In 2010, the College of Journalism and Mass Communications was reaccredited, continuing the uninterrupted era of full accreditation that began in 1954. The five-person team of academics and professionals who visited the college in October 2010 said the college has “an outstanding program with one of the most professionally oriented faculties in the nation.” The team also noted:
- A strong sense of the college’s purpose and the need to continually adapt.
- A university administration that fully values the college’s mission, strategies and tactics.
- A student-centered environment with comfortable faculty/student interactions.
- An array of impressive programs and initiatives at local, state, national and global levels.
- An effective culture of assessing student learning.
- A collaborative spirit that elevates the college’s reputation on campus.
The UNL journalism program is the only accredited journalism program in Nebraska.
4-year Graduation & Retention Rates
The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications invites all students, faculty and staff members, administrators and others to report incidents in which they can present evidence that a unit of ACEJMC has violated accreditation standards, policies or procedures. Such reports must be made in writing to the executive director of ACEJMC:
ACEJMC Executive Director
1435 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045
(785) 864-5225 FAX
A copy of the report should also be sent to the dean of the college:
College of Journalism and Mass Communications
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
P.O. Box 880443
Lincoln, NE 68588-0443
(402) 472-8597 FAX
Complaints must be accompanied by documentation showing a specific, substantive violation of one or more standards, policies or procedures. The council does not adjudicate, arbitrate or mediate individual faculty or student grievances against the School; nor does it act as a court of appeals in individual matters of admissions, appointment, promotion or dismissal of faculty members or students. In considering complaints, the council will give careful attention to due process for both the complainant and the School.
Additional information about accreditation standards and procedures may be found at the ACEJMC Web site.
STRATEGIC GOALS AND ACTION PLAN
Mission Statement for the College of Journalism & Mass Communications
Approved by CoJMC faculty May 2010
Our mission is to graduate highly competent professionals who have acquired communication and critical thinking skills appropriate to journalism and to advertising and public relations. We hold true to the core principles of journalism and mass communication education and as leaders of the digital communications environment. Our mission is grounded in the First Amendment of the Constitution, which gives us a unique responsibility to serve the needs of a diverse society. Through excellence in teaching and research, we educate ethical, socially responsible, well-rounded and fair-minded graduates who will carry those traits into the real world.
THE PURPOSE OF THIS STRATEGIC PLAN
The purpose of this Strategic Plan is to build on the strengths of the College to carry out its mission in today’s environment. Through it we will identify steps to ensure that the education we provide our students will prepare them for the world of work they will enter and that our activities and products will contribute in important ways to UNL goals and aspirations. While the primary audience for this plan is those of us in the College it will also represent our aspirations to others at UNL and beyond. And since we are the primary audience, this will necessarily be a dynamic document that we continue to discuss and develop.
The College has a long history of success on which to build. Our students have accomplished an excellent record in national competitions and our faculty members have been known nationally as well for their contributions to the field. We recognize that our graduates are going into a wide range of jobs in rapidly changing professions. Thus we must make certain our curricula focus on those skills and understandings needed regardless of the specifics of the job and help students learn to adapt to new and changing job responsibilities. Our programs must continuously evolve to meet new conditions in the professions we serve. To be known as a leading college nationally, both within academic and professional circles, we must continue to perform at higher and higher levels. This strategic plan spells out how we will do that.
This plan addresses two primary goals of the college:
- Contribute to the UNL goals for recruitment, retention and research.
- Achieve national leadership in journalism and mass communication education by fostering superior teaching that facilitates student learning.
CoJMC Contribution to UNL goals
UNL Goal: Increase Enrollment to 30,000 students
• CoJMC goal: Increase the number of declared undergraduate and graduate majors in CoJMC by 20 percent from 917 (Fall 2011) to 1,100 (Fall 2017)
Ways to work to accomplish this increase
- Develop a College Strategic Plan for recruitment that is based on the best evidence of what will attract students to major in CoJMÇ programs.
- Provide the financial and personnel resources to carry out this plan successfully.
- Participate actively in all of the recruiting activities sponsored by UNL.
- Establish a sports communication program to attract additional students to both sequences.
- Increase visibility for the public relations program to attract additional students.
- Create and market more online courses.
- Increase marketing of the masters program.
- Continue to build the ADPR enrollment.
UNL goal: Improve 6-Year Graduation Rates to 70 percent
• CoJMC goal: Graduation rates for students who entered CoJMC and graduated from CoJMC have been relatively consistent from 1996 through 2005 (average 44.32 percent). By fall of 2017, we intend to increase graduation rates for this cohort to 53 per cent, a 20 per cent increase over the average of the most recent three years. It is our commitment to increase our graduate rates without lowering our expectations for student performance.
Ways to work to accomplish this increase
- Remove any unnecessary course or facility scheduling barriers that may inhibit student degree completion within four years.
- Offer sufficient numbers of required courses to meet student needs.
- Sponsor and support additional learning communities associated with college programs (e.g., separate communities for sports journalism, broadcasting, advertising and public relations).
- Enhance advising services for students.
- Develop a plan to identify students needing special assistance and provide or find that assistance for them.
