The JMC department is exceptional. Students have access to innovative technologies and are given opportunities for real work experience. Projects often include blogging, design, and photography. Internships are integrated into the degree plans and there are countless ways to get involved further with campus, such as:
- The Optimist, school paper
- Morris + Mitchell, the on-campus Ad/PR firm
- the Public Relations Student Society of America
- the annual Gutenberg Awards
The JMC Minor Experience
As a minor in the JMC department it can be intimidating to even attempt getting involved with the on-campus opportunities. Few students outside of the mainstream degree plans, if any, are selected to work with The Optimist or hold a position at Morris + Mitchell. For students striving to gain experience and knowledge for careers that incorporate their JMC minor, this can be a struggle. As a communication major and an Ad/PR minor, I have felt these issues firsthand. I have found it difficult to keep up with the technological expectations within the department while taking sporadic courses that often require prerequisites that have been waived for minor degree plans. Knowing what courses to register for is challenging because JMC majors have priority over minors in meeting with the department advisor. Students pursuing a JMC minor are not even notified of department events. There are reasons for the separation, but also changes that should happen.
How to Better Integrate All Students
The majority of students taking classes in JMC are majors, so it makes sense that this group would receive the most attention. The department and organizations within JMC are busy and have many students to attend to. However, this does not mean that JMC minors should be pushed aside or unable to apply for certain organizational positions. The extracurricular programs within JMC should hire the best applicant for the job. All events should be open to every JMC student and attendance encouraged. Exclusivity hurts the department by limiting resources and student involvement and hurts students by holding back certain subgroups from access to the full benefits of one of ACU’s most successful programs.