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Welcome back, JSchool students and faculty

This quarter marks the beginning of the end: September 6, 2011 is the last first-day-of-fall-quarter ever at Ohio University. That is, unless a provost in 2050 decides to revert to the quarter system.

What does it all mean? For us, it means the launch of a wonderful new curriculum. We officially put it in place a year from now, but we like it so much that we’ve already started advising students to follow the “semester” plan (see checksheet).

What’s so great about it? In a word: flexibility. Okay, another (related) word: adaptability. Instead of a “sequence” of courses, one usually being a pre-req for the next, we’ve created a two-track curriculum that divides the world of our journalism majors into “news and information” (encompassing broadcast news, magazine journalism, news writing and editing, and online journalism) and “strategic communication” (formerly advertising and PR).

We think these new tracks much more reflect the realities of the media landscape facing our students for the coming years. Students will more easily be able to cross-train within these broad tracks, and even take crosses across the tracks, as electives. All in all, a great step forward, taken with great deliberation and yes, even spirited debate.

Quarters are coming to an end at Ohio University. September 6, 2011 is but the first of many “last steps” in that journey. But more important, sequences are coming to an end, and with that ending comes easier access to a journalism education for the 21st century.

September 5, 2011

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