Vanguard University has confirmed plans for new journalism and digital media minor in the Fall 2018, with the goal of creating more opportunities and growth for the University, students, and more admissions as a whole.
This minor will consist of five required courses: Intro to Journalism, Advanced Journalism, Student Newspaper, Writing in the Digital Age, and Media Ethics. In order to fulfil the complete units of 21, elective courses will also be needed.
Professor Warren Doody, chair of the English department, appreciates how this new minor features a unique perspective to journalism as a whole, compared to many other colleges.
“The university is engaged with how to make Vanguard distinct from other private Christian colleges. It’s a program that puts us [the English department] into the 21st century, hence the digital media aspect of the minor itself,” Doody said.
Junior Ashley Gomez finds this new minor to be perfect for English and communication majors to get experience with seeing their name in a byline.
“I think this is an awesome idea for students who want to explore the publication aspect found in journalism,” Gomez said.
When the English department had the opportunity to begin working on this minor, Doody immediately wanted Professor Dr. Jennifer Russum to oversee this launch of the journalism minor because of her expertise in journalism and ability to be a great mentor and role model for students.
“It all started when I realized students were leaving Vanguard because we don’t have a major in journalism, therefore we needed to fulfill those needs,” Russum said.
Russum looks forward to working alongside many wonderful professors and students to create a new passion for journalism across campus.
“We are trying to move towards better compensation for students’ time and work, in hope that it will bring less turnover in staff, and a more clear incentive for their effort placed in the project,” Russum said.
The English department is thinking progressively by creating a minor that represents the current modern direction journalism is facing within the digital industry rather than reviving an old form of only print.
“They say journalism is dead, but I think that even though journalism has changed dramatically and different genres of media writing and design are now included, it’s exciting to build a program to encapsulate all these different components in the way we create and consume in a digital age,” Russum said.
Russum hopes to incorporate a course that features platforms such as YouTube or a podcast, so her students can strengthen their creative potential.
“I know how content needs to be delivered [as it is] fundamentally important to create something unique,” Russum said.
A collaboration with Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa has been placed in Russum’s hands, in order to share their radio studio space with Vanguard to develop student media internships.
“My idea is to have a couple of student lead hosts of the podcast to dig deeper into the topics of faith in higher education, while exploring how to live our faith,” Russum said.
Doody wanted this minor to be unique and inviting because many students have longed for journalism to be part of Vanguard’s curriculum in the past.
“I’ve noticed that many of our English students want to become writers and this gives them another option of a potential writing or digital media career, all of which are relevant in 2018,” Doody said.
The English department hopes to be able to strengthen such projects like “The Voice,” the student newspaper, or a future podcast, to excite all students to join and participate with the intention of this being part of their career goals.
Sophomore Madison Mouw is currently pursuing a creative writing minor, however, is excited about this journalism minor as she hopes to work for a magazine.
“I love this opportunity because it is aimed more at what I would like to do in the future with my career,” Mouw said.
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