Academic Learning Compact

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The Department of Journalism and Digital Communication fully embraces the 12 learning competencies defined by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. We believe these competencies address skills and values critical to journalists and other professional communicators. To keep our curricula in sync with industry trends, we have identified two additional competencies relating to entrepreneurship and visual literacy to augment those defined by ACEJMC. Consistent with the department’s mission and the overarching strategic goals of the university, we have also identified several high-priority competencies. These include domestic diversity, global diversity and technology. We believe that these competencies best encapsulate both the skills and values at the core of our programs, and we place special emphasis on class discussions and activities that explore these topics.

Content / Discipline Skills

Graduates will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of professional ethical principles and work ethically in pursuit of truth, accuracy, fairness and diversity.
  2. Understand and apply the principles and laws of freedom of speech and press, as well as receive instruction in and understand the range of systems of freedom of expression around the world, including the right to dissent, to monitor and criticize power, and to assemble and petition for redress of grievance.
  3. Apply current tools and technologies appropriate for the communications professions in which they work, and to understand the digital world.
  4. Understand concepts and apply theories in the use and presentation of images and information.

Content/discipline knowledge and skills are assessed at the departmental level through projects and case studies completed in the following required courses: JOU 4938 Senior Seminar, MMC 4200 Hist/Principles of Comm Law, MMC 4203 Mass Communication Ethics, VIC 3001 Intro to Visual Communications (Undergraduate); MMC 6206 Mass Communication Ethics, MMC 6400 Mass Communication Theory, MMC 6612 Law and Mass Media, MMC 6950 Applied Research Project (JMS); and JOU 6360 Digital Media Technology, JOU 6708 Digital Ethics and Law, MMC 6936 Digital Media Production, MMC 6936 DJD Social Media, MMC 6936 DJD Web Publishing, MMC 6950 Applied Research Project, VIC 6007 Visual Communication Design and Theory (DJD).

Communication Skills

Graduates will be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate their own work and that of others for accuracy and fairness, clarity, appropriate style and grammatical correctness.
  2. Apply basic numerical and statistical concepts.
  3. Understand and apply visual theories and related design techniques.
  4. Write correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the communications professions, audiences and purposes they serve.

Communication knowledge and skills are assessed at the departmental level through papers and examinations completed in the following required courses: JOU 2100 Beginning Reporting, JOU 4201 News Editing 1, JOU 4188 Neighborhood News Bureau, MMC 2100 Writing for the Mass Media, MMC 4200 Hist/Principles of Comm Law, MMC 4420 Research Methods in Mass Communication, VIC 3001 Intro to Visual Communications (Undergrad); JOU 6114 Multimedia Reporting, MMC 6400 Mass Communication Theory, MMC 6421 Research Methods in Mass Communication, MMC 6950 Applied Research Project (JMS); and GEB 6118 Business Enterprise, JOU 6114 Multimedia Reporting, MMC 6936 Digital Media Production, MMC 6936 DJD Web Publishing, VIC 6007 Visual Communication Design and Theory (DJD).

Critical Thinking Skills

Graduates will be able to:

  1. Think critically, creatively and independently.
  2. Conduct research and evaluate information by methods appropriate to the communications professions in which they work.

Critical Thinking knowledge and skills are assessed at the departmental level for graduate students in the Journalism and Media Studies program through comprehensive exams and for all students through research completed in the following required courses: JOU 2100 Beginning Reporting, JOU 4201 News Editing 1, MMC 4203 Mass Communication Ethics, MMC 4420 Research Methods in Mass Communication (Undergrad); MMC 6421 Research Methods in Mass Communication, MMC 6950 Applied Research Project (JMS); JOU 6930 Digital Media Technology, MMC 6936 Social Media, MMC 6950 Applied Research Project, VIC 6007 Visual Communications Design and Theory (DJD).

Civic Engagement Skills

Graduates will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the history and role of professionals and institutions in shaping communications.
  2. Understand emerging business models and entrepreneurial skills related to changes in the business of journalism.

Civic Engagement knowledge and skills are assessed at the departmental level through projects and case studies completed in the following required courses: MMC 3602 Mass Communication and Society, JOU 4938 Senior Seminar (Undergrad); MMC 6612 Law and Mass Media (JMS); GEB 6118 Business Enterprise, JOU 6114 Multimedia Reporting (DJD).

Multiculturalism / Diversity Skills

Graduates will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of peoples and cultures and of the significance and impact of mass communications in a global society.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation and, as appropriate, other forms of diversity in domestic society in relation to mass communications.

Multiculturalism/diversity knowledge and skills are assessed at the departmental level for graduate students in the Journalism and Media Studies program through comprehensive exams and for all students through projects, presentations and case studies completed in the following required courses: JOU 4188 Neighborhood News Bureau, MMC 3602 Mass Communication and Society (Undergrad); MMC 6206 Mass Communication Ethics MMC 6936 Neighborhood News Bureau (JMS); JOU 6006 Digital Democracy (DJD).