Journalism students will be able to take more classes under the JRN designator as a result of revisions to the accrediting standards set by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC).

The revised standards permit journalism students to take a maximum of 52 credit hours under the JRN designator, instead of 44 hours. The minimum of 39 credit hours will remain the same. Students also may take up to six hours of internship credit instead of the current three hours. 

This change allows students to take more electives in their program. 

The ACEJMC outlines the need for digital skills and emphasis on teaching and learning.

“Instruction, whether on-site or online, is demanding and current, and is responsive to professional expectations of digital, technological and multimedia competencies. Achievements in teaching and learning are recognized and valued,” the revisions say.

Standards for curriculum and instruction are outlined. The ACEJMC stresses the importance of preparing students to work in a diverse society.

All graduates must “demonstrate an understanding of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and, as appropriate, other forms of diversity in domestic society in relation to mass communications,” the revisions state.

Graduates also must be able to think critically, creatively and independently; conduct research and evaluate information; write correctly and clearly; and critically evaluate their own work and the work of others.

According to a news release from the ACEJMC: “The revised standards become effective Sept. 1, 2013. However, schools doing self-studies this year and next year may use the new 72 semester hour requirement of classes outside the major instead of the current 80 semester hours of general education with 65 semester hours in the liberal arts.”​