US recognition for PR programme in DIT

Masters programme is first in Europe to be recognized by PRSA

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John Gallagher, DIT, Chair of the MA Programme, with Dr. Susan Gonders, head of the PRSA Certification Programme

The Master of Arts in Public Relations programme has become the first public relations course across Europe to be recognised by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). The formal recognition was conferred at the PRSA 2010 Annual Conference, and the presentation was made to Mr. John Gallagher, who is Course Director of the programme and lecturer in the DIT School of Media.

The popular one year postgraduate programme is just over ten years old and has seen nearly 500 students graduate with qualifications that are recognised in Ireland through the Public Relations Institute of Ireland, the United Kingdom through the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and now in the United States through PRSA.

The course was the first postgraduate programme to submit for assessment through the PRSA?s Certification for Education in Public Relations programme (CEPR) which involves a thorough examination of the programme?s academic and vocational quality. Certification involves inspection on site by two PRSA representatives, an academic (Dr Susan Gonders) and a public relations practitioner (Ms Judith Bogart Meredith).

Chartered in 1947, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is the world?s largest and foremost organization of public relations professionals. PRSA provides professional development, sets standards of excellence and upholds principles of ethics for its members and, more broadly, for the multi-billion dollar global public relations profession. PRSA is a community of more than 21,000 public relations and communications professionals across the United States, from recent college graduates to the leaders of the world?s largest multinational firms.

Speaking about the certification, Mr. Gallagher explained, ?Though in the past many of our students have found careers in the United States and we have attracted American students to the programme, this formal certification will greatly facilitate any of our graduates who seek to practice public relations in the United States. It will also open up a wonderful opportunity for American youngsters who want to secure international qualifications and who want the assurance that what they are learning enables them to pursue a career back home. We are delighted with this recognition by PRSA and are encouraged to continue our efforts to ensure our public relations programmes are regarded as world class by the international public relations industy.

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