The fall 2011 semester will see the installment of a course dedicated solely to the advancement of Rollins’ journalism curriculum. Sandspur Production, a two-credit course offered on a credit/no credit basis, will be available to any student interested in learning more about the newspaper business. The course will cover the fundamentals of journalistic writing and news reporting as well as learning how to develop strong editing skills. It will include workshops on investigative reporting and newspaper design.
A true journalism class has not been offered through the College of Arts & Sciences since 2009, and certain faculty members have been trying to bring one back. Emily Russell, professor of English and acting faculty advisor to The Sandspur since the end of last semester, has played an influential role in making this class happen. She stated, “Because it can take a long time to hire full time faculty members and change the curriculum, we decided to try this [Sandspur Production] for now.” The English department has been a driving force in creating this class and finding a professor to teach it. It will be bringing in an adjunct faculty member who has experience in both print journalism and educating college students.
Two of the main objectives behind the class are making sure that Rollins supports student media by developing an advisory board to supervise the paper without taking away control from the students and using this course as a bridge to address the immediate need for a journalism class. “One concern we had was, if you have a class that is controlled by faculty members, how will the students be able to retain control over the actual paper,” said Russell. “But this isn’t permanent, it just starts to work towards solving the problem.” Russell and others involved in the course’s development hope that if this class is a success, more journalism classes will become available to A&S students in semesters to come.
Though this class is a requirement for the returning staff of The Sandspur, it is open to all who wish to become involved with print media. The class will meet on Mondays from 6–7 p.m., but will include various journalism workshops throughout the week. Registration for the course is available now during the online Add/Drop period through April 19.