Mission Statement and Student Learning Outcomes

The Department of Journalism and Digital Communication offers approximately 25 courses varying in content from the highly technical and field-specialized to an essential liberal arts orientation. The program introduces students to the theories, principles, and problems of communications, emphasizing the concept of freedom of information as the cornerstone of constitutional democracy and preparing students for future leadership roles in communications media.

Our students acquire skills and aptitudes to succeed in today’s expanding world of news, including Web-based, interactive, digital journalism. Classes blend theory and practice to explore legal rights and ethical responsibilities while teaching students to cover the news under realistic deadlines and conditions. Seniors graduate with a diverse portfolio of professional work and the confidence to compete for a challenging range of jobs as reporters, editors, photojournalists, video storytellers, news researchers, page designers for print and on-line publications and organizations.

Much of the language below comes from The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications.

Content/Discipline Skills
  1. Ethics: Students will demonstrate an understanding of professional ethical principles and work ethically in pursuit of truth, accuracy, fairness and diversity.
  2. Law: 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. Technology: Apply current tools and technologies appropriate for the communications professions in which they work, and to understand the digital world.
  4. Theory: Understand concepts and apply theories in the use and presentation of images and information
Communication Skills
  1. Editing: Critically evaluate their own work and that of others for accuracy and fairness, clarity, appropriate style and grammatical correctness.
  2. Numbers: Apply basic numerical and statistical concepts.
  3. Visual Literacy: Understand and apply visual theories and related design techniques.
  4. Writing: Write correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the communications professions, audiences and purposes they serve.
Critical Thinking Skills
  1. Critical Thinking: Think critically, creatively and independently.
  2. Research: Conduct research and evaluate information by methods appropriate to the communications professions in which they work.
Civic Engagement
  1. History: Demonstrate an understanding of the history and role of professionals and institutions in shaping communications.
  2. Business and Entrepreneurship: Understand emerging business models and entrepreneurial skills related to changes in the business of journalism.
Multiculturalism / Diversity
  1. Global/Cultural Diversity: Demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of peoples and cultures and of the significance and impact of mass communications in a global society.
  2. Individual/Domestic Diversity: Demonstrate an understanding of gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation and, as appropriate, other forms of diversity in domestic society in relation to mass communications.