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Program prepares future teachers for changing journalism landscape

September 6, 2013 | Bryce Wilks

Evangel’s Communication Department has introduced its eighth major this semester with a Communication Arts Education program.

Communication Arts Education is a flexible secondary education program with built-in certifications for teaching journalism and English.

The program’s design required collaboration from three academic areas: Humanities, Education and Communication. Students in the program will have student teaching experiences in local high schools.

Dr. Cameron Pace, Communication Department chair, says the program provides students with a course of study that makes them better prospects for employers after graduation.

“Teaching jobs are very competitive today, especially if the student only has one certification in secondary education,” Pace says. “This major gives them two that go well together. Principals want flexibility when hiring so that more classes can be covered.”

Defining Communication Arts

There are a number of different terms for describing areas of communication, language arts, literature and English.

The defining feature of Communication Arts Education is that journalism is the primary area of focus, while English is secondary.

A broad scope of journalism areas are covered in the program, including media writing, publishing and news reporting. Special attention is also given to emerging media, including electronic journalism.

Language Arts Education, by contrast, places primary focus on teaching English. The Communication Arts program does require several foundational English and literature courses designed to help students become certified by passing praxis series tests in their desired areas.

Value to students

Michaela Smith pondered her future in the journalism field while gaining experience in a newsroom. As she considered the potential of tracking down facts and quotes about similar stories day after day, a career in education became more appealing.

The junior from Belton, Missouri was the first to declare for the new major program. She places value on the flexibility the program will offer her when entering the workforce.

“I love the practical experience I’m gaining in my communication courses, while also learning how to apply teaching methods in a few different subjects” she says.

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