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27
Winter 2011
Journalism curriculum approved
Students will share focused core;
choose from three exciting tracks
BY MICHELLE CARPENTER, ‘12
B
eginning in the Fall 2011 semester,
a new cur-
riculum will be implemented for journalism stu-
dents giving them more options for their studies
than ever before. The current journalism curricu-
lum will be drastically changed in order to keep students up-
to-date with the knowledge and skills necessary to prepare
them for a career in the f ield of journalism.
The current curriculum, which has been in practice for
over 15 years, offers a foundation in journalism, but not the
freedom to declare a specif ic f ield in which to study. This is
where the new curriculum will differ.
“This is a signif icant curriculum change,” said Gerald
McNulty, ‘79, director of the Internship Program and assis-
tant professor of communication at Marist College. “Students
will now have a choice of specialties that can enhance their
skill level.”
The specialties offered have been divided into three main
tracks: news, magazine and broadcast news. Students will
still be required to complete three journalism foundation
courses and over this time they can choose a specialty which
will require three distinct courses. The f irst specialty class
will serve as a writing class, the second will provide special-
ization in the chosen track, and the third will be a “work-
shop” class taken senior year, which will require students to
complete a project in their f ield. These courses may be taken
while interspersed with the foundation classes.
The foundation courses, Introduction to Journalism, News
Editing and Mass Communication Law, will not necessarily
have to be taken consecutively, allowing students to spread
them out throughout their four years at Marist. The spe-
cialization classes also work in a way that allows students
to “double-dip,” McNulty said. They are able to have a dual
specialty, in which they complete courses in any two of the
tracks offered.
The tracks, foundation courses and electives all serve to
advance the curriculum, as well as accommodate the increase
in technology and the shift from a newspaper model to more
current models. These courses offer an “emphasis on digital
publication,” McNulty said, such as online newspapers and
blogs.
The main concepts and principles have not changed; they
have just been strengthened in different f ields so that stu-
dents are better prepared for the job market, said Lyn Lepre,
associate professor of communication. Some people, however,
hold concern that journalism is a dying profession due to the
same new media that Marist is seeking to accommodate.
“It’s not dying; it’s changing,” Lepre said. “This is the man-
tra that was kept in mind during the changing of the curricu-
lum. Technology doesn’t drive the bus. The writing does.”
Although the curriculum has been approved, courses will
not be implemented all at once; they will gradually roll in so
that the current journalism students are not inconvenienced.
The faculty is focused on utilizing these courses to help stu-
dents feel conf ident when they enter their f ield of choice after
college. The teachers said they believe they have created a
program that will not need to be completely recreated again
in 10 to 15 years.
“The new curriculum strengthens our overall mission,”
Lepre said. “I think the one thing that’s very important is
that we offer students a curriculum that trains them not only
for the news around today, but also trains them for what’s to
come.”
Journalism Concentration Requirements (18 credits)
Journalism Foundation (9 Credits)
• COM 242 –
Introduction to Journalism
• COM 236 –
News Editing
• COM 300 –
Mass Communication Law
Journalism Specialties: (9 credits)
News
• COM 3322 –
Newswriting
• COM 323 –
Public Afairs Reporting
• COM 461 –
News Workshop
Magazine
• COM 327 –
Magazine Writing
• COM 345 –
Photojournalism
or COM 328 –
Magazine Layout & Design
• COM 462 –
Magazine Publishing Workshop
Broadcast News
• COM 331 –
Broadcast Newswriting
• COM 332 –
Producing the Newscast
• COM 463 –
Broadcast News Workshop
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