Action Plan: Mission, Vision & Values

Action Plan Mission, Vision, Values

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Vision

To be a national leader in experiential journalism and mass communications education.

Mission

We nurture curious and creative minds to thrive in the ever-changing media and communication professions. Our inclusive “do from day one” experience is rooted in hard work, collaborative problem-solving and the ethical pursuit of truth to uphold democracy.

Action Plan

Value Statements Action Steps

We nurture curious and creative minds. We exist to educate and empower media and communication professionals of tomorrow. Every decision, measure and outcome is based on how well it serves our students and educational purpose.

  • Establish feeder schools for top recruits in each of our majors 
    • Identify Nebraska high schools and middle schools with strong journalism, speech/debate, video production, Striv TV, DECA, and yearbook programs 
      • Identify and work with advisers of those programs to tailor hands-on, face-to-face and/or online workshops for their students
    • Identify peer institutions in the upper Midwest without experiential learning programs (ND, SD, MN, WI, IL, IN, IA, KS)
      • Identify high schools in those states with strong journalism, speech/debate, video production, Striv TV, DECA, and yearbook programs 
      • Identify and work with advisers of those programs to tailor hands-on, face-to-face and/or online workshops for their students
    • Highlight summer camp experience opportunities
      • NHSPA Summer Journalism Camp
      • Big Red Summer Camp - Digital Media
      • Consider partnership with athletics for a summer camp to promote and tell the stories of the summer camps, as well as Special Olympics and Nebraska State Games
    • Increase recruitment engagement
      • Expand CoJMC HS Senior Mentorship Program to connect current HS seniors who have applied but not confirmed 
      • Maintain those mentorship relationships into the first-year program
  • Create paths to progression for transfers and major changes
    • Identify feeder programs/majors 
    • Work with advisors in those programs to encourage enrollment in intro and ACE courses in our college
  • Increase first-year retention (UNL target 88%), 4-year graduation rates (UNL target 55%), and 6-year graduation rates (UNL target 72%).
    • Maintain undergraduate advising loads at or below the NACADA recommendation of 285:1
    • Expand the JOMC 100 Mentorship Program
    • Integrate the HS/Ambassador mentor pairs into the program
  • Engage in college-wide, intrusive advising
    • Work with faculty to include a minimum of two major graded projects before midterm in every class
    • Faculty reach out directly to students who fail the first exam/major assignment and/or miss three classes, copying/notifying the student’s academic advisor
    • Require midterm grade submission across the college
    • Advisors reach out to all majors with D or below grades at midterm to direct to resources (financial aid, counseling, tutoring, writing workshops, student organizations) and inform them of withdrawal options
    • Create part-of-term classes for those who need to withdraw by midterm to pick up credits and maintain full-time status
  • Offer workshops for first-generation students in our college to apply for continuing scholarships
  • Track progression by major to identify and address bottlenecks and barriers to progression
  • Establish a yearly survey of our students and alumni to assess curriculum alignment, high impact practices, and value of degree

    • Work with student leadership council and college ambassadors to develop survey questions
    • Vet questions and protocol with student and alumni focus groups
    • Distribute survey through alumni newsletter and student listserv at the end of every spring semester
    • Use feedback to inform program/curriculum assessment

Our graduates thrive. Our alumni permeate every sector of the media and communication industries. They are ethically grounded and globally-minded leaders, creators, strategists, and storytellers who live and work around the corner and around the world.

  • Engage our alumni on an ongoing, online professional development program
    • Create monthly workshops, panels and presentations on industry challenges, ethical questions, new technology, leadership development, and professional war stories hosted by our alumni and industry partners and presented via zoom
    • Charge a nominal fee for alumni (e.g. $20, with the opportunity to donate more) with all proceeds going to student scholarships
    • All students receive the link for free
    • Establish an alumni/student advisory board to create programing, marketing and assessment of the events 
  • Engage our alumni in a college-wide mentoring program through HuskerConnect

