Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes


The faculty has identified five broad standards of performance, or Student Learning Outcomes, that it prepares students to meet by the time of their graduation.

University of Rhode Island Journalism graduates are:

Capable of entry-level media work in one of the major’s areas of emphasis.
This level of professionalism includes the following characteristics:

  • the ability to think critically, creatively and independently
  • the ability to express oneself clearly, both in writing and orally
  • the ability to carry out journalistic research and interviews
  • the ability to prepare content for news media outlets
  • the ability to meet deadlines
  • the ability to competently use technology appropriate to the medium

Informed about journalistic ethics and capable of articulating an ethical decision.
Graduates understand professional codes of ethics and can apply them to ethical dilemmas faced by journalists. Employing personal as well as professional ethics, they are prepared to make thoughtful decisions from among alternatives and are capable of defending those decisions.

Able to explain the importance of journalism in the United States.
Graduates understand the historical and legal significance of the First Amendment, the traditional role of journalism as society’s watchdog, and the rights and responsibilities of journalists.

Conversant about contemporary media issues.
Because the present cannot be discussed intelligently without an awareness of and appreciation for the past, implicit in this standard is the graduates’ understanding of their professional roots. They are familiar with the issues now facing journalists and those likely to face journalists, particularly those being written and talked about by news media practitioners, users, observers and critics.

Prepared for a diverse and multi-cultural world and workplace.
Graduates recognize that they live and work in a world characterized by difference and change, and they recognize the challenges these present to themselves and to journalism.

Read through the Outcomes again, thinking about the courses you are required to take and/or may choose to take as a Journalism major. Can you see how they tie in with those things we expect you to know and be able to do when you graduate? Think, too, about how General Education courses and Electives might fit in. No single course or experience will get you there, but our intent is that all of your education will contribute to your ability to demonstrate these outcomes.

Beginning in Fall 1995, we began formally assessing how well (and how) students achieve these outcomes. Our primary goal is to involve you in the assessment of your work as a means of guiding you through the major and making sense of it. It is easy to think of requirements as hurdles you must clear in order to graduate. Our hope, however, is that you view Assessment not as a hurdle but as a series of checkpoints you must pass through so you — and we — can feel as confident as possible about your graduation.

Our Jor 411 class, Senior Portfolio, helps you create a full compendium of the work you do as a Journalism major, providing evidence of what you have learned, skills you have acquired, and how well you have met the Outcomes noted above.

See below a list of course-specific learning outcomes (rubrics) for Journalism

JOR 110: Introduction to Mass Media

JOR 115: Foundations of American Journalism

JOR 210: History of American Journalism

JOR 211: History of Broadcasting

JOR 220: Media Writing

JOR 221: Multimedia Reporting

JOR 310: Media Law for Journalists

JOR 311: Journalism Criticism

JOR 313: Alternative News Media in the United States

JOR 320: Public Affairs Reporting and Writing

JOR 321: Magazine Article and Feature Writing

JOR 330: Television News

JOR 341: Editing for Publication

JOR 410: Ethics in Journalism

JOR 411: Senior Portfolio Description

JOR 415: Perspectives on Reporting

JOR 420: Advanced Reporting

JOR 442: Publication Design for Journalism and PR