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Western Kentucky University

Undergraduate Programs

The School of Journalism & Broadcasting offers majors in advertising, broadcasting, film, journalism, photojournalism and public relations. The School also offers minors in digital advertising, broadcasting, and journalism writing.

The school holds as its ultimate aim the encouragement of students to be active participants in today's society, with the hope and expectation that some will assume leadership roles in advertising, broadcasting, film, graphic design, photojournalism, journalism, public relations and other communication areas.

The school embraces the concept that broad-based liberal arts and natural sciences curriculum is essential for a well-rounded understanding of society. It upholds the ideal that the American press system should be free, independent and responsible. Through its course work and extracurricular activities, the school and its faculty encourage students to be critical thinkers and competent communicators, to be aware of ethical values and historical perspectives, and to gain insight into the functions and responsibilities of contemporary communications institutions. A high priority is the encouragement of students to be able to adapt, both intellectually and creatively, to the realities and challenges of an increasingly diverse and complex information society.

Students are encouraged to seek practical experience through work on student publications and broadcasting outlets, other campus publications, local media, and internships at newspapers, magazines, advertising firms, radio and television stations, businesses, public relations agencies and other institutions. Students may gain experience by working on the College Heights Herald, the campus newspaper; the Talisman, the yearbook; WWHR, a licensed non-commercial FM station managed and staffed by students; the student advertising and public relations agency Imagewest; and the Newschannel 12 newscast, a 30-minute live campus cablecast. Qualified students may gain additional experience on campus through staff work at the National Public Radio station, WKYU-FM, or crew employment at the Public Broadcasting System associate member station, WKYU-TV24.

In addition, membership is available in campus chapters of the American Advertising Federation, Society of Professional Journalists, the National Press Photographers Association, the Public Relations Student Society of America, Radio-Television Digital News Association, Kappa Tau Alpha national society honoring scholarship in journalism, WKU Multicultural Journalists, which is affiliated with the National Association of Black Journalists, and the WKU Storm Team. Students may become involved in school committees and the policy and operating board of student publications. Those experiences help students develop a competency that better enables them to perform in the journalism/mass communication professions.

Student Learning Objectives (SLOs)

Assessment of student learning in the WKU School of Journalism & Broadcasting is based upon the following core competencies and values as specified by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication:

  1. understands and applies the principles and laws of freedom of speech and press for the country in which the institution (WKU) is located, as well as has received instruction in and understands the range of systems of freedom of expression around the world, including the right to dissent, to monitor and criticize power, and to assemble and petition for redress of grievances
  2. demonstrates an understanding of the history and role of professionals and institutions in shaping communications
  3. demonstrates an understanding of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and, as appropriate, other forms of diversity in domestic society in relation to mass communications
  4. demonstrates an understanding of the diversity of peoples and cultures and of the significance and impact of mass communications in a global society
  5. understands concepts and applies theories in the use and presentation of images and information
  6. demonstrates an understanding of professional ethical principals and works ethically in pursuit of truth, accuracy, fairness and diversity
  7. thinks critically, creatively and independently
  8. conducts research and evaluates information by methods appropriate to the communications professions in which they work
  9. writes correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the communications professions, audiences and purposes they serve
  10. critically evaluates his/her own work and that of others for accuracy and fairness, clarity, appropriate style and grammatical correctness
  11. applies basic numerical and statistical concepts
  12. applies current tools and technologies appropriate for the communications professions in which they work, and to understand the digital world

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 Last Modified 7/6/15