current books, articles, reviews, and grants.

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