Updated Strategies

College of Journalism and Mass Communications Updated Strategies

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How we'll know

Updated Strategies

The strategic planning task forces met on Jan. 8 to review and discuss our updated strategies and begin developing action steps. Please provide feedback on the updated distinctive capabilities, measures and strategies below. 

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Provide feedback for each task force one at a time below. Please complete and submit the feedback for each task force before moving on to the next one. Do not complete all feedback forms and wait to submit at the end.

Mission, Vision, Values

Distinctive Capability 

Vision: To be a national leader in experiential journalism and mass communication education.

Mission: We nurture hungry 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. 


Value Statements:

We nurture hungry minds: We exist to educate and empower the curious and creative media and communication professionals of tomorrow. We make every decision and measure every outcome based on how well it serves our students and educational purpose.

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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. 

  • 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, Ad Club, etc.) internships, and industry-related work 
    • % of students in each year who engage in selective career-enhancing experiences (Jacht, NSAC, Bateman, depth reporting, global eyewitness, etc.)  
  • Senior Survey
    • % of students with published/presented work at graduation 
    • % of students with a portfolio at graduation 
    • % of students with internships or industry-related jobs at graduation 
  • Alumni Survey
    • Full-time, major-related employment rates within the 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?

External Operations

Distinctive Capability 

CoJMC is a home for world-class experiential and creative learning. We attract diverse students, faculty and staff who make an impact in their fields. We create a global network of donors, alumni and innovative professionals who build authentic, meaningful, life-long relationships that enrich the communities in Nebraska and beyond.

  • Provide inclusive and equitable opportunities for professionals and community members to exchange ideas, interact with faculty and each other.
  • Seek out, build and foster ongoing mutually-beneficial relationships with diverse donors, alumni, employers and communities
  • Promote faculty creative activities, elevate professional development opportunities and demonstrate impact of research for public consumption and engagement.
  • Strengthen hands-on learning opportunities to help employment of students and alumni.
  • Build upon current strategic partnerships and develop new industry relationships and outreach opportunities.
  • Diversify and increase the number of national/international awards and rankings; amplify college visibility and thought leadership; build brand equity among our peers within the profession.
  • Create a climate at CoJMC that emphasizes, prioritizes and expands inclusive excellence and diversity.
  • Student & Graduate Employment
    • # of student internship placements
    • # of students who gain full-time employment post-graduation
    • # of students who start their own businesses
  • Increased Engagement of Alumni and Stakeholders
    • % of fundraising conversions
    • % of increase in major gifts and in-kind or monetary donations
    • # of corporate & employer outreach opportunities
    • # of alumni and donor interactions with college 
  • Impact of Experiential & Creative Learning
    • # of interdisciplinary and innovative partnerships with academic units
    • # of professional mentorships
    • # of hands-on class experiences
    • # of clients who work with clients 
  • Strategic Industry Partnerships
    • # of industry/professional partnerships
    • # of research presentations, professional development programs and workshops
  • National Awards & Recognition
    • #  of earned media mentions with positive sentiment & placement
    • # of scholarly & creative awards
    • # of alumni & faculty recognitions
  • Inclusive Excellence & Diversity Initiatives
    • # of fauclty and staff involved with diversity initiatives on-campus
    • # of students who lead diversity initiatives on behalf of CoJMC
    • # of partnerships with cultural centers and youth programs that support underrepresented persons in the community

People & Internal Operations

Distinctive Capability  Our core is our people. Our students, faculty and staff are passionate, curious and collaborative, drawing on our strong Nebraska work ethic to create an evolving, innovative and inclusive environment for all to thrive.  
  • Community: Prioritize community-building that recognizes and respects diversity in all its forms while ensuring a safe and inclusive environment for all.  
  • Recruit: Attract and retain diverse faculty, staff and students committed to our values of hard work, curiosity and collaboration. 
  • Develop: Commit to the development of the unique talents of every faculty, staff and student.  
  • Connect: Establish and support dynamic networks of excellence across the college, the university and the profession to foster community, collaboration, and innovation through the collision of ideas. 
  • Advance: Prioritize the “people experience” through a commitment to supporting the advancement of all throughout every stage of their career. 
  • Recognize: Recognize and reward individuals who demonstrate a commitment of our values through their actions and achievements. 
  • Student and External Recognition: Awards to faculty, staff, students, programs, student organizations, alumni, etc; invitations to speak.
  • Professional Development: Promotions, tenure; faculty and staff retention; participation in development opportunities; research and creative output; honors students; graduates with distinction; UCARE, FYRE participation; job placement.
  • Leadership: Leadership positions held on campus, in the academy, industry and community. 
  • Partnerships: #s of: cross-campus collaborations; collaborative publications, grants, fellowships, co-sponsorships; joint academic and research programs; real clients/publishers.
  • Climate: Diversity of faculty, staff and students; diversity of new hires; participation in RSOs; event attendance; social opportunities; results of climate survey; retention, graduation numbers; net transfer students. 
  • Evolution: curriculum reviews completed; new special topics, pop-ups created; new programs; spaces/classrooms renovated/updated; experimental technology purchased

