Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Centennial Colleges Journalism Program Offers Training for Newspapers, Magazines, the Internet and More!

"The journalism program is very hands-on," says Shawn Bailey, a graduate of Centennial College’s journalism program. "We get to experience so many different things having to do with journalism such as creating and writing for our own community newspaper, The Observer. There are other aspects like TV, radio, online. I chose Centennial College because being in college is very hands-on and I didn’t want to learn from books. I wanted to learn from doing."

Shawn has done an excellent job of demonstrating the appealing aspects of this journalism program but let’s take a closer look. The three-year Journalism program is designed for high school graduates. It will prepare them for a career by taking them from the classroom to a newsroom. In this program students: apply skills in a newsroom writing for a community newspaper and an online publication; cover a variety of topics while developing the critical foundation skills they’ll need for a career as a reporter, editor or broadcaster and beyond; develop new multi-platform and online skills for the evolving world of news reporting; and more.

Specific courses include: Reporting (offers instruction and practice in multi-media writing disciplines, primarily from the perspective of newspaper and online articles and media presentations); Journalism Law and Ethics (students learn how to avoid such journalistic legal problems as libel and contempt of court, and to develop strategies for dealing with ethical challenges when they arise); Copy Editing (emphasis is placed on efficiently correcting both factual and stylistic errors, as well as generating appropriate headlines and photo cutlines); and many others.

In their final semester of the journalism program, students spend 15 weeks in a full-time placement, working alongside professional staff in a commercial media outlet or communications agency. To qualify for placement, a student must have passed every course required in previous semesters. In arranging placement matches, faculty will take into account the student’s aptitudes and career goals.

To apply for Centennial’s journalism program, students must present at minimum an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent or be 19 years of age or older. Possession of minimum admission requirements does not guarantee admission. There is also a compulsory English 12C or U or skills assessment, or equivalent requirement. During the admission process, students must complete an editing test and a current affairs questionnaire and write a short essay (topic provided). English will also be considered in the admissions process for journalism school.

Qualified graduates may be eligible to participate in an articulated program with selected universities, institutes and professional associations. These partnerships allow graduates to apply academic credit towards further study. Centennial College’s journalism partner is Athabasca University, where students can obtain a Professional Arts degree (Communication Studies).

Students can also earn a journalism diploma from Centennial while working on a four-year honours degree from the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC). After applying through U of T, successful candidates will spend two years at the university and then enter Centennial’s fast-track program. In four years, they will have earned a diploma and degree.

Klaudia is the author of this article about the journalism program that is offered at Centennial College, which includes courses such as Reporting, Copy Editing, Journalism Law and Ethics, and others.

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