Journalism degree to be offered at Delta

By Jack Rechsteiner, managing editor.

If your goal is to change the world, journalism can be one of the most immediate ways to do it.

Crystal McMorris, associate professor of English at Delta College, believes that journalism is more relevant now than ever before – that is why she and others at Delta College have worked to put together a full-fledged program that will offer an associate degree in journalism and emerging media.

“As media channels multiply and advance, there will always be a need for people who can effectively gather and verify information and present it in a way that is accurate, timely and well-crafted,” says McMorris, “It’s a great time to become a journalist.”

In the fall semester of 2017, Delta College held an advisory committee meeting to evaluate and establish the journalism and emerging media program that will be available to Delta students as of the fall semester of 2018. Advisory committees are important in connecting Delta College with the work world, as they assess what Delta’s academic program can do to meet the current needs of employers.

“Our old journalism degree had become outdated and fallen into obscurity, so those of us who teach journalism, page design and new media courses began researching what other colleges are doing. We attended national conferences. We surveyed news managers about the skills they wanted new hirees to have. We put together a committee of students, employers, faculty and staff and kept tweaking until we came up with a degree that makes sense,” says McMorris.

The program will introduce five new courses to Delta’s curriculum; the classes will be Media Literacy, Photojournalism, Introduction to Public Relations, Media Innovation Lab and Special Projects in Journalism. Key courses are set up to easily transfer to other schools, such as Central Michigan University’s journalism program and Saginaw Valley State University’s Professional and Technical Writing Program.

“Starting in the fall, students can begin working toward journalism degrees with tracks in visual journalism, public relations or news and information. Depending on the track they select, students will get training and experience that will allow them to be considered for jobs as photojournalists, social media managers, public relations specialists, public information officers, news reporters, editors and a variety of other exciting jobs,” says McMorris.

Present-day journalism is far more than just newspapers; it’s a constantly evolving field of information gathering and presentation. Journalism uses mediums that range from social media to print magazines to podcasts to live-streaming video to press releases.

“Old-fashioned newspapers are folding, but journalism is more important than ever. In the new media landscape, journalists are valued more than ever for their ability to provide coverage, offer context and help readers understand a rapidly changing world,” says McMorris.

For those interested in learning more about the journalism and emerging media program and the opportunities it presents, you can reach McMorris at [email protected] or at 989-686-9151.

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