PRSA members interested in seeking accreditation in public relations will have another opportunity to participate in a Pikes Peak Chapter-sponsored preparation workshop in March.
Taught by Chapter Accreditation Chair Fred Morgan, APR, Fellow PRSA, and other accredited chapter members, the workshop is normally offered after work for two to two and one-half hours for six consecutive weeks. But the workshop’s final design will depend upon the needs and desires of participants. A fee of $50, payable to the chapter, is charged those who participate in the APR workshop.
Morgan firmly believes that practitioners should establish professional goals for themselves early in their careers, and that seeking accreditation is one of the most important ones they can choose. “Earning the APR designation indicates that one has demonstrated competency in the knowledge, skills and abilities required to effectively practice PR in today’s world,” he said.
The accreditation program is administered by the Universal Accreditation Board, a consortium of nine leading PR organizations, including PRSA. The
“APR” designation was developed 52 years ago by PRSA, but can now be used by any consortium member who successfully completes a readiness
questionnaire, passes a face-to-face presentation and review conducted by a panel of three accredited members from their chapter, and successfully passes a three-hour, 45-minute, examination administered at numerous testing centers throughout the nation. The test is offered locally by Prometric Testing Centers on North Academy.
Anyone interested in pursuing accreditation must be a member in good standing of PRSA or another consortium organization, have five years experience in the full-time practice or teaching of PR and have a bachelor’s degree in a communications field or equivalent work experience which includes:
Accreditation candidates will have chapter support available as they study for both the panel presentation and the examination. “The chapter board of directors purchased six college PR textbooks,” said Morgan, “and these will be available for loan to candidates on a first come, first served basis. I’ve coached a large number of accreditation candidates during the past 24 years, and have achieved the best success with group study involving three to six people.” This year’s workshop will be the last one taught by Fred Morgan – he plans to give up the accreditation chair at year’s end.
The Pikes Peak Chapter has one of the strongest accreditation programs in the nation with 23 of its 67 members accredited – 34 percent of the chapter. The national average is between 19 and 20 percent.
Members interested in learning more about earning their APR should check out the Universal Accreditation Board website at praccreditation.org. Those interested should then contact Fred Morgan at 488-8352 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline to sign up for the March workshop is February 15.
The APR designation, once earned, is a lifetime accreditation. Accredited members must complete maintenance requirements every three years, however.
Chapter member Julie Armstrong, APR, a visiting assistant professor of communications at St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas, recently passed PRSA’s APR examination and is now an accredited member of the Society. She joins 22 other Pikes Peak Chapter members who have earned their APRs.
Julie, who resides in Colorado Springs, has been teaching at St. Edwards University for more than a year. She also serves as the faculty advisor for the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter there. During the 2017 Spring semester, she was selected as one of two faculty members to journey to Angers, France, to teach at the Université catholique de l’Quest for the St. Edwards Study Abroad Program. While there, she will teach Global Health Communication, Presentational Speaking and Introduction to Communications.
Prior to moving to Austin, Julie was a visiting assistant professor of mass communications for three years at Colorado State University-Pueblo. Before becoming a professor, she spent 25 years in healthcare marketing communications for hospital systems in Texas, Louisiana and Colorado. She served as director of marketing communications for Penrose-St. Francis Health Services here for the final 10 years.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, and a master’s degree in communications from Trinity University, also in San Antonio.
Accreditation is the mark of distinction for public relations practitioners who have demonstrated their commitment to the profession and its ethical practice. It also certifies that Julie has demonstrated competency in the knowledge, skills and abilities required to effectively practice PR in today’s competitive environment.
PRSA members interested in accreditation should contact the chapter accreditation chair, Fred Morgan, APR, Fellow PRSA, at 488-8352 or email@example.com. He will be offering a six-week APR workshop for serious candidates in March.