Undergraduate Academic Operations

Distinctive Capability  Students will gain knowledge and professional skills in a community of learners, preparing them for the dynamic, diverse and global media industry from Day 1.
  • Create interdisciplinary and experiential learning opportunities for students
  • Provide students an environment to learn from industry professionals and community members to exchange ideas, interact with faculty, and collaborate with each other.
  • Students work with real-world clients to build their portfolio of published work
  • Increase curricular flexibility of all programs to stay current with industry trends
  • Prioritize excellence and best practices of teaching and learning in JMC education to align with accreditation and industry standards (includes ethical and social responsibility)
  • Refine and invest in distinctive and focused educational experiences
  • Recruit, enroll and retain talented students from diverse backgrounds
  • Emphasize the ethics and values of professionalism, responsibility, and wellness as the foundation for students.
  • Create spaces to experiment with cutting-edge technology and innovations in the delivery of media to prepare students for dynamic careers
  • Academic involvement and internship experiences of our student body
    • # study abroad opportunities
    • # industry/media tours
    • # courses working with industry partners
    • # of internships
    • # of active student orgs and mentor programs
    • # of successful competitive teams
    • # of apps to scholarships, contests, special programs
    • # of networking with industry and employers
    • # of UCARE and FYRE projects
    • # of publications from courses
    • # of awards earned by students
    • All students successfully market themselves using polished resume/cover letter/port. by the time they graduate
  • Makeup of current student body
    • Increase diversity (minorities/underrep, first gen, low income)
    • Increase student success: graduation rate, time to graduation
  • Prospective students
    • # of tours
    • Engagement in learning community
  • Accessibility of facilities, equipment, faculty, staff and alumni
    • Open door policy
    • 24 hours access to building
    • Access to equipment
    • Quick and thorough feedback
    • Collaborative spaces available (comm design and open studios)
    • Student support services, meetings always available with advisors, career dev. specialist
    • # of faculty participating in TOPS! peer review program 
  • Flexible and relevant curriculum
    • Bi-annual competitor analysis of peers and industry trends: curriculum, courses, topics, brand as college/professor, up-to-date curriculum based on media industry trends
    • Annual assessment of one program in the undergraduate curriculum
    • # of pop-up courses each semester
    • # of courses working on real-world projects
    • Academic measures of success for student success - Satisfaction, graduation rates, retention rate
    • Development of a 4+1 program
    • Development of an online completion program
    • Increase number and the success of targeted programs that are combined to create unique education experiences
      • Jacht 
      • Drone
      • Data
      • NSAC/Bateman/Hearst/Other Awards
      • News 21
      • Global Eyewitness
      • Nebraska News Service Wire/Depth Reports
      • Comm Design Lab
      • Beat Reporting Seward Thing
      • BRDC Production
      • Student Orgs

Graduate Academic Operations

Distinctive Capability  We offer an accessible graduate education through a rigorous professional and academic curriculum that suits our Big Ten Research 1 university and our outstanding student scholars. Our flexible program, steeped in a challenging but supportive environment, offers forward-thinking and tech-savvy coursework available both online and in person.
  • Increase course offerings, packaging most in eight-week, all-online, asynchronous formats useful to and convenient for students outside Nebraska, as well as those on campus
  • Encourage faculty to develop new course offerings and engage more deeply with the graduate program, recognizing that we are primarily undergraduate-oriented
  • Commit to marketing to and recruiting academically talented students, targeting professional organizations of journalists, public relations, and advertising
  • Build a 4 plus 1 master’s program to encourage undergraduates to look to our graduate program
  • Build a solid alumni network, which can help current students and graduates alike to foster community and support the program, and enhance the experiential nature of our program
  • Encourage students to join and become involved with professional organizations
  • Build relationships with employers who can route students to us and perhaps pay for students to attend our programs
  • Enhance the rigor of our program with regular reviews of syllabi and assessments of courses and faculty, both in-house and adjuncts
  • Ensure all faculty are equipped to create first-rate asynchronous courses that provide high-quality teaching and learning experiences. 
  • Bring in outside reviewers from other Research 1 universities, particularly in the Big Ten, to suggest ways to step up the rigor of our program and to improve it
  • Explore developing a Ph.D. program featuring both in-person and online offerings
  • Enrollment in master’s degree and certificate programs
  • Completion times to degree or certificate
  • Number of courses scheduled regularly and offered in each major
  • Increase in certificate offerings
  • Number of students who move from certificate into master’s programs
  • Student satisfaction levels
  • Moves into doctoral programs or new jobs within six months of graduating
  • Quality of students admitted, via undergraduate GPA and/or industry experience levels
  • Distinctive talents of faculty

