II. Standard 6: Student Services

During the visit, the unit will make the following accessible to the team:

  • advising records
  • other files related to student services

Executive summary:

The college provides clear degree requirements and policies, strong advising services, student organizations, career development support and retention strategies that contribute to student success, resulting in high retention and graduation rates and student employment outcomes.

The Academic Catalog serves as the foundation for a student's degree plan, containing all degree requirements and academic policies. Students are introduced to these requirements during New Student Enrollment, and academic advisers provide ongoing communication and guidance through a required college introductory course, individual meetings, advising sheets, emails and a graduation hold policy to ensure students stay on track for graduation.

The college utilizes retention and graduation data to assess the effectiveness of advising services, achieving high retention and graduation rates. To further evaluate advising quality, the college implemented an adviser feedback survey and identified areas for improvement, such as expanding course knowledge and enhancing four-year graduation planning. Actions taken included hiring a new advising director, creating course guides and improving communication about curriculum changes, with plans to continue monitoring and enhancing student advising through annual surveys.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers a wide range of student organizations, including clubs related to media and communications, providing valuable opportunities for students to pursue their interests. Additionally, the college offers a Learning Community where students can live together, take classes together and participate in exclusive opportunities. Students also have the chance to gain experience through involvement with the independent student-rung campus newspaper and various leadership and mentoring programs within the college.

The college emphasizes the importance of students taking the initiative in their job and internship searches, with faculty members actively assisting students in developing application materials and making industry connections. The college's partnership with the university's Office of Career Services enables a dedicated career development specialist to connect students with employment opportunities, resulting in higher rates of employment for CoJMC graduates compared to the university average, though wages for employed graduates may be lower due to the entry-level nature of many communication-related jobs.

The college collects and analyzes enrollment, retention and graduation rates to track student success. The college's retention rates have been consistently higher than the university average and achieved the highest first-to-second-year retention rate on campus. Moreover, CoJMC outperforms the rest of the university in four-year, five-year, and six-year graduation rates, with the 2022-2023 academic year reaching the highest four-year graduation rate in the college's history.

Please respond to each of the following instructions:

1. Complete and insert here Table 9, “Student Aid.”




Total amount of scholarship dollars from funds controlled by institution



Number of students receiving scholarships from funds controlled by institution



Median individual scholarship from funds controlled by institution



Total amount of scholarship dollars from funds controlled by unit



Number of students receiving scholarships from funds controlled by unit



Median individual scholarship from funds controlled by unit



2. Describe how the unit informs students of the requirements of the degree and the major, advises them on effective and timely ways to meet the requirements, and monitors their compliance with the requirements. Provide digital files of advising guides, manuals, newsletters or other internal communication with students. Describe availability and accessibility of faculty to students.

The basis of a student’s degree plan is the Academic Catalog, which contains all degree requirements for each of the college’s majors, along with academic policies important for student success. The catalog is updated each fall by the associate dean for academic programs. Updates incorporate all curriculum changes approved by the college faculty and the University-wide curriculum committee. Updates are completed in consultation with the college’s academic advisers and the college curriculum committee.

Students are first introduced to the degree requirements contained in the Academic Catalog during New Student Enrollment, which occurs during the summer before their first year. During NSE, students attend a presentation on degree requirements and complete a one-on-one academic advising session.

All incoming freshmen and transfer students enroll in JOMC 100:The First Year Experience. This course is taught by the college’s academic advisers and assists new students in transitioning to college and understanding the curriculum requirements and extracurricular opportunities available in their degree program.

The primary tool utilized in The First Year Experience to help students understand degree requirements is the degree plan. Each enrolled student must complete a four-year degree plan during the course. Completion is followed by a one-to-one meeting with their adviser to review the plan, review degree requirements and ensure the plan meets the requirements. Students review their degree plan with their advisor during meetings throughout their undergraduate career. They an change or update their degree plan at any time.

Students are also introduced to the Degree Audit, a university-sponsored tool available to all students to track progress toward their degree.

Communication about degree requirements continues after freshman year through individual meetings with academic advisers. Each student is assigned an adviser when they enter college and continues with that adviser through graduation. Students can make an appointment at any time using the university’s scheduling tool, Student Success Hub, and are encouraged to meet with their advisor at least once a semester.

