Become a Member
Universal accreditation is a voluntary certification program for public relations professionals that seeks to improve the practice of public relations. Internationally recognized, Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) integrates timeless communication principles with contemporary strategies and tactics. The process of earning your APR takes your skills to the next level by exposing you to today's cutting-edge strategies and practices, by assessing your skills to identify strengths and opportunities for growth, and by demonstrating your personal and professional commitment to excellence. Read on for testimonials from accredited NSPRA members to learn about their journeys and how having an APR has impacted their professional lives.
Are you accredited? Tell us how it's made a difference in your career and it may be spotlighted on this webpage and NSPRA social media.
I decided to earn my APR six years into my school PR career. While I was already moving from practitioner to adviser, I believed the credential would elevate my expertise and give me the tools to not only talk the talk, but also walk the walk. I was also moving to a new state and looking for a job. I felt the credential was key to setting me apart as a qualified candidate. The most valuable outcome, though, was gaining confidence in myself as a capable, skilled communicator in our industry. - Jodie Orzechowski, APR, assistant director of engagement and development services, Capital Region BOCES (NY)
I pursued APR because I wanted to have the highest certification possible in my chosen career field. What I discovered was a methodical approach to a profession that is anything but predictable! RPIE (research, planning, implementation, evaluation) is a coveted mindset skill that pays high dividends and is worth your time and effort! - Kevin Christian, APR, director of public relations, Marion County (Fla.) Public Schools
With a background in journalism and a master’s degree with a few miles on it, earning my APR helped focus my school PR practice as well as demonstrate my commitment to our work. Working toward this goal while working in school PR in a large district meant I applied my learning on a daily basis. I was inspired by my educator colleagues, who are lifelong learners. Get a mentor, make the time and soak in the cheerleading you receive along the way as well as after you see that “Pass" on your exam! - Leanne Libby, APR, chief communications officer, Corpus Christi Independent School District
I view Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) as the hallmark of professionalism in the field of Communication. The accreditation process is a way to help each of us understand what we know, what we don’t know, and what the critical need is in several capacities of our profession. Obtaining your APR is the next step in continuing your education, furthering your professional status, and delivering ever-greater value to your employer. - Tracy Jentz, APR, communications and community engagement coordinator, Grand Forks (ND) Public Schools
I earned my APR later in my career, and even as a longtime school communicator, the process pushed me to think more systematically about my practice. No matter where you are in your career, you will benefit from studying for your APR. -Catherine Carbone Rogers, APR, chief communications officer, Highline Public Schools (Burien, Wash.)
Obtaining my APR not only sharpened my skills and grew my confidence, it also gave me a new mindset to approach my work with a strategic lens. - Tove Tupper, APR, director of communications, Highline Public Schools (Burien, Wash.)
My APR journey was a long and slow one. I attended the online class several times before I finally committed to a plan and deadline. Once I did that, it was not so daunting. My APR has not only positively impacted my work, but it has also positively impacted my salary as I was able to justify a bump. I encourage everyone to pursue their APR! - Jill Browning, APR, director of communications, Community High School District 99 (Downers Grove, Ill.)
The process of earning my APR helped me examine strategic communications through a leadership lens. It challenged me to grow professionally by forcing me to dive deeper into communications concepts, origins, laws, and theories that I had not thought much about since college. Completion of this program boosted my confidence in myself as a practitioner through the mentorship I received, resources provided, and intense learning required. - Kimberly Koop, APR, director of community engagement and recruitment, El Dorado (Kan.) Public Schools USD 490
Earning the APR was the best professional development I have ever personally invested in and committed to doing. It has also led me to become more involved in NSPRA and better utilize the resources available through the organization. Since beginning the process of APR, I was promoted to Director of Communications, including a rank change on the administrative salary scale. - Leslie McCoy, APR, director of communications, Bowling Green (Ky.) Independent Schools
As we all know, as a communications professional, there are too many things to do and too many directions to run. Using the knowledge I developed by acquiring my APR helps me prioritize and focus my work. APR is more than studying textbooks and having an answer for particular scenarios or situations. It influenced my frame of mind on how I approach new challenges. Having a roadmap to figure out the best course of action is invaluable. The knowledge and tools acquired through studying for accreditation equip you for whatever may happen in this unpredictable world. While many educators may not really understand what an APR is, it is my accreditation training that helps me provide counsel and direction in challenging times. - Terry Ryan, APR, Communications Director, Northbrook (Ill.) School District 28