Cheryl Mann Bacon, Chair
ACU Box 27892
Abilene, Texas 79699-7892
Don Morris Center, Room 301
Cheryl Bacon, Professor
Nathan Gibbs, Assistant Professor
Joyce Haley, Assistant Professor
Susan Lewis, Associate Professor
Doug Mendenhall, Assistant Professor
Kenneth Pybus, Associate Professor
Jessica Smith, Associate Professor
Cade White, Instructor
The Department of Journalism and Mass Communication is accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. The department offers the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees. Majors in journalism and mass communication may concentrate in one of three programs: advertising/public relations, multimedia or convergence journalism or they may pursue teaching certification in convergence journalism/multimedia.
The department also cooperates with the Department of Art and Design to offer the Bachelor of Science interdisciplinary degree in graphic design/advertising. A minor in advertising/public relations, digital media, journalism or media studies may be added to other majors outside the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication.
The mission of the Journalism and Mass Communication Department is to engage students in critical and creative thinking in the classroom, in the laboratory, and through mentoring relationships, leading them to become exceptional, ethical, and agile communicators in a rapidly changing media environment, embracing technology, valuing diversity, and embodying Christ-centered service.
Course work in the department carefully balances theoretical and practical information about journalism and mass communication. The curriculum is designed to help students master analytical processes, writing, technology, and the theoretical, historical, ethical and legal foundations of their major field choices.
State-of-the-art laboratories and a faculty that balances strong academic and professional preparation complement the unique purposes of the university and the department. Student media operated by the department are KACU-FM, a National Public Radio affiliate; ACU Videoworks, a television production facility; the Optimist, a weekly All-American student newspaper; Optimist Online and mobile media; Morris & Mitchell, a student-run advertising/public relations agency; and 99 West, a student-run multimedia production agency. Together, the Optimist, its online and mobile versions and KACU-FM comprise the JMC Network. All of these operations have access to up-to-date computer and electronic technology so the graduate is proficient in contemporary media operations.
Professionally oriented student organizations supplement the students’ preparation. Available are the Ad/PR Club, affiliated with the American Advertising Federation and including the Public Relations Student Society of America chapter; Kappa Tau Alpha, national honor society for journalism and mass communication students; a chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists; a student chapter of the Broadcast Education Association; and a student chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
All majors are strongly encouraged to be active members of at least one of the professional societies or associations.
Study Abroad Expectations
All students are encouraged to participate in ACU’s Study Abroad program. Classes offered at Study Abroad sites vary depending on the site. Academic advisors can assist students in planning ahead for their Study Abroad experience and should be consulted during the freshman year.
Bachelor of Science Degrees (BS)
Before being admitted to a program, a student must satisfy the requirements listed in the ACT/SAT Placement Information section of this catalog. Before enrolling in JMC 102 - Creating Media Messages , a student must make a score of 70 or higher on the Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling Exam or have an ACT English score of 24, an SAT Critical Reading (prior to March 1, 2016) score of 550, or an SAT Reading + Writing (after March 1, 2016) score of 590.
Degree plans in each field include both academic and practical experience. In addition to on-campus media experience, students are required to do an internship. They have the opportunity to work in internships at the Abilene Reporter-News, local radio and television stations, local advertising agencies or public relations departments. Recent graduates have participated in summer internships in Washington, D.C., Nashville, Oklahoma City, Dallas, Fort Worth, Amarillo, Abilene, Shreveport, St. Louis, Austin, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Seattle and Chicago.
ProgramsBachelor of ArtsBachelor of ScienceMinor
CoursesJournalism and Mass Communication