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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Harrison earns national accreditation in public relations

George Harrison, a professor in the Mass Communications Department of The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, successfully completed the examination for accreditation in public relations, entitling him to use the APR professional designation.

George HarrisonHarrison has taught public relations at UNCP for four years and is the faculty advisor to the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).

The announcement was made in early December by the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB), a consortium of nine professional communication organizations that directs this competency certification program.

The accreditation program aims to improve the practice of public relations by assessing competence in 60 areas of knowledge, skills and abilities associated with the profession. The examination is designed for public relations professionals with at least five years of job experience and/or a bachelor’s degree in a communication field. Candidates who successfully complete the rigorous process, including presenting their portfolio to a readiness review panel of three peers and sitting for a computer-based examination, are granted the APR.

“Earning the APR reflects a mastery of the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to succeed in our increasingly complex profession,” said Marisa Vallbona, APR, 2007 chair of the Universal Accreditation Board. “Practitioners who achieve the designation are demonstrating their commitment not only to our profession, but also to a strong code of ethics and to the betterment of their organizations and clients.”

The computer-based portion of the examination is administered throughout the year at more than 300 prometric testing centers. The readiness review is conducted prior to the computer-based portion of the Examination by a panel of three accredited members of one or more of the nine organizations participating in the UAB. Professionals earning the APR must maintain their credential through continuing professional development, providing leadership to the profession and serving their local communities.

The UAB was established in 1998 by a coalition of public relations professional organizations. For more information about the UAB and the APR designation, visit

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