Cuyahoga Community College will offer a journalism and mass communication associate’s degree this fall with the option to transfer to Kent State to complete a bachelor’s degree.
The Tri-C journalism sequence will provide a liberal arts background and prepare students for either an entry-level job in media or a four-year bachelor’s degree.
The option to transfer to Kent State, the only accredited journalism school in Northeastern Ohio, fits with Tri-C’s more nontraditional student population, said Michelle McCoy, journalism and mass communication program manager at the college.
Eighty-five percent of Tri-C students elect to stay in the Northeastern Ohio region to complete their bachelor’s degrees, McCoy said.
The transfer program also fits well with Kent State’s aims. It is an opportunity to bring diverse students into Kent State’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, said Director Jeff Fruit. He said many media employers want more options to select from to fit their diversity requirements.
McCoy said Tri-C has a large black population and a growing Hispanic population.
Fruit said he is not as concerned with how many Tri-C students transfer to Kent State as with making sure the students are prepared to succeed in the program, which emphasizes good writing skills.
Although students will not transfer for a couple of years, both Fruit and McCoy said that communication between the schools early in the process will be necessary for successful transfers.
To ensure a smooth transfer, classes at both schools will have parallel syllabuses, and faculty may be swapped for guest speaking and instructing.
Courses offered at Tri-C will include Introduction to Mass Communication, Broadcast Studio Production, Photography for Designers, Media Writing, Sales Promotion and Public Relations.
Tri-C is starting a Public Relations Student Society of America chapter and a National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences chapter and plans to add other student organizations, such as the Society of Professional Journalists and National Association of Black Journalists, McCoy said.
The program came about after McCoy, who has taught at Kent State, helped create a similar program at Kent State Stark.
“The expectations of accredited journalism schools are unknown to most community colleges,” McCoy said. “I understand the pulse of an accredited journalism school.”
Historically, community colleges usually did not have transfer programs for journalism students.
“Now, students have the luxury of taking accredited classes and having a seamless transfer,” McCoy said.
Contact fine and professional arts and College of Communication and Information reporter John Oberlin at [email protected]