CA315 Journalism Practicum

for FA 2011

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Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.


CA 315 Journalism Practicum: News and Feature Writing


FA 2011 HOA


Lofflin, John


Associate professor of journalism



Office Location

Copley 1 South

Office Hours


Daytime Phone



Semester Dates

Fall 2011

Class Days


Class Time



Permission of the instructor

Credit Hours



If you do not have a copy of the Associated Press Stylebook from another communication course, please buy one.

If you are a writer, obtain a copy of Donald Murray’s Coaching Writers.

If you are a photographer, obtain a copy of the Kodak Black & White Data Guide

If you are an editor, sharpen your pencil.

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information

Course Description:

Journalism practica provide an opportunity to apply the skills of journalism as a member of a publication team, usually on the staff of the Stylus. The course is conducted in an independent manner as students fill roles on the publication team then submit their work to the instructor for critique. The Styluseditor may enroll for 4 credit hours. The usual enrollment is for 3 credit hours. Variable credit:1-4 hours.

“...the purpose of media education is to produce well-rounded graduates who have critical thinking skills as well as practical skills, and who have an understanding of the philosophy of the media and a dedication to the public service role that the media have in our society.”

-- Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication

Curriculum Task Force, 1996, p. 106



The communication arts graduate in journalism is a thinking journalist capable of adapting to change and creating change in the profession, open-minded, committed to truth and the empowerment of all citizens through the arts of journalism. Specifically, the graduate exhibits excellence in craft and an analytical approach to problems. The graduate recognizes excellence and strives to produce it. The graduate’s professional and personal ethics are in harmony, motivated by a sense of purpose for good in the community. The graduate celebrates individuality and respects differences while searching for the common good.




·        Practica provide opportunities to hone craft

·        Practica provide opportunities for real-life ethical decision making

·        Practica provide opportunities to create publications that demonstrate excellence

·        Practica apply theoretical and aesthetic concerns developed in class work

·        Practica create artifacts for the portfolio useful in demonstrating personal mastery of craft

·        Practica provide the opportunity for professional evaluation through the portfolio process


Educational Philosophy:

Engagement with the ideas of the course is the essential prerequisite for higher level learning. The teacher serves as a guide to the construction of meaning, the development of skills and dispositions, the recognition of what constitutes excellence, and the consideration of ethical issues.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. hone craft
  2. real-life ethical decision making
  3. create publications that demonstrate excellence
  4. apply theoretical and aesthetic concerns developed in class work
  5. create artifacts for the portfolio useful in demonstrating personal mastery of craft
  6. professional evaluation through the portfolio process
  7. write news stories or feature stories on deadline
  8. make photographs on deadline
  9. conduct professional interviews
  10. edit work to professional standards
  11. interact with a publication team
  12. consider the ethical issues involved in your work, focusing on the university community
  13. critique your own work and the work of others
  14. experience professional journalism

Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:

PORTFOLIO: Students in journalism or photojournalism should save all the work they accomplish in journalism practicum for the portfolio. They will be providing examples of cross-cultural reporting, investigative reporting, government reporting, feature writing and other reporting assignments in the senior portfolio.

Students will be evaluated on the quality of their work and on their ability to meet deadlines. Each student must save copies (where applicable) of their work in a portfolio notebook to be presented at the close of the semester and reviewed periodically and informally with the instructor. The portfolio will include all published and unpublished items, the deadline for each item and the date it was completed and turned in


In addition to the portfolio, each students will submit a brief paper describing the work accomplished in the practicum, what the student has learned from the experience, and what the student plans to improve.


·        Quality of the work (determined by portfolio review) -- 40%

·        Timeliness of the work -- 50%

·        Final paper -- 10%


Special note: Students sometimes complete projects that are not used in one of the publications. Simply place that work in the portfolio. Whether your work is used or not, you will be responsible for accomplishing one piece for each issue. It is your responsibility to get assignments or conceptualize your own assignments.


Provide a hard copy of everything you do to me weekly so I can offer a preliminary evaluation of the work.


For writers and photographers, the portfolio should contain three kinds of documents for each artifact: A hard copy of the story or photograph; a printed copy of the story or photograph, and an electronic copy of the story or photograph.


For editors, multiple copies of each issue should be gathered for the portfolio. Also editors should retain uneditied copy to compare with edited versions.



The portfolio will be evaluated at the conclusion of the course. Improvement will be the primary criteria.

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Meeting deadlines composes half the final grade

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Journalism practicum is a guided practical experience on a student publication or another publication. No class meetings are scheduled. The student may meet with the Stylus staff at their weekly meeting time, currently Wednesdays at noon. Students may arrange to receive assignments at other times.


The student will be responsible for completing an assignment for each issue of the Stylus or for a variety of Narva deadlines. Students may also be present for production of either publication. Details will be arranged individually with the instructor.


Because this is an extremely important educational experience accomplished in an independent manner reflecting the world of commercial journalism, both the teacher and the student must be responsible for strong informal exchange of ideas, critique, brainstorming and general help in accomplishing assignments.

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life. Park University students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 96

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .

Additional Information:



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Last Updated:8/19/2011 1:20:20 PM