Shaw says she became interested in journalism because her father spent 52 years working for a newspaper. She started working for a newspaper when she was in junior high.
In college she did journalism and secondary education. She taught high school in Wichita, Kansas.
She was offered the editor position of a magazine, Kansas Alumni.
Then, she was asked to be an assistant professor at the school of journalism at the University of Kansas. Later, she was the associate dean.
In 1985, she was an editor and publisher for Gannett.
"The best part of being in a university are the students."
At the daily newspaper in junior high, she worked in the mailroom as a proofreader. This was in Wellington, Kansas.
The high school she taught at was Wichita Heights High School. At the same time, she was getting her master's degree in journalism.
Jim Batten got her interested in a management training program.
Not a lot of women did those kinds of training programs.
She recalls the phone conversation she had with Batten. She says it was a good experience with people who became successful.
She got to work with Jim Cramer and Jonathan Peters. "Tallahassee was a newspaper where they hired a lot of really great, young people."
She wasn't a reporter in Wellington, but says she did a little bit of everything.
"It's much different today." She says newspapers aren't as popular. People are missing out when they get news online.
She worries about the future of newspapers. People are getting laid off at newspaper publications.
Her accrediting job isn't full time. She did half for ACEJMC and the other half for the school of journalism. Over the years, she starting doing more work for ACEJMC.
She does academic advising and is involved with the Hearst contest. She was also involved with the Multicultural Scholars Program.
The Multicultural Scholars Program was started at the University of Kansas. Each school has a program and students receive scholarship money, and are met with regularly. "It's a mentoring program in many ways."
Mentoring is very important. Academic advising isn't just talking about classes, but discussing internships and career ideas.
College is all about sorting out what you want.
Today, students who get journalism degrees sometimes change their career after working in the newsroom. Shaw says the most important skills they get are writing well and knowing how to ask questions.
Shaw says strategic communications and advertising run the world, but writing remains important.
In the Multicultural Scholars Program, most of the students are of color but also first generation college students.
"Diversity has been a very important standard." we have to prepare students to work in a diverse world.
She works for the Accrediting Council on Education Journalism and Mass communications (ACEJMC).
ACEJMC is a specialized accreditor. Shaw says accreditation helps schools improve.
When she started, there was 85 accredited programs. Now, they have 117 and 8 international.
Only accredited schools can participate in the Hearst competition, which is the pulitzer prize of college journalism. Schools get money for entering and winning.
There are 9 standards for accreditation. Standard 3, Diversity and Standard 9, Assessment are the most important. She thinks curriculum and governance is very important.
They review the standards every 10 years. Before, there was 12 standards. Diversity went from 12 to 3.
Shaw says schools are more sensitive to diversity. It has helped improve journalism education.
She gives ways schools can be more diverse when they're in areas that don't have diverse populations.
The other thing that's important to her is consistency.
Once the site team sends the report to Shaw, compliance and non compliance cannot be changed.
They got money to try to help the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).
The University of Montana is in an area with Native Americans. Other schools have a much more "richer pool to draw from."
Shaw talks about the call to action for more diversity.
She says they're the only accrediting agency that does its business in the open.
They're doing a workshop for new administrators. She says transparency is very important.
The accrediting committee is a group of 15 that is mostly educators. They are elected and serve 3 year terms.
The accrediting council has 28 members.
She names some organizations involved with the council. There used to be more newspaper organizations.
The dues from the organizations were based on their budget. Now, the dues are $3,000 a year.
National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) has always been a member. So has the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ).
She says groups like NABJ and NAHJ are important for diversity.
Schools have pre visits that are arranged through the accreditation council.
Some schools opt out because the accreditation process is too much. Shaw says particularly the international schools.
After the pre visit, a report is sent to the school. "The most important thing for initial accreditation is that you're successful."
The school spends a year fixing the things that have been identified. They have a self study year and then the site visit.
After, there's a meeting with administrators. Then, there's an exit interview with the chancellor.
Compliances can't be changed but recommendations can be. The council has the final say.
Faculty, students, and administrators are aware of diversity.
Shaw talks about how some schools can lack diversity.
Some schools have a diversity requirement.
Responses can be anywhere from 2 to 30 pages. They are part of the school's file forever.
There are no set standards when you get provisions.
The committee reads the letters. Sometimes it can change reverse a decision.
The final decision can be changed, just not the compliance.
There wasn't a diversity standard before. " I think it's something the council and the committee feel very strongly about." She says it sensitizes the schools who are accredited to diversity and its importance to the world.
The school representative can respond to specific questions. Meetings are highly encouraged.
One of the strengths of the process is the transparency and the opportunity for schools to go and hear what is said.
Freedom Forum gave the committee money. She spent a lot of time trying to help and improve HBCU's. "I wish I could help them more."
She says some HBCU's struggle with resources. Leadership is another problem because they frequently have interims.
She talks about when she entered the journalism industry.
There's 19 accredited schools that have interims.
There are now more accredited HBCU's than from when she started her job.
"You have to take all things into consideration." State universities are different from HBCU's. The bar is the same for both, though.
She says there are more administrators who have diverse backgrounds.
In a way, accreditation makes for more diversity .
"We need to continue to stress the importance [of diversity] and I think it's absolutely important for the media in our country." She says students need to be prepared for their careers.