Change is reality for media education and higher education

NYT story about online educationby Julie Dodd

The need for change is a theme in much of what is being said about and written about higher education.

The need for change was a theme of President Machen’s State of the University Address to the UF Senate on Aug. 22.

Machen was quoted in this New York Times story about how online education is changing.

The need for change was the theme of the College of Journalism and Communications’ Faculty Kickoff before school started.

For those who are college faculty members and for those who are considering careers in higher education, it’s important to be thinking about what change is and what change means for institutions and individuals.

From President Machen’s speech:

Higher education nationally – and in Florida – is under attack on many fronts. UF needs to “get out in front” by being pro-active in addressing concerns. Here are three ways Machen said that UF can “invent our own future”:

1) E-Campus – Online learning is the new reality. The UF legislature has established that for undergraduate degree programs all Florida online students will pay only 75 percent of regular tuition. UF’s E-Campus program will debut in January. Currently UF has 10 online “two-plus-two” programs that allow associate-degree holders to attend UF online as juniors and seniors to earn their bachelor’s. By January, five of those programs will be expanded to four years. The plan is to add five more programs annually.  Students in the E-Campus program are subject to the same admissions standards as students admitted to UF’s brick-and-mortar program. The courses will be taught by regular UF faculty members. The legislature has funded the program for $10 million this year and $5 million annually.

2) New Core Curriculum – The legislature has approved allowing UF to require 12 credits of UF-only core courses. These general education-level courses will create “a shared experience” for UF students. The Good Life is the only course currently offered that is part of this program. Other course proposals are being developed. Machen encouraged cross-college collaboration and said that these courses can help “put the spotlight back on undergraduate education.”

3) Advance Among the Top Public Universities – The legislature is providing $15 million annually, and UF will attempt to raise $800 million through its capital campaign. The funding will go for hiring new faculty with the goal of hiring 100 new endowed professors.


wordel_journalismFrom the Poynter Institute to The New York Times to the Knight Foundation to the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard – Organizations and individuals are calling on media programs in higher education to re-evaluate their programs and change.

Please read at least three of the following articles and arrive in class on Sept. 9 ready to discuss trends in higher education. Also as you read the articles, consider the sources and motivations involved.

  • What are trends in higher education?
  • Which of those trends do you see at the University of Florida?
  • How could those trends affect your future as a university faculty member?
  • What can you be doing now to be successful in a career in higher education?

An Open Letter to America’s University Presidents

Master’s Degree Is New Frontier of Study Online

2012 Annual Survey of Journalism and Mass Communication Enrollments

Journalism Schools Need to Adapt or Risk Becoming Irrelevant

College Football’s Most Dominate Player? It’s ESPN – This article takes a different focus — the impact of football on colleges and the impact of ESPN on college football. Consider the implications

Also please read through the Accrediting Standards established by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC). Be ready to discuss how those standards impact communications programs. By visiting the ACEJMC website, you can learn which schools are accredited and what the accreditation process involves.


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