During individual appointments, advisers review the degree audit and use academic advising sheets to help students plan for courses that will help them make progress toward their degree. The college has developed advising sheets for each major, as well as non-major and foreign language requirements. In 2022-2023, the advising sheets were:

In addition to appointments, advisers communicate timely information to students through the college’s weekly student newsletter, Today@CoJMC, and through student emails. Today@CoJMC is distributed to all enrolled students every Monday morning at 10 a.m. To see archived editions of Today@CoJMC, please click here.

Each year, an email communication plan is developed for all students and then, according to the plan, each adviser will email their assigned students to communicate necessary information. Please review fall 2022 and spring 2023 advising communication plans.

In 2021-2022, the university adopted a graduation hold policy. When a student completes 75 credit hours a hold is placed on their student account. The hold prohibits them from enrolling in classes, graduating or obtaining copies of their transcripts. To lift the hold, students must meet with their academic adviser to review their degree plan and make sure they are on-track for graduation.

In the semester they plan to graduate, students are required to enroll in a zero-credit hour course, JOMC 98 Senior Assessment. The course is used to communicate graduation information and collect assessment data from graduating seniors. For examples of communications in the Senior Assessment Course, please click here. The course is administered by an academic adviser. Each term, the course administrator receives degree audits for all students enrolled in the course. The academic advising team reviews those degree audits to ensure students meet all requirements for graduation.

3. Describe the unit’s process for evaluating its advising and counseling services. Include measurements of the accuracy of academic advising, student and faculty opinion of the quality of advising, or other indices of the effectiveness of advising. Discuss the results of these assessments, and any changes or adjustments made because of the findings.

The college uses both retention and graduation data as indirect measures of the effectiveness of advising services. In 2022-2023, the college had the highest first- to second-year retention rate and the highest four-year graduation rate on campus. See question 5 below for details.

The college administers instruments to assess the quality of advising services including an annual advising feedback survey and questions included in a Senior Exit Survey administered to all graduating seniors.

Senior Exit Survey

The college includes a question in the Senior Exit Survey asking students to indicate their level of satisfaction with the advice, guidance and counsel received from their academic adviser. The senior exit survey is administered in the college’s required zero credit hour senior assessment course. Enrollment in this course and completion of the survey is required for all graduating seniors.

After several years of steady improvement on this measure, the college noticed a dip in 2020-2021 in students who reported they were very satisfied or satisfied with the advice, counsel and guidance they received from their academic adviser.

While the dip is unsurprising given the impact of COVID-19 on advising operations during this timeframe, the college determined additional information was needed to fully assess the quality of advising in the college.

Therefore, in 2021-2022, the college decided to implement a more detailed advising feedback survey to gain insight on advising in the college and inform improvements to student services.

Advising Survey

In 2021-2022, the college launched an adviser feedback survey. The aim of the survey is to gather feedback on the quality and accuracy of academic advising services in the college and to provide actionable feedback to individual advisers to facilitate the establishment of professional development goals. The survey was developed in the fall of 2021 by modifying a survey used in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's College of Arts and Sciences. The survey was modified based upon feedback from college administration and the academic advisers. The survey was first administered in the spring of 2022 and then again in the spring of 2023.

The surveys have demonstrated that overall students are satisfied with the advice, guidance and counsel they receive from the college’s advisers. Student satisfaction declined between spring 2022 and spring 2023. Comments in the spring 2023 survey provide insight into the declining satisfaction rates. Students expressed concern about the college’s advising director’s departure, which occurred mid-year following 12 weeks of leave, which left the college short an adviser for most of the 2022-2023 academic year. Students also expressed concern that advising appointments seemed rushed, likely due to the increased workload required to cover the director's advisees.

Advisers provide students with advice and guidance on course choices, degree planning and available campus resources. The surveys demonstrated that advisers do a good job advising students on courses, although comments indicated that a broader knowledge of courses available across campus and more in-depth knowledge of courses within the college could be beneficial. The advising survey demonstrated that advisers could do a better job advising on four-year graduation planning and providing on-campus referrals.

Evaluating the actions of advisers, students found them to be responsive by responding to students promptly and giving direct feedback. The survey also found that advisers could improve in making students feel comfortable asking for advice.

