Online Master's Degree for Journalism Educators

In 2007, Kent State University's School of Journalism and Mass Communication became the first journalism school in the country to offer a Master of Arts degree for journalism educators that is entirely online. The program emphasizes skills and theory teachers can study today and use in their classrooms tomorrow.

From the latest technology for multi-media story telling to gaining strategies to protect students' First Amendment rights, the range of course content covers what teachers and media advisers need to know to be effective 21st century journalism educators.

WHY PURSUE THIS DEGREE?

Credibility as a teacher in the journalism classroom or as an adviser for student media is vital. A master’s degree from an accredited journalism school offers that, plus the continuing education that school districts demand.

WHY CHOOSE KENT STATE?

Our School of Journalism and Mass Communication is accredited and has a national reputation for excellence.

Rigorous coursework ensures no one can question the validity of your degree. In fact, you may find yourself working harder because of all the resources at your fingertips.

We offer the only completely online master’s degree for educators through a School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Kent State is home to the Center for Scholastic Journalism. Center staff includes Knight Chair for Scholastic Journalism Mark Goodman, Director Candace Perkins Bowen and Assistant Director John Bowen.

Students get to know their instructors and classmates through real-time chats, threaded discussions and interactive technology.

Coursework focuses on concepts and lessons that can be used in participants’ classrooms right away.

Students enrolled in this program pay the in-state tuition rate.

For details of admissions requirements, see the Graduate Admissions website here: https://www.kent.edu/graduatestudies/admissions-criteria

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS AND CREDIT HOURS

For a complete list of the current course requirements, see the university catalog: http://catalog.kent.edu/colleges/ci/jmc/journalism-mass-communication-ma/

Required Core Courses (12)

JMC 60007 - Research Methods in Mass Communication - 3 hours

This course investigates social science methods applicable to the study of mass communication, including survey, content analysis, experimental, and focus group approaches. Emphasis is on original and secondary data collection, data analysis, and interpreting and reporting research results for scholarly and lay audiences.

JMC 60011 - Theory and Societal Role of Mass Media - 3 hours

This course reviews theories of the processes and effects of mass communication and how these apply to the work of media professionals or those in the scholastic and collegiate journalism teaching environment. It examines origins, nature and consequences of mass communication and mediated interactions.

JMC 60012 - Mass Communication Law and Ethics - 3 hours

This course offers a general overview of issues and problems in mass communication law and ethics including, libel, privacy, copyright, intellectual property, regulation of advertising and broadcasting, ethical decision making, ethical decision making tools and a simple review of ethical theory.

JMC 60396 - Master's Professional Project* - 3 hours

Professional projects are meant to provide a means for students to demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills learned through study in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication graduate program. Professional projects are flexible and should be designed to help the student now or in the future. They generally identify a question, challenge or problem in the field and offer some response or solution to it. In doing so, they attempt to expand existing knowledge in the field.

* JMC 60199/6029 Thesis I, II are options but not recommended for online students

Required Professional Courses** (6)

 

JMC 61001 - Principles and Practices of Digital Media - 3 hours

This course explores the history and philosophies of online communities and what makes them work. It examines how professionals integrate digital thinking into an organization’s communication and covers best practices for producing social media content that will lead to effective engagement.

JMC 66011 - Reporting, Writing and Editing for Media - 3 hours

This is a foundation course for all students, covering how to gather, write and edit content to tell stories across multiple platforms. Students will practice interviewing and research techniques, structuring their work in a variety of formats and polishing their grammar, usage and AP style.

Required Concentration Courses (6 Credit Hours)

JMC 67071 - Advising Student Media - 3 hours

Being a high school journalism adviser is not an easy task. Advisers walk a fine line in order to keep students happy, to keep faculty members happy and to keep parents and other members of the community happy. When advisers complete this course, their job should become easier. They should be able to direct their students to put out a publication that demonstrates students’ understanding of the First Amendment and their understanding of the role of the student press in a free society. Those in this class will create lesson plans, policies and procedures to make the job easier. They should be able to direct their students to put out a publication that demonstrates students’ understanding of the First Amendment and their understanding of the role of the student press in a free society.

JMC 67003 - Teaching Journalism Ethics - 3 hours

This course builds on the brief introduction to ethics provided in JMC 60012 Mass Communication Law and Ethics. It delves more deeply into ethical issues faced by scholastic journalism teachers, advisers, their students and school administrators. Due to conflicting court decisions and pressure from society to limit student expression, scholastic media advisers and teachers not only have to understand legal and ethical issues but also how to demonstrate to others the importance of student journalists portraying their roles as responsible and informed citizens, in other words, to clearly make ethical decisions enhancing their program. Knowledge of ethical theories and how those apply to decision-making is a vital skill they will develop.

