One of the really cool things about teaching at the college level is that you get to start over at least twice a year at the beginning of each semester. The start of the semester is a good time to reassess and set new goals. That’s how we grow. Here are a few resolution suggestions for JACC members:
I will finally start a weekly (or every other week depending on publication) mailing list and send copies of the newspaper to other community colleges in hopes they’ll do the same and my students can learn by taking their blinders off.
I will create a folder of bookmarks in my web browser for other community college online publications so that it is easier to check out what others are doing online.
I’ll talk up blogging, podcasting, videos, etc. with the newspaper staff members so that they will at least start thinking about multimedia storytelling and creating original content for online. Shoot, I may even start my own blog so I know what I’m talking about.
If we don’t already have an online publication I will see that we actually start one EARLY this semester so that my program isn’t another four months behind the curve at the end of this semester. We’ve already got some catching up to do since 80 percent of JACC schools are already online.
If we’ve got a dead online publication I (the instructor) will admit I was wrong in not trying to set up an easy-to-use College Publisher site. And I will follow Rich’s advice to treat it as an advertising contract and keep my risk-averse administration out of it. That way the contract will be signed by me 8-10 months earlier than if the school’s lawyer tries to tear it apart. If I’m already on the risk-averse track, I’ll ask Rich to help by writing a letter to my administrators explaining how they are hurting my program by not working out their concerns in a timely fashion.
I’ll start using Rich’s free City Council simulation in my newswriting class. But he needs to update the numbers a bit.
I (an instructor) will be more tolerant of Rich’s long messages on the JACC-FAC listserve and I pledge to actually contribute some thoughts to the listserve this semester.
I will get off my campus this semester and visit one other community college journalism program that I haven’t seen before in hopes of learning at least one new thing we can do with our program.
Feel free to add more ideas.