Boston College unveiled a new minor on Wednesday that will be in effect for this spring’s course registration period: journalism. The newly developed program launched its website on Feb. 14, thereby releasing the application for the minor. The minor will expand on the journalism courses already offered to include cross-listings in other departments and schools at BC. Program director Angela Ards believes that the new program will keep with BC’s goal of connecting studies with the outside world.
“The idea behind the minor was to do some of the things that BC does best,” she said. “Getting a liberal arts education and then engaging that with the world: We think that the heart of journalism does that splendidly.”
The minor will consist of six courses: one introductory course, one senior capstone course, and then four courses in between for which students will be able to choose from a wide range of options. The introductory course will expose students not only to the craft skills of writing, but also to the larger topics of ethics, case studies, and the history of journalism. One of the four “in-between” courses must be a critical, or cross-listed, course that is housed in a different department, such as Reporting Civil Rights, Business of Journalism, or Health Journalism.
BC’s current journalism courses are largely focused on craft-based writing—Feature Writing, Broadcast Writing, and Music Writing serve as prime examples. The aim of this new program is to reach beyond these courses to cover more issues and facets of journalism in greater detail. These courses will be taught by BC tenured or tenure-track faculty, unlike some of the others that are taught by adjunct professors who are current writers in the field.
“The idea in terms of how the minor is expanding is to maintain those craft courses, which is kind of the foundation of the program now, but also the foundation of the skills of journalism, and expand the liberal arts part of it in terms of reaching out to other schools and disciplines and cross-listing courses with them,” she said.
As for the adjunct professors, Ards hopes to continue to work with them to bring opportunities in for BC students. She’d like to enhance the way in which faculty aid students in searching for internships, and establish a speaker series so that students can learn more about daily life in journalism. Based on the rate at which students have registered for journalism courses in the past, which has often left many unable to enroll due the courses filling up too quickly, Ards and the Educational Policy Committee are confident that the program will be popular.
Prior to the installation of this program, students could choose to minor in American Studies and, within the minor, concentrate in journalism. There are six courses in the minor: One is a course in the English department, one is a senior seminar, and at least three others have to be within your chosen concentration.
Carlo Rotella, the director of American Studies, has been working to cultivate and grow this new program beyond the confines of his department, as it will allow students to focus more specifically on journalism without having to take other American Studies courses that might not be as relevant to their preferred area of study. The program plans to phase out this aspect of the American Studies minor in order to focus more completely on the new program.
The minor application is now available on the website, and it will be due on March 15. It asks for students to submit their GPA, as well as any relevant writing experiences or samples they may have. If accepted, students will be able to register for Fall 2018 classes as journalism minors. The full list of courses available for next year is also listed.
“As the program continues to develop the possibilities of its Boston location, forging fresh links between the Boston College campus and the city’s international public culture, students will also have more and more opportunities to work with the city’s deep roster of talented professional journalists, venture out to do original reporting, and intern at an array of media outlets,” the website reads.
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