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 Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2005 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter

IN THE SPOTLIGHT


New Journalism Course Promotes Community Involvement
By Vanessa Lozano, senior, School of Journalism and Mass Communication

In an effort to teach students the importance of social responsibility, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Institute for Ethical and Civic Engagement have created a new service-learning course for freshmen.

The class, called Media, Self and Society, is designed to teach journalism students the importance of community awareness and involvement, especially when it comes to shaping their careers.

"The goal is for these students to view themselves as global citizens, which will then form who they are as journalists," said Lynn Schofield Clark, the course professor.

The 17 students enrolled in the class are required to participate in a service project, in addition to regular class attendance.

"We all have extra time in our day that could be used to benefit someone less fortunate," said Marta Campbell, freshman pre-journalism major. "I am really grateful that this class has, in a way, forced me to take advantage of the opportunity to make a difference."

The students have chosen volunteer locations such as the Emergency Family Services' after-school program, the Good Samaritan nursing facility, and the Colorado Therapeutic Riding Center and are required to visit their respective site at least six times throughout the semester.

"Many of the kids that come into the Family Learning Center lack the resources and opportunities that their fellow classmates have," said Daniel Mercado, freshman pre-journalism major. "Being there for them, supporting their ideas and contributing to their education gives one of the greatest feelings in the world."

The course requirements also include maintaining an online blog that the students update with reflections on their service experiences and class readings.

"I am very impressed with the students' abilities to think critically about their classroom studies and outside experiences," said Clark, who created the blog as a way to incorporate new media into the class. "They have taken responsibility for their own learning and have been able to think more deeply about how their experiences relate to the rest of world."

Currently, the course is offered only to freshmen. In the future, the School hopes to create a four-class sequence that students can follow throughout their time at CU-Boulder.

To view the Media, Self and Society class blog please visit their LiveJournal Communication and Civic Engagement. To learn more about the course visit Media Self and Society.


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