Students, faculty, and alumni of Pittsburg State’s Graphics and Imaging Technologies (GIT) department celebrated their recent accreditation Tuesday afternoon.
The accreditation was issued in September, but members of the department wanted to celebrate the achievement by hosting a special reception Tuesday, Nov. 27.
“Being accredited is not only a great thing for our department and the university as whole… It holds our department to a higher standard, which I think in the end is very beneficial not just for us but especially for our students… And so, because we were granted our accreditation… We wanted to celebrate and make sure that not only our current students knew that this happened but our alumni and supporters as well,” Christel Benson, associate professor of GIT, said. “… Having this accreditation makes us more appealing to potential students who want to come to PSU and it also helps us with industry support that not only hire our students but that are supportive of our program and our department.”
Benson organized the reception with the help of faculty, staff, and students, and both current and former members of the GIT program attended the celebration.
“… Everybody took a role, from ordering cake and cookies to getting balloons to making punch and having paper goods… We just wanted to do something we could get recognition from,” Benson said. “We … Had a printed invitation designed by a student, Audry Dainty, and that was very well received, especially a lot of the retired faculty members, they were so impressed… Another student, Natasha Lawrence… Did an animation with music, so we had an animated invite to put on social media and Canvas to announce to our current students and alumni that they were invited to the event, and that was very well received as well.”
The reception was a celebration of the department’s accomplishments, reflected in the accreditation that places Pitt State’s GIT program among the top 12 in the country.
“This is a national level accreditation, we were reviewed by peer educational institutions and industry members,” Douglas Younger, GIT interim chair, said. “There were a set of 14 standards that we were to achieve compliance of a minimum of eight; we actually fully complied with 11 of the 14 standards, and so we are accredited for a six-year period. We are currently one of 12 schools across the United States that have this accreditation.”
The standards, set by the Accrediting Council for Collegiate Graphic Communications, Inc., measure aspects of the program such as curriculum and assessments, methods of governance, facilities and equipment, quality of the faculty, and graduation placement.
“It validates what staff and faculty do, because it’s not just a matter of us saying that we’re doing a good job and providing a good education for our students, there’s actually an outside agency that has looked at what we’re doing and they’ve put their stamp of approval on what we’re doing and they show that we’re doing a good job for our students preparing them for the world after college,” Younger said.