Electives (Choose 9 Credit Hours)

JMC 60195** - Teaching Opinion Writing - 3 Hours

Good opinion pieces serve the purpose of persuading, an important role for media. They can be the voice of the publication and show leadership in the school community. They can explain or praise, too. Note, though, that was GOOD opinion pieces. Those aren't the personal narratives liberally splattered with “I” and “me.” And they aren't the shoot-¬from-¬the-‐hip rants with no support. Good opinion writing should be found in staff editorials, commentaries, columns and reviews, and that's what this course covers – what these are and how to teach students to write them well. First students will look at background and legal and ethical issues for this kind of material. Then they will see what makes such pieces effective. Finally, students will work through how a good teacher and adviser can help their students be stronger opinion writers. And, yes, along the way, students write some persuasive pieces of their own.

JMC 60195** - Teaching News Literacy** - 3 hours

This course explores the foundations of news literacy, pedagogical applications in the journalism classroom, and its place among concomitant literacies (specifically media and information literacy). By emphasizing the importance of quality information, exploring changes and challenges to the news industry, and advocating for a critical consumer approach to news media, this course prepares journalism educators to better meet the needs of students in a digital world. Students in the course will also develop curriculum and lesson materials in news literacy topics for their own classroom use.

JMC 67076 - Teaching Broadcast Journalism - 3 hours

The idea of the Teaching Broadcast Journalism class is to provide teachers with the skills, the vocabulary and the knowledge necessary to teach broadcast journalism in a high school setting. As a member of the class, educators will be able to coach students to improve their ability to select and research topics for broadcast pieces; recognize resources to give students models of broadcast writing and production; continue to improve skills practiced in Reporting for Mass Media including coaching and revision; create a detailed unit plan to teach broadcast journalism.

JMC 67079 - Teaching Photo Editing - 2 hours

Photoshop is the industry standard digital image-editing program. It provides users with powerful tools to acquire, manipulate, and output a variety of images, from fine art to instructional and web graphics. The focus of this course is learning the fundamental operations and controls of Photoshop. The course will feature lectures, demonstrations, and tutorial lessons from the Adobe Photoshop CS6 Classroom in a Book. In addition to learning software, students will maintain a weekly dialogue concerning various issues in teaching and learning with Photoshop.

JMC 67083 - Teaching News Design - 3 Hours

The course serves as an introduction to the components of news content and design; type and typography; printing processes; photography and illustration; the thought process in creating a news product; and further introductions in the developing field of visual journalism. Design is about how we communicate information to readers. What are we trying to say? How are we saying it? Visual journalists need to be content gatherers, content creators, artists and news editors all at the same time. This course will help show you how a student media staff can accomplish this.

JMC 67085 - Teaching Photojournalism - 3 hours

Visual communication is one of the most important aspects of modern media and photography has been a mainstay of that communication. From phones that capture images to digital SLR cameras, the average person can enhance communication with visuals. This course examines the components of photojournalism and prepares instructors to teach those components to their students. In addition to traditional assignments and projects, instructors and students will maintain a weekly dialog.

JMC 67087 - Advising Yearbook - 3 Hours

In this course, students will gain skills and strategies for each part of the yearbook advising experience. From budgetary considerations to theme development, beginning advisers will understand their role in each aspect of the yearbook's planning and production. Students will create materials for use in their own classroom, including forms, handouts and activities appropriate for each unique situation. Students will also gain an understanding of best practices regarding social media use as a part of yearbook reporting, marketing and promotion. Technology tools and time-saving techniques will be part of each lesson with an emphasis on making each adviser's experience as smooth as possible.

JMC 67073 - Web Development for High School - 2 hours

The main goal of this course is to help students achieve confidence. This course focuses on concepts and terminology and hopefully provide students with skills to aid them in helping students use ever-changing web tools and how to research and implement new tools in the future. Students will learn how to manage a WordPress site, how to utilize it as a content management system and how to guide their students in its use. Aspects of school administration will be covered along with legal aspects of putting student work online.

TOTAL CREDIT HOURS REQUIRED: 33

 

** Special Topics course are all numbered JMC 60195, but have their own section number.

WORDS FROM STUDENTS

"The Online Master’s in Journalism program from Kent State provides me with opportunities that would not normally be available for me in my area and on my schedule. As I teach daily it provides me with invaluable resources to share with my students. While I learn, my students also learn. In addition the program provides an opportunity for me to take courses from a university on my time. The professors understand our busy schedules and are available to answer questions whenever they may occur.”

Chris Waugaman
Prince George High School
Prince George, Virginia

“My master's degree in journalism from Kent State is allowing me to find out more about new laws and writing techniques that let me enhance learning for my students.”

Angela Spano
GlenOak High School
Canton, Ohio

For details about the Master of Arts program, contact:

Candace Perkins Bowen
Director, Center for Scholastic Journalism
330-672-8297
cbowen@kent.edu