Transferability and Sustainability the focus of ACC’s new Journalism and Contemporary Media AAS


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Anthony Silio, Arapahoe Pinnacle Reporter

Perspective journalism students have a new AAS program to look forward to at ACC. Improving on an already existing program, ACC’s Journalism and Contemporary Media program continues to be the only journalism CTE program in the state of Colorado.

The goal of this new program is to streamline the pre-existing program, allowing for students to complete the degree suited to either enter the workforce or transfer to a four-year university.

ACC’s journalism program has had a long and sporadic history, largely in part to the status of the school’s publication. Formerly known as, The Rapp Street Journal, The Arapahoe Observer and The Arapahoe Free Press, ACC’s student news publication has had many resurrections and many names. In the 2009-2010 school year, Dr. Josie Mills and The Arapahoe Avenue brought back the program to its current state.

Under the guidance of Dr. Mills, the program offered students a variety of career paths to pursue. The program had general education courses and a set list of core major specific courses that all journalism students had to complete to receive the AAS. The program also consisted of three concentrations, of which the journalism student chose one and completed courses specific to that concentration. The three concentrations were Writing and Reporting, Advertising and Marketing, and Multimedia Graphic Design.

The goal of this AAS program under Dr. Mills was not transferability, but employability. The program was designed to give the student the option to find a career path of interest and learn the skills to achieve it. The program was successful in keeping a journalism program alive at ACC, and became the base that the current student news publication, The Arapahoe Pinnacle, and the new journalism program is built upon.

Over the past year, Professor Jamey Trotter has been working with the Journalism Advisory Board to turn the previous three-tiered journalism program into a prescriptive, single-tracked AAS program. ACC’s Journalism and Contemporary Media program is a Career and Technical Education program, which requires the program to be established and revised under the advisement of an advisory board comprised of journalism professionals.

Thanks to the collaboration of Professor Trotter and the advisory board, a new 60 credit program is now being offered that truly is designed to create both well-rounded students and professionals. Besides making the program easier to transfer, the perceived benefits of this program surround the enrollment numbers of the program. The program hopes to promote a more collective and sustainable journalism student body.

Under the advisement of current journalism professionals, students who wish to complete the program will benefit from classes that will immediately translate into workplace procedures. Students concerned about the disappearance of the program’s concentrations will still benefit, as all three are included in the new program. Students will take MGD classes, such as Adobe In-design, to learn the program that smaller publications are currently using to produce their publications.

Students will also be taking writing and reporting classes, but they will learn various techniques to write for any type of publication. Journalism classes include: News Writing and Editing, Feature and Magazine Writing, and Intro to Public Relations. The Journalism students will benefit from actual publications to write and display their work through. The Arapahoe Pinnacle and The Progenitor are both parts of this journalism program, allowing for students to write creatively or report for the only weekly publication in the Community College of Colorado System.

This new program, like its predecessor, does consist of a certificate program, for those not looking to receive a degree, but still want to benefit from ACC’s Journalism Program. Students looking to benefit from the transferability of the program will soon realize a lot of their classes already transfer to Colorado’s 4 year institutions with journalism programs. With that being said, a transfer agreement is nearly complete with Metro-State University, and transfer agreements with other state universities are being negotiated.