Outcomes Assessment

The undergraduate programs in Advertising, Graphic Communications Media, Journalism, Public Relations, and Television Production at Murray State University are based on theory and practice, educating students who want to pursue responsible careers in these professions.

Our graduates should be able to work as media professionals and, later in their careers, assume leadership positions.  In addition, they should be qualified to apply to graduate programs or be able to pursue other media-related careers.

Learning Outcomes
The professional values and competencies established by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC) serve as the foundation for the 12 learning outcomes (LOs) in our department. These 12 LOs also are core elements of our mission statement, which can be found at the link in the left panel of this page.

Methods to Assess Outcomes
We use a variety of direct and indirect measures to evaluate undergraduate student success. For instance, many of our students are engaged in internships, which provide us a valid sample from which to assess student performance.

Internships are popular assessment methods for many academic departments, but there are other ways to gauge how well our students perform under our curriculum and instruction.

Direct Measures

  1. Pre-test – Post-test of basic knowledge, based on ACEJMC learning objectives, administered each semester in JMC 168 and JMC 590. The responses are reviewed by faculty.
  2. Pre-test – Post-test of professional skills by evaluating resumes, which are encouraged in all courses beginning in JMC 168 and collected in JMC 499. These are reviewed by faculty.

In addition to resumes, students are encouraged in all courses to develop a portfolio containing a representative sample of top work produced in their courses, during internships or through any related opportunities (campus media assignments, outside jobs, freelancing, etc.). By the time students begin JMC 499 Senior Seminar, they will have a product to improve and submit for evaluation. The portfolio will be analyzed to determine competence in a student’s area of expertise.

  1. Summative evaluation of ACEJMC learning outcomes as demonstrated by final projects in capstone classes JMC 455, JMC 456, JMC 491, and JMC 597. These projects are reviewed by faculty, professionals, and clients using the JMC Outcomes Assessment Rubric.

Indirect Measures

  1. Evaluation of student performance on professional internships by supervisors.
  2. Participation in student and campus media, student/professional organizations, and campus leadership.
  3. Regional and national scholarships and awards.

Other Data Sources
Our department members retain close ties with many external constituencies including public relations firms, advertising agencies, and the Kentucky Press Association. These companies hire our graduates, and their feedback provides a very valuable form of student assessment. Therefore, we compile data from these sources:

  1. Survey of JMC alumni.
  2. Survey of JMC Advisory Council.
  3. Anecdotal comments from alumni and professionals.