    • Establish set programming for mentors/mentees
    • Connect scholarship donors with recipients through HuskerConnect (e.g. One-for-One)
  • Increase our offerings of faculty-led study abroad programs that are open to all majors in the college to at least two classes each year (UNL target for increasing study abroad participation: 10%).
    • Create opportunities for alumni to join faculty-led study abroad programs 
      • Work with global affairs to establish a model for alumni engagement
      • Charge alumni a fee to join the tours that would help offset costs for students
    • Create opportunities for alumni to join agency tour trips (NY, LA, Chicago, KC, Austin)
      • Charge alumni a fee to join the tours that would help offset costs for students


Our professions are ever-changing: We prepare students to build careers that will grow and change with our industries by pairing foundational skills with cutting-edge technology and innovative media applications. Our graduates are able to evolve with the changing media landscape.

  • Establish a professional-in-residence program
    • Invite local alumni and industry partners to volunteer a set number of hours each week by semester to work with students in our hands-on experiential learning programs
    • Professionals would work with faculty overseeing practicum programs
      • Review project ideas and provide feedback on drafts and final executions
      • Review and provide feedback on resumes and portfolios
      • Host a panel each semester on ethics and professionalism
  • Develop an online degree completion program designed for professionals working full-time who started but never finished their college degree
    • Design the major using only asynchronous online courses or synchronous online courses scheduled in the evening
    • Primary focus on strategic communication, media industries and community development
  • Establish and maintain graduate programs that foster career development
    • Develop graduate certificates in growing industry sectors like sports promotion and data analytics
    • Develop a Ph.D. program, designed for working professionals and grounded in media research
    • Market certificate programs to undergrad alumni in the field, market graduate degrees and other certificates to graduate students currently enrolled in other programs/certificates
  • Become a central source for alumni hiring and looking for their next opportunity. 
    • Create a listserv for alumni who want to know about job opportunities (need to know if alumni can use Husker Hire)
    • Reach out to alumni to identify career opportunities and make referrals if known
    • Establish an alumni lecture series to focus on the job search process and career development to connect to the senior seminar
  • Develop a master plan for facility and technology upgrades
    • Redesign the 2nd floor studio to make it more central in the college
    • Establish a yearly technology investment and upgrade plan for all equipment
    • Focus fundraising efforts on expanding Andersen Hall

We are an inclusive community: All are welcome here. We respect the dignity of humanity and advocate for social justice. We are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. We care for and encourage each other as we work together to create a better future.

  • Increase the diversity of our college, our industries and our academic communities
    • Work with community partners that support underrepresented racial and ethnic persons to establish high school internships that lead to scholarships for college credit through our practicum program
      • Work with The Bay, Boys and Girls Clubs, and other after school programs to develop internships for HS students 
      • Apply for grants (Cooper Foundation, Lincoln Community Foundation, Community Health Endowment) to operate the internship program and fund scholarships
      • Work with the Nebraska Prep Academy to provide workshops on college and scholarship applications and financial aid for interns
    • Develop a mentoring program for high achieving underrepresented racial and ethnic persons to provide encouragement and support for pursuing an academic career
  • Close the degree attainment gap for underrepresented racial and ethnic students in our college (UNL target 7%).
    • Expand student organizations that support and encourage underrepresented racial and ethnic persons
    • Connect The Circle to the Lincoln Community Development Circle and promote the organization across campus
    • Investigate the potential of partnering with JABJ, AAJA, NAHJ, NLGJA to expand the focus of The Circle

Our students do from day one: We live and breathe experiential learning. Every student engages in hands-on, industry-centric experiences in and out of the classroom to create a professional portfolio unique to their strengths, experiences and career aspirations.