Scholarship & Creative Activity

Distinctive Capability  We research. We create. We collaborate. Our works are relevant, impactful, noted, and funded. We are thought leaders, strategists, writers, artists, and scholars. 
  • Create an environment that encourages development and success in research and creative activity among faculty
  • Provide an environment that encourages student success in research and creative activity
  •  Build a collaborative research atmosphere within CoJMC and across the UNL units and NU campuses
  • Nurture a culture within CoJMC that encourages and rewards productive researchers and offers incentives to faculty who actively seek grants
  • Develop a steady promotional message that will establish CoJMC as a distinguished research and creative activity institution through online, traditional, and interpersonal channels of communication
  • Publications (scholarly including books, chapters, textbooks, reviews, documentaries and other works)
    • Ratings of the publishing journals would be relevant
    • Impact on public discourse
      • Citations by other scholars 
      • Impact measures of publications 
  • Publications (professional) 
    • Impact on the profession
    • Initiatives arising from the research or publication
    •  Work with local communities (newsletters, advertising and public relations campaigns)
  • Exhibitions
  • Video and audio productions
  • Development of other media products  
  • Symposiums, conferences, and workshops 
  • Collaborations and outreach 
    • Within the discipline 
    • Across disciplines 
  • Grants (including funds obtained by faculty and students for creative and research endeavors through the college and/or possibly in collaboration with the Office of Graduate Studies)
  • Research and creative collaboration and outreach
  • Media citations 
  • Awards 
  • Invited presentations – Might want to also include conference presentations more specifically, such as AEJMC, and address involvement/contributions by both faculty and students. 
  • Geographical reach of the publication 
  • Creation of new knowledge 
  • Students in UCARE 
  • Master’s theses 

Student Experiences & Experiential Learning

Distinctive Capability 

We connect with students on a personal level to provide a “students-first” learning environment by providing accessible, inclusive, ethical, supportive, innovative, and challenging experiential learning experiences in and out of the classroom based on concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and active experimentation enhanced by industry partners that empower graduates with a professional advantage in their careers or advanced education.  


Students will complete an experiential learning credential that is based on the four components of Kolb’s model. At the heart of the credential is a guaranteed, personalized practicum within the college that spans multiple semesters. Another component is a polished collection of each student’s published work in the form of a portfolio. The portfolio can also include other experiences such as internships, volunteering, education abroad, etc. A professional mentoring program will match each student with a mentor from the industry, who will help students with their portfolio as they progress as students. The experiential learning credential will be granted after successful completion of a “Career Readiness Seminar,” where a panel of industry professionals and faculty will evaluate students’ portfolios.

  • Create a required experiential learning credential for all students in the college based on at least one guaranteed, personalized practicum. 
  • Enhance funding for students in support of external experiential learning opportunities. 
  • Develop a college-wide mentoring program for all students consisting of industry professionals.  
  • Create additional partnerships with the industry to provide short- and long-term experiential learning opportunities beyond internships. 
  • Develop a “Career Readiness” senior-level course that includes a portfolio requirement. Students will present their work to a panel of industry professionals and faculty.
  • # of students completing practicum each semester
  • # of internal EL opportunities available
  • # of external EL opportunities available (industry partnerships)
  • # of support staff 
  • # of students with jobs directly out of college 
  • # of students with internships
  • # of students with other experiences (education abroad, volutneering, etc.)
  • List of influential alumni in the fields we serve
  • # of alumni providing EL support
  • # of EL scholarships
  • # of EL credentials issued
  • # of mentors
  • Assessment of student portfolio (Kolb's model)
  • Evaluation of mentoring program
  • National Survey of Student Engagement

Comments and Feedback

All comments are anonymous and will be forwarded to the strategic planning committee.