By Starr D’Avril
Contributing Editor

A Journalism certificate program is now available starting Fall of 2012. According to Professor Maria McConnell of Business Division, there had been talk for years of having a Journalism certificate, but it took only a year to finalize plans once a decision was made.

Only one new course was added to the curriculum, according to Dean of Arts and Humanities Dr. Robert Beckstrom.  Principles of Public Relations is under the Journalism tab in the course browser and will be taught by Assistant Professor and ‘The Collegian’ Adviser Cliff Anthony in the fall.

“It was virtually no work at all since we already had the body of courses to pick from,” said Beckstrom. The certificate has an Economics and Business foundation, allowing it to become part of the transfer module courses, meaning the classes can be applied to other degrees and only adds to the student’s expertise.

“We began identifying within the existing programs, a set of courses representing a specific skill-set,” said Beckstrom.

Budding journalists fresh from high school, returning students, non-traditional students and stringers already in the newspaper trade will have the opportunity to sign up for two full semesters of classes and achieve the certification of Journalism.

“In reality, it is the people who come back to upgrade their existing qualifications in the field who will make up the bulk of students going for this certificate,” said Beckstrom. “Journalism is the most radical transforming and dynamic area out there today, compared to 15 or 20 years ago, when the mindset was of online being inferior to print,” said Beckstrom. In a world where media coverage of events becomes obsolete in a matter of hours, this certificate program will teach readiness and adaptability to help journalists stay in the social media loop online and ahead of the trends and news.

“The certificate is a shortcut to demonstrate to a potential employer you have acquired this skill-set,” said Beckstrom.