UNL goal: Increase external funding to $300 million
We recognize that as a college we will not be a big player in bringing grant money to the University because large amounts of grant funds, especially federal funds, are not available in our fields. We can, however, increase the contribution we are currently making. The peak year for external funding in the College was FY2008 when we accomplished a total of $78,000. FY11 totals were less than $20,000. External grant proposals submitted have varied year to year since 2005 when there is the first record of such activity in the college. Obviously we need to increase our number of proposals if we are to increase our external grant funding. We will also need to develop collaborations with other colleges to seek grant funding as many funding agencies now fund primarily cross-disciplinary proposals. Such collaborations may be our most productive way of engaging in research and contributing to the UNL goal. The partnerships we make and the learning that results from these projects will benefit the college and its students in many ways.
- CoJMC goal: The college will aim to increase external grant funding to an annual total of $200,000 by 2017.
Ways to work to accomplish this increase
- All tenure and tenure track faculty will be expected to have a research apportionment of at least .30 and will be evaluated annually on their research and creative productivity.
- Workshops will be held for interested faculty on how and where to seek external grant funding.
- Assistance will be provided to faculty in writing grants and administering those that are received. The focus will be on seeking grants that support programmatic efforts in the college whenever possible.
- Success in securing grant funding will be among the criteria for merit pay increases and promotion & tenure for those with research apportionments.
UNL goal: Double the number of faculty with national recognition for research and creative activity
Certainly much significant scholarship is not a result of sponsored research. As a college we want to make certain that we support a wide range of scholarship as our contribution to moving our professions forward. To contribute to this UNL goal we will mentor and support faculty to develop scholarly activities in areas that can bring about national recognition and contribute to development in the professional fields we serve. We will also seek to develop collaborative research efforts with scholars in other colleges at UNL as well as with research colleagues at other universities, both domestic and international.
Achieving National Leadership
Excellence as a professional teaching college
In a student-centered college like CoJMC, excellent teaching is a foundational and fundamental priority. Good teaching is also essential for retention, not only because students are likely to stay with a program if they like or admire their teachers but because good teaching will enable them to learn and grow and be successful in the classes that will prepare them for their careers. In addition, faculty may use the scholarship of teaching as research toward tenure and promotion.
Historically, the college has been known nationally for its excellent teaching and the high quality of its graduates. Activities such as the following will position us to continue a national reputation as a strong teaching college:
- Commit to conducting programs that meet the standard of “hands on from the first day.”
- Place priority on supporting students in national competitions such as the Hearst, NSAC, and Bateman, entering such competitions whenever possible.
- Engage students in public interest projects and publicize the products from these projects. [For example, projects such as the photojournalism reports focused on poverty, the Native Daughters project, the Nebraska News Service, the advertising campaigns classes that serve nonprofit clients, the classes that promote public awareness of human trafficking, the advertising campaigns classes that serve nonprofit clients, and others.]
- Maintain close contact with graduates and develop publicity pieces on their successes. Resume publishing a hard copy annual alumni magazine in addition to the information for alumni on our website.
- Create, support, and publicize special student learning experiences such as the Jacht program.
- Assist students to find opportunities for internships.
- Develop publicity videos on the quality of work of our undergraduate students.
- Guarantee that students have the opportunity to get visibility for their products.
- Develop a coherent program of cross-cultural experiences, including study abroad, that ensures that all students in the College have the opportunity to participate in such learning experiences.
- Support student professional organizations including activities that will gain them national attention.
- Conduct an on-going assessment of graduating students’ competencies developed through their experience in the College and use the results to improve the teaching program.
- Support research in the scholarship of teaching.
- Develop skills in teaching and taking on-line classes.
- Develop a Strategic Plan and Process to ensure strong support for every faculty member to continue to grow as a teacher.
Other efforts toward providing national leadership in our professions.
We want to be recognized as a college beyond our superior teaching. To do so we need to select and develop “niche” areas in which to invest that will have the potential for us to be a national leader in these areas. What areas we will invest in will, of course, depend on faculty interest and opportunity. Among current possibilities are these:
- Government/court reporting
- Digital media
- Underserved populations
- Community-building journalism
- Investigative reporting
- International communication
- Social responsibility
- Public interest communication
- International ADPR
- Social media political advertising
- ADPR for nonprofits
- Health communication ADPR
- Research on mass media
- On-line masters program aimed at practicing professionals
- Non-degree professional development activities for practicing professionals
How “niches” will be developed: Interests of faculty individually and collectively along with opportunities (such as funding, collaboration possibilities, etc.) will lead to CoJMC becoming known nationally for work in one or more of the above.
Supporting faculty careers
To accomplish what is laid out in this strategic plan, we need an excellent group of faculty that is continually developing their skills and knowledge. We want everyone to have the best possible career they can. To assist faculty in continuing their growth individually and collectively the college will support activities such as the following:
- Supporting faculty participation in various kinds of fellowship opportunities.
- Ensuring mentoring is available to faculty when it is desired.
- Providing mentoring and other needed types of support for adjunct faculty.
- Funding travel associated with learning opportunities.
- Supporting faculty development leaves for research and/or continuing development experiences.
- Conducting an annual review process dedicated to helping faculty set and reach high goals.
- Bringing experts to the college from whom we can learn.
- Providing opportunities for varied experiences within the college.
- Making certain faculty have the tools they need for their work.