To address the survey’s findings, the college took several actions during 2022-2023.

The college embarked on a search for a new advising director. The search process included the current advising staff, college administration and advising leaders from across campus. The search was successful, and the new director started in the college on July 1, 2023.

The advising team also developed a course guide to collect and provide more in-depth information on courses within the college. Each semester they also develop a quick guide to courses offered in that term. This guide is available to all college advisers to utilize during one-on-one meetings and provides more comprehensive information for course recommendations.

The associate dean for academic programs began periodically attending advising staff meetings to better communicate information on curriculum changes in the college. These meetings aim to improve the academic advisers' understanding about degree requirements so they can better advise students. Also, the college assigned an academic adviser to its curriculum committee for the 2023-2024 academic year to further facilitate the dissemination of information on curriculum changes.

The college plans to administer the advising survey each spring to monitor the impact of these changes and determine further improvements to student advising.

4. Describe student professional organizations or other extracurricular activities and opportunities provided by the unit or the institution that are relevant to the curriculum and develop students’ professional and intellectual abilities and interests. Do not duplicate information already included in Standard 2 (Curriculum and Instruction).

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln sponsors more than 550 recognized student organizations with an astonishing variety of purposes, and they represent an important part of students’ college educations. The college itself offers opportunities for students interested in pursuing their specific interests in media and communications. Students, for example, may choose to participate in Ad Club (AAF) or the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) or Creative Commons. Students may also decide to get involved with the student chapter of ACES: The Society for Editing or the National Broadcasting Society. They might propose a radio program for KRNU, the college-run radio station, or seek election to the Student Advisory Board. Newer registered student organizations at the college include the return of a student chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists, the new Sports Media Club and closer ties with the Esports Club on campus.

The CoJMC offers a Learning Community providing students the opportunity to live on the same residence hall floor as many of their classmates. Students take classes together, live together and take part in special opportunities available only to the learning community.

A list of extracurricular clubs, organizations and other student involvement opportunities the college sponsors are available on this webpage.

Many students also report, write, shoot photos and edit for the campus newspaper, the Daily Nebraskan, an independent student publication that is supported by advertising and student fees. The Daily Nebraskan is governed by a publications board under the purview of university student government and not the college directly. The board does, however, include a CoJMC faculty representative, currently professor of practice Matt Waite. In recent years, the top staff at the Daily Nebraskan included many majors from our college. Faculty often encourage younger students to work for the Daily Nebraskan because it affords a good opportunity to get experience that employers will expect when students apply for summer internships.

A few programs at the college provide additional experience in leadership and mentoring. The Experience Lab includes student leads as part of each platform. The fall 2023 student leads are:


  • Abel Ue-Bari, sophomore, advertising and public relations
  • Kaleigh Zollman, sophomore, advertising and public relations

Heartland Pulse

  • AbbyLane Kloke, sophomore, journalism and advertising and public relations
  • Kamryn Snyder, sophomore, advertising and public relations


  • Helen Howard, senior, journalism
  • Alex Neill, senior, broadcasting and sports media and communication

Nebraska News Service

  • Naomi Delkamiller, sophomore, journalism and advertising and public relations

Nebraska Nightly

  • Macy Neumeister, senior, broadcasting and journalism
  • Jay Quemado, junior, broadcasting and journalism
  • Alaina Tomesh, junior, broadcasting

Production House

  • Marissa Lindemann, sophomore, broadcasting

Unlimited Sports

  • Krystin Collins, sophomore, broadcasting and sports media and communication
  • Bobby Hessling, junior, sports media and communications

The JOMC 100 The First Year Experience pairs incoming students with juniors and seniors in the college serving as peer mentors. The fall 2023 peer mentors are:

