Our View: Financial burden outweighs flexibility of new JMC requirements

DKS Editors

Many students fulfilling their experiential learning requirement are faced with a tuition bill. In order for schools to require students to complete an internship, they require registration for at least one credit hour, which means students have to pay to work.

Now, students in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication might have to pay twice as much.

Instead of one credit hour equaling 300 internship hours, the faculty voted to make one credit hour equal 150 internship hours. For sequences that want students to have to work for 300 hours, they will have to require two credits. Members of the editorial board, in addition to many other Stater staffers, saw numerous issues with the proposal as it was passed.

Furthermore, the Stater only found out about the changes after a JMC faculty member provided information to student media. This proposal should have been made public long before a faculty vote.

Several years ago, JMC faculty decreased the requirement from three credit hours equaling 300 hours to one credit hour equaling 300 credit hours specifically to save students money. Students take internships for the experience and to expand their skills — not to pay for credits.

The new format does offer flexibility for some majors. They can take two 150-hour internships during the semester instead of being funneled into the summer by the 300-hour credit. The keyword, however, is some. For the news sequence, we feel it increases the financial burden while offering little flexibility.

Also, two 150-hour internships don’t offer the same experience as a 300-hour one. By the time you’d finish 100 hours of work, you’d already be two-thirds of the way through the internship experience. It takes that much time to simply become acclimated to a new work environment.

Ultimately, the new requirement could prohibit self-funded students from accepting certain internships and will steal opportunities from those with greater financial need.