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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Blinn journalism classes canceled

Two months after Texas A&M announced its decision to cancel the journalism program, Blinn College in Bryan temporarily canceled all journalism classes for the 2003-04 school year.
Nancy Wright, chair of the humanities division at Blinn, said the program was canceled shortly after the announcement at A&M because the program was largely based upon co-enrolled students, and the enrollment numbers had been declining.
Wright said she wants to bring journalism classes back to Blinn, but said there have been problems finding qualified professors.
“I give it a great deal of importance because I think there are a lot of students out there that want to go into some kind of journalism,” she said.
“But we’re doing everything we can to get it back in the fall.”Journalism professors must have a master’s degree and adequate experience in the field, Wright said.
There is currently only one journalism professor at Blinn, but Wright said if she can find additional qualified teachers that two or three journalism classes will be offered at Blinn next fall.
“As a teacher, I value journalism and realize how important it is in society,” said Nequoia Elsey, communications instructor and faculty adviser for the student newspaper at Blinn. “I would hope that the programs would be revived.”
Wright said even though she is uncertain of the future of journalism at A&M, that one of her major goals for the next few years is to rebuild the journalism program at Blinn.
“Even though I’m not a journalism major, I think it’s important to offer some kind of journalism classes at any college,” said Luke Mintzas, a sophomore at Blinn. “The media plays such a major role in every aspect of our society that understanding journalism could help students in any field.”
A&M officials have the same goal of keeping journalism in the curriculum.Journalism classes must continue to be provided for all students who were admitted to A&M last fall until the last of them graduate, said Dr. Edward Walraven, undergraduate adviser for journalism at A&M.
Walraven said although new students will not be able to receive a major in journalism, that Dean of Liberal Arts Charles Johnson said he hopes to offer a new minor in journalism as early as next fall.
Walraven said Blinn’s decision to cancel journalism classes was most likely a business decision made because of the uncertainty over A&M’s department.
“Blinn has benefited from having journalism courses because so many people are interested in the field,” Walraven said. “I’m sure that Blinn would love to be able to have a couple of journalism classes so that students that want to transfer to A&M could take those.”
A&M may also propose a new interdisciplinary major to begin in two or three years, Walraven said. If approved, students will be able to receive a degree in journalism in the future.
“Any program at any university that teaches students how to be critical thinkers in a modern society is a very valuable contribution to society,” Walraven said. “That’s one of the primary benefits that journalism contributes to society.”
Johnson said no faculty jobs will be eliminated as a result of the decision to cancel the journalism department at A&M. However, if faculty members choose to seek jobs at other universities or choose to retire they will not be replaced.
“I think there is a certain sense of disappointment,” Walraven said. “Most of us are interested in what we teach, but I think we’re all pretty encouraged that there is a possibility of having a degree in journalism in the future.”

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