Student Achievement Assessment Committee
Department of Journalism Learning Outcomes:
After the completion of the B.S.J. students will be able to:
1. exhibit strong journalistic writing, including command of grammar and technical skills, in articles about topics that include the social sciences, the humanities, and the natural science;
2. gather information through interviewing sources and research using libraries, archives, documents, databases, and electronic sources;
3. critically assess, organize and present information for a variety of audiences in at least two media formats and in both written and visual form;
4. perform within professional expectations with regard to deadlines and accuracy and in keeping with media law;
5. critically analyze the development and social impact of the media within diverse domestic and global communities.
2003-04 Assessment Activities:
This year we completed two activities, which between them, gave us feedback on all five our learning outcomes.
Activity 1: Our students are required to complete two internships in order to graduate with a B.S.J. The department has been collecting data since Fall 2000 from the internship evaluation forms filled out by internship supervisors. These data provide information about how well our students are doing on the first four learning outcomes. Those data were analyzed by an assessment subcommittee this spring. While an occasional student falls short on one or more of the criteria, the vast majority are ranked good to excellent on those items that reflect learning outcomes 1 through 4.
Planned changes based on activity 1: No changes in the curriculum were planned based on these data.
Activity 2: Our second, and most extensive, activity was associated with our accreditation visit last year. The journalism department is one of 95 U.S. journalism programs accredited through the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. Every six years we complete a self-assessment study based on the 12 standards of that body and are visited by a team from the accrediting council, and 2003-04 was our year.
We were found in compliance with all the standards that relate to curriculum except one, Standard 12 on Diversity. We were found to have done a good job with incorporating gender issues into our curriculum, but less so with racial and ethnic issues. This relates to learning outcome 5.
Planned changes as a result of activity 2: In order to highlight the importance of diversity issues in the field of journalism, every syllabus will mention diversity issues. Diversity issues can be mentioned in the course objectives or among class activities.
Each class will have at least one activity or unit that focuses on diversity issues that are appropriate to that class material.
Teachers are encouraged to include people of color among guest speakers to the classes.
Guest speakers to the department as a whole will include people of color.
The department will sponsor this spring a workshop about integrating diversity issues into classroom teaching.