Basic Course Information

JOUR-1125 (Mass Communication Practicum)
1 credit hour per semester
(may build up to a total of 3 hours by repeating the class)

This course provides practical experience in reporting, writing, editing, and producing newspapers, magazines, and public relations materials.  The student may work on campus with the newspaper, literary magazine, or College Relations office.

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor (K. Kemper)

Textbook: SMP staff manual

Course Outcomes for JOUR 1125:

Students will develop basic journalism skills by working with the student newspaper, the college’s literary magazine, or the College Relations Office.

Students will develop an awareness of both the content and production sides of journalistic endeavors.

GHC Student Learning Outcome for JOUR 1125:

Critical Thinking (6) Students will be able to organize data.


The class is offered at a set time and also on an arranged basis. Students in the scheduled class must attend every class meeting. Unavoidable absences may be excused by the instructor, who should be notified in person, by a telephone call, or by written communication, preferable before the scheduled class time. Students in the arranged sections will maintain weekly contact with the instructor on an individual basis. Students who have an excused absence from a scheduled class meeting may be required to complete exercises done in class or put in extra time working on the newspaper equivalent to a scheduled class meeting. Requests for makeup work due to an extended absence must be approved by the division chair. (In case of an absence by the instructor, generally someone else will conduct the class meeting.)

Withdrawal Deadline

Withdrawal deadlines vary semester to semester.  Contact the instructor for details

Student Responsibilities

1. Each student will contribute to both the content and production of each issue of the newspaper.

Content assignments must be completed on time. Any problems or delays in content assignments must be reported to the instructor immediately so a deadline adjustment can be made if possible. However, deadline extensions will be given only in the case of truly serious and unavoidable difficulties. Such a problem should also be reported to the editors (and to the advertising manager or chief photographer if appropriate). Students should not change assignments or swap assignments with another staff member unless an editor (or the advertising manager or chief photographer) approves.  JOUR 1125 assignments are considered turn in at the time the instructor receives the final copy.

There will be some flexibility in terms of production assignments and production work times, but production work is required for each issue. This will take approximately one hour per issue.

2. Students should check their college email accounts frequently to get current assignments and to see if more information is needed on a story that has been turned in.  Completed written assignments should be copied to when they are emailed to the team leader and .

3. Students should read each issue of the newspaper and be ready to discuss good and bad points and make suggestions for improvements at critique sessions.

4. Students will prepare a clipping notebook in which they will put copies of their contribution to each issue--news stories, editorials, features, photos, cartoons, ad layouts, etc. These should be mounted on sheets of paper labeled with the date of the issue and the number of the page the item is from. This notebook will be turned in at the end of the semester for a final critique by the instructor. These clippings will also be useful evidence of past experience if students later apply for a job requiring skill in writing, photography, etc.

***The instructor reserves the right to alter the dates, material covered, or format of any exam after notifying the students in advance. 

The course grade will be based on the adequate completion of the Student Responsibilities according to the point system outlined on the Point Distribution Sheet. The grading scale will be as follows: A, 100-90; B, 89-80; C, 79-70; D, 69-60; F, 59-0.

General Notes


If you have complaints about an assignment you are given, discuss the problem with the editors

and then with the instructor, if necessary. Also, if you would like to get experience in another

area of staff work, the editors or instructor can usually arrange this.


Feel free to contact the instructor at any time for help in carrying out your assignments.  Phone –

706-368-7626 or 1-800-332-2406; Email–; office F-136


You are expected, as are all members of the staff, to be as receptive as possible to requests for

extra work by the editors. Also, if possible, stop by the newspaper office from time to time to see

if there is anything you can help with--keyboarding, filing, proofreading, etc.


The newspaper is a group project. It requires everyone's best effort and ideas. The paper will be

 only as good as the work you put in.

Academic Integrity

The Georgia Highlands College “Academic Integrity Code”

( a detailed definition of plagiarism and other types of academic dishonesty and outlines the procedures and sanctions relating to violation of the Code.


Disability Support


Any student who feels he or she may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should make an appointment with Student Support Services (706-295-6336) to coordinate  reasonable accommodations.  The student may also contact the instructor to discuss  specific needs.  This should be done as early in the semester as possible.






Financial Aid


To students receiving financial aid:  Federal regulations state that if a student does not attend classes

and receives failing grades, then the grades were not earned and financial aid needs to be reduced

accordingly.  Any student receiving a 0.00 GPA will be required to prove that the 0.00 GPA was

earned by attending classes or completing requirements for each class.  Students who have passed at

least one class for the semester will not be affected by this regulation.  If a student has properly

withdrawn from all classes, the student’s financial aid should be adjusted from the time he/she signed the

withdrawal form.




Each student starts the semester with 100 points. During the semester the following deductions and additions will be made.

-15 points: For turning a main content assignment (story, photos, or art) in one day after deadline. For each day late after the first, 10 points will be deducted up to a possible total of -50. (This means that turning in an assignment one day late can drop your class grade from a “A” to a “B”; turning it in two days late drops it to a “C”; three days late drops it to a “D”; and four days late drops it to “F.” Requests for deadline extensions must be approved by the instructor.

-15 points: For turning in a content assignment that shows an obvious lack of effort or extreme deviation from the assignment made.

-50 points: For failing to help with the production of the current issue.

-10 points: For each unexcused absence from a class meeting or from a JOUR-1125 ARR meeting. If you cannot attend a meeting, you must immediately notify the instructor, beforehand if possible and no later than the day after the class meeting, though only truly unavoidable absences will be excused.

-20 points: For failing to turn in the clipping notebook or to take an active part in critique sessions.

+5 to 10 points (per issue): For extra work, especially near deadline (for example, writing last minute stories, doing extra keyboarding, doing extra layout work; also helping in clean up, helping with filing, bringing in story ideas, etc.)

If a major unavoidable problem is going to prevent you from doing your content or production assignment, notify the instructor and the editors immediately. It may then be possible to make up the missed work with the instructor's approval.

This policy applies to all JOUR-1125 students on the newspaper staff.*

For business staff students, the Point System will be adjusted to take into account the student's specific responsibilities on each issue of the paper as worked out between student and instructor.

Revised 2009