  • Maddie Ames, junior, journalism
  • Drew Baldridge, junior, advertising and public relations
  • Addi Bickford, junior, sports media and communication
  • Megan Buffington, senior, journalism
  • Holly Fischer, senior, broadcasting and advertising and public relations
  • Jenna Gruber, senior, advertising and public relations
  • Hallie Gutzwiller, senior, broadcasting
  • Lily Henkle, senior, advertising and public relations
  • Liz Howard, senior, advertising and public relations
  • Ben Lampman, senior, journalism and philosophy
  • Katie Lockyear, senior, advertising and and public relations and journalism
  • Max Meyer, junior, sports media and communication
  • Macy Neumeister, junior, journalism and broadcasting
  • Lauren Penington, senior, journalism and political science
  • Cole Peterson, junior, sports media and communication
  • Campbell Sharpe, senior, advertising and public relations
  • Sammy Smith, junior, journalism
  • Kara Stone, senior, journalism
  • Kieran Strawmier, senior, advertising and public relations and sports media and communication
  • Cole Williams, senior, advertising and public relations
  • Lexie Worde, junior, advertising and public relations and journalism

The Student Ambassador program allows students the opportunity to engage with prospective students, their parents and local community organizations to host workshops, give tours and present about opportunities available at both the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. The fall 2023 student ambassadors are:

  • Damon Bennett, junior, broadcasting and sports media and communication
  • ArianaJoy Cobler, junior, broadcasting and journalism
  • Zach Cutler, junior, advertising and public relations and sports media and communication
  • Emma Dostal, senior, advertising and public relations and global studies
  • Brenden Evers, sophomore, broadcasting and sports media and communication
  • Natalie Frick, senior, sports media and communication and advertising and public relations
  • Jaelyn Gross, junior, broadcasting and advertising and public relations major
  • Lydia Hernandez, sophomore, advertising and public relations and sports media and communication
  • Tyler Hurst, sophomore, advertising and public relations and sports media and communication
  • Hannah-Kate Kinney, senior, advertising and public relations, broadcasting and journalism
  • Marissa Kraus, senior, journalism major
  • Ella Masso, sophomore, advertising and public relations
  • Skylee Nelson, junior, broadcasting and sports media and communication
  • Hannah Roebke, junior, broadcasting and sports media and communication
  • Jacob Schrantz, junior, broadcasting and sports media and communication
  • Jodi Soptic, freshman, advertising and public relations and journalism
  • Valeria Uribe, senior, advertising and public relations and graphic design
  • Faith Worden, junior, advertising and public relations and sports media and communication

There are many other ways students in the college stay involved as on student government and as orientation leaders during new student enrollment.

5. Describe the unit’s career counseling and placement strategy for assistance in students’ searches for employment. List placement statistics for the three most recent years before the self-study year for which accurate information is available.

Students in our college have long been urged to take the initiative in seeking jobs and internships. Faculty members historically have gone out of their way to make connections with industry contacts on behalf of students and to assist students in developing cover letters and resumes and advising them on job and internship searches. The CoJMC partners with the university’s Office of Career Services to share expenses for a career development specialist in the college. The staff member’s sole responsibility is developing relationships with employers and helping students connect with job and internship opportunities. The college’s career development specialist has taken the lead on organizing these initiatives and campus visits for employers to interview students for internships and jobs. For example, representatives of the Omaha World-Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, Norfolk Daily News, Grand Island Independent, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Gray Television and WQAD News 8 Quad Cities have come to the college to recruit our students. Many companies have also started to set up informational booths throughout the semester in the lobby of the college. For example, Hudl, CompanyCam, and Sandhills Publishing have all recently set up booths at the college. For additional information, please see Standard 2, Question 6, which also addresses internship considerations.

Comparisons with university data, inserted below, indicate that graduates of our college have kept pace with UNL graduates overall in finding jobs after graduation. In 2022-2023, the proportion of graduates reporting employment was significantly greater than the university as a whole. Fewer CoJMC graduates go on to graduate school compared to graduates of other colleges, which is not unexpected in a program with a professional focus like ours. However, this has steadily increased since that last accreditation report, where percentages hovered between 3-5%. As the 4+1 accelerated master's program launches, that number may continue to climb. Also, not unexpectedly, average wages for employed graduates tend to be somewhat lower than wages of graduates from other colleges, again, a reflection of the general entry-level pay rates for many jobs in communications fields.

