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Dec. 18, 2011
The Northwest Missouri State University Board of Regents during its regular meeting Friday, Dec. 16, approved a revamp of the University’s mass communications curriculum in addition to numerous other curriculum changes designed to update and enhance the University’s academic offerings.
The redesign of Northwest’s mass communication curriculum eliminates the bachelor of science degrees in broadcasting, journalism and applied advertising, and replaces them with one 55-credit-hour comprehensive bachelor of science degree in mass media. A student enrolled in the program will complete 28 hours of core requirements and 27 hours in an emphasis related to the student’s area of career interest. Core classes will require students to demonstrate basic skills related to creating and disseminating media messages on a range of ever-changing delivery channels, while areas of emphasis will include multimedia journalism, sports media, broadcast and production, and applied advertising.
In all, Northwest Provost Dr. Doug Dunham said the revised mass communication curriculum will include 11 new courses, such as social media strategies, sports reporting and digital cinematography. Four courses currently being offered will be eliminated and nine others will be offered less frequently.
Dunham said the new curriculum is structured to align with new standards in the media industry that call for professionals who have knowledge of social media, web management and video editing as well as traditional print and broadcast journalism skills. Dunham noted Northwest mass communication faculty spent more than two years working on the redesign, which included visits and studies of several communication companies and other universities.
The Board also approved revisions to the bachelor of science degree in chemistry to include emphases in medicinal chemistry and biochemistry. Two new courses tied to the medicinal chemistry emphasis will be taught entirely online through a distance learning program at the University of Florida or another regionally accredited university.
Dunham said demand in the biochemistry minor has increased since its creation in 2002, and the new emphasis gives students the flexibility to select careers in biotechnology industry, government agencies or academic laboratories, or pursue graduate studies.
Other curriculum proposals approved by the Board included the addition of an art history course, the addition of a mobile computing course, the addition of an education course geared toward teaching students with autism spectrum disorders and the creation of an interdisciplinary minor in intercultural enrichment for Spanish majors.
Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski pointed out the collective curriculum changes are driven by Northwest’s use of Professional Advisory Committees and internal curriculum review processes designed to keep the University’s course offerings current and at the leading edge of an educated citizenry and ongoing workforce needs.
In other business, the Board approved a change to the 2012-13 academic calendar, rescheduling Homecoming for Nov. 3, 2012, and thus moving Walkout Day to Nov. 2, 2012. The Board also approved the acceptance of Northwest’s annual financial audit report and reviewed and approved a tri-level plan addressing the University’s core assets and its overall fiscal health.
The Board of Regents develops policy and has responsibility for sound resource management of the University, and determines general, educational and financial policies.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468