Accreditation and Accountability
Enrollment, retention, graduation and placement
Central Michigan University's Journalism Program is one of only two nationally accredited mass communications programs in Michigan. As part of the standards issued by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, retention, graduation and placement information is to be made available to the public on this website.
Most of the information is compiled by CMU's Office of Academic Planning and Analysis and represents the best available data for each category. The placement category represents a combination of program-gathered information as well as the university's graduate survey. The program information includes email surveys, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, and notes to faculty.
Number of majors
In 2022-2023, the program had 110 majors across its four sequences. Those include advertising (46), journalism (41), photojournalism (17) and journalism-public relations (4). In addition, the program has 29 journalism minors and 31 advertising minors. The program also serves as a key interdisciplinary partner in the Integrative Public Relations program and the Multimedia Design program. Due to lower CMU enrollment, the number of majors are lower than in the previous year. Advertising is the largest major, followed by journalism, photojournalism, and finally, journalism-public relations.
Retention and graduation rates
The program's persistence rates are healthy. Persistence is defined as the percentage of students who return in succeeding years to continue their studies in Journalism. The second-year persistence rate in our majors who signed their majors in 2019-2020, the most recent academic year available, is 90%, 5% higher than the university average. The third-year persistence rate for the 2018-2019 cohort was 78.8%. This is 4% higher than the university, but Journalism recognizes that we must continually strive to improve those percentages.
The program has consistently exceeded both the university and college in graduation rates, defined as how long it takes a student to graduate. The latest available information, for the cohort year of 2018-2019, shows 75% of department majors graduated in four years after signing their majors. This number has been rising slightly over the years and is 13% higher than the university average. The program's number 1 priority is to graduate students on time and prepared to begin their mass communication careers.
To assess placement, the program surveys faculty members and recent graduates, as well as looks for publicly available information on career-related announcements involving journalism graduates. Faculty members are surveyed because they frequently are in touch with recent students about their career aspirations and serve as references, etc. The latest available placement data, which includes Spring 2022 and Fall 2022 graduates, is that 90% of program majors who graduated in December 2022 or in May 2022 were employed, in graduate school or in a situation they favored. 10% reported looking for full-time work or being in jobs not related to their fields of study. The remaining percentage reported in being in "other" situations. Recent graduates have gone everywhere from producing content for digital marketing companies to advertising agencies in Grand Rapids to a variety of news positions in Lansing, Detroit and other locations, mostly in the Midwest.
In the spirit of accountability and disclosure, Central Michigan University’s Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication-accredited Department of Journalism annually publishes assessment findings related to student learning outcomes.