Annual Report of Graduates 2020-2021


% of all graduates reporting employment

% of all graduates reporting graduate school


% of graduates in job search reporting employment










Annual Report of Graduates 2021-2022


% of all graduates reporting employment

% of all graduates reporting graduate school


% of graduates in job search reporting employment










Annual Report of Graduates 2022-2023


% of all graduates reporting employment

% of all graduates reporting graduate school


% of graduates in job search reporting employment










6. Discuss the processes in place to collect, maintain and analyze enrollment, retention and graduation rates within the major, and provide comparison to the university’s rates. Discuss the findings of the analysis.

Enrollment, retention and graduation rates are collected and maintained at the university-level using data available from PeopleSoft, the database used to collect student information. Responsibility for reporting rests with the Office of Institutional, Effectiveness and Analytics.

A snapshot of student data is taken on a designated census date, the sixth day of classes each term. This snapshot is used to calculate official college and university rates. The data is used for institutional reporting and made available to the college using Tableau, a data visualization software.

The college regularly analyzes recruitment, retention and graduation rates and shares the findings in a regular column, By the Numbers, published in our weekly faculty and staff newsletter, the Monday Morning Memo.


The College’s undergraduate enrollment has been declining since it reached a historic high of 1,073 in 2019-2020. However, our percentage of the total UNL population has remained relatively flat.

Academic Year





% of Total











































The largest decline in enrollment is in the advertising and public relations majors, dropping from 617 in 2017-2018 to 391 in 2022-2023. Broadcasting and journalism enrollment has also declined, while sports media and communication, which launched in fall 2017 has seen tremendous growth in just six years.

Academic Year




































The college has consistently maintained a first- to second- year retention rate above the university average. In 2022-2023, the college’s retention rate was the highest on campus. Additionally, the college’s retention rate has been steadily improving year over year. The highest rate, 91.4% for the 2019 cohort, was likely artificially inflated due to the university’s decision to defer dismissals in the wake of COVID-19.




Yr 3

Retention Rate

















































In 2021, the university asked each college to develop plans to support student success to improve retention and begin to address equity gaps across campus. To start, the university identified three metrics to monitor activities meant to promote continued enrollment. The metrics are

  1. The percentage of students who have completed a degree plan
  2. The percentage of students who meet with an academic adviser each semester
  3. The percentage of courses that have recorded feedback in Canvas (the university’s learning management system) by the fourth week of classes.

The plans also needed to outline approaches to meet the experiential learning requirement for all UNL students as part of the N2025 Strategic Plan.

Each college developed a plan to improve these metrics. To see the college student success plan, please click here.

Additionally, the university pursued a grant to support hiring academic navigators to support student success. In 2022-2023, the college added an academic navigator to its student success team. The college’s navigator is shared with the Hixon-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts and the College of Architecture. As noted in Standard 4, The navigator monitors a variety of student data to identify students at risk of dropping out, conducts targeted outreach to connect students to campus resources and provides mentoring in academic success strategies.


The college also consistently outperforms the rest of the university on four-year, five-year and six-year graduation rates. In 2022-2023, the college achieved a 61.6% four-year graduation rate, the highest rate ever achieved in the college.


4 Year

5 Year

6 Year

Graduation Rate

















































In the fall of 2022, the university asked each college to conduct a thorough review of enrollment and retention. The college’s review was conducted by the dean, associate dean for academic programs, assistant director of recruitment, director of business and operations and director of advising. To see the full report, please click here.

The report found that declines in undergraduate enrollment were not driven by declines in incoming freshman. In fact, the college saw the largest increase in incoming freshmen, 16.8%, on campus. Several factors were identified that lead to the increase in incoming freshmen, including an expansion of opportunities for prospective students to engage on campus, an expansion of our a la carte workshop program that targets interested students and greater out of state travel by our recruiting staff.

Instead, enrollment declines were driven by a decline in the number of sophomores and juniors who transfer into the college from other colleges on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus. Internal transfers have long been a strong source of the college’s enrollment and the declines, particularly from the College of Business, have impacted the overall enrollment.

The college has achieved the highest first- to second year retention rate on campus. The college identified factors leading to the increases in retention including the launch of a peer mentor program for freshmen, a mid-term grade pilot that identified students struggling in classes earlier, the addition of a fourth advising staff member in 2021 and curriculum changes that provided students with enhanced experiential learning opportunities.

The college has consistently led the university in retention and graduation and graduation rates.