  • Engage all students in hands-on, experiential learning programs
    • Establish distinct, major-related experiential learning practicums in and out of the college available to all majors in the college
    • Require students to complete at least three semesters of practicum (up to six credits)
      • Possible Practicum Experiences: Buoy (Jacht Junior, working with nonprofits); RedWire? Webzine – telling the stories of Nebraska community organizations, specific attention to organizations that support underrepresented community members and Just do Business programs; Nebraska News Service; Community News Desk; KRNU; Star City News; UNLimited Sports; NET Husker Sports Coverage (outside); Husker Athletics (outside): Husker Vision, Sports Information, Digital Media; Daily Nebraskan (outside)
    • Engage professionals in residence as advisors
  • Establish a web portfolio requirement for all graduating students as part of a senior careers course
    • Assignments will include the portfolio, resume, job prospecting project, and elevator pitch
    • Incorporate presentations of the portfolios in end-of-year showcase
    • Engage professionals in residence as portfolio evaluators

We believe in hard work: Our work ethic is paramount to our success. Grounded in research and critical thinking, our curriculum is rigorous and challenging to prepare students for demanding professions.

  •  Enhance professional development programs for all faculty and staff
    • Establish rotating brown-bag seminars on writing, research, creativity, leadership development, personal growth and community outreach
  • Elevate the role of research in the college
    • Develop clear and rigorous research and/or creative production expectations for tenure-track and tenured faculty
      • Set minimum expectations in promotion and tenure documents
      • Work with tenured faculty to adjust their apportionment if they cannot meet expectations
    • Provide incentives for faculty who pursue and are awarded extramural funding
    • Establish a course buy-out policy for faculty who are awarded extramural funding
    • Provide incentives for faculty who publish in top ranked research journals
  • Expand research requirements across our curriculum
    • Develop an undergraduate course in research methods (interviews, focus groups, archival research, surveys, media analysis, understanding and interpreting data) as a requirement for all majors
    • Establish a model, independently or through UCARE for undergraduate students to earn independent study credits working as research assistants with faculty
    • Develop a graduate course in research methods (interviews, focus groups, archival research, surveys, media analysis, understanding and interpreting data) as a requirement for all graduate degrees
    • Engage in a rigorous fundraising campaign to establish graduate assistantships and endowed professorships that include research assistantships

We solve real problems: We value diversity of people and ideas to foster creativity and collaborative problem solving. We work with real clients and cover real stories in and out of the classroom.

  • Establish the practicum to focus on solutions (vs. problems) 
    • Work with community organizations to tell their stories through RedWire, promoting solutions being implemented rather than problems being identification 
  • Continue to work with real clients for campaigns classes
    • Prioritize external community businesses and organizations
  • Expand opportunities to work with on-campus clients in lower-division courses

We pursue truth. The First Amendment gives us a unique responsibility to serve the needs of our diverse and democratic society. We pursue truth and report it fairly. We tell genuine stories with transparency and integrity.

  • Embrace our role in educating society on the role of media in society
    • Increase our offering of JOMC 222: Social Justice and the Media
    • Revamp JGEN 103: Media Literacy as Democracy and the Media to meet an ACE requirement and offer it widely as a large-lecture course across campus
    • Work with the College of Arts and Sciences to develop the undergraduate certificate in social impact (including JOMC 222 and JGEN 103)
  • Host a panel every semester on ethics and professionalism as part of the practicum requirement
    • Engage our professionals in residence as panelists
    • Incorporate presentations on the ethical codes of our professions

Measures

  • Student Survey

    • % of students in each year who engage in hands-on opportunities in the classroom (Communication Design, Mosaic, Nebraska News Service, UNLimited Sports, etc.)
    • % of students in each year who engage in hands-on opportunities in student organizations (KRNU, Daily Nebraskan, etc.) internships, and industry-related work
    • % of students in each year who engage in selective career enhancing experiences (Jacht, NSAC, Bateman, depth reporting, global eye-witness, etc.) 
    • Exit interview with non-returning students (why are they leaving)

    Senior Survey

    • % of students with published/presented work at graduation
    • % of students with portfolio at graduation
    • % of students with internships or industry-related jobs at graduation

    Alumni Survey

    • Full-time, major related employment rates within first year of graduation
    • Promotions of alumni within the field
    • Number of alumni in top leadership position
    • Number of alumni who own their own business
    • Number of alumni who have returned as guest speakers, mentors, and instructors.

    Employer Survey

    • % of recent grads with positive feedback from employers
    • % of interns with positive feedback from employers 

    Faculty Staff Interviews

    • Exit interview - why are they leaving?

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