Starting with the Fall 2021 semester the Department of Journalism + Media unveiled new Area of Concentration (AOC) tracks in Photojournalism and Sports Journalism, with plans for future AOC tracks in Environmental Media and Arts and Fashion Media.

The new AOC curriculum will allow students to take courses within the School of Journalism and Communication, which also includes courses offered directly by the Department of Journalism + Media. This is a change from previous AOC requirements, which allowed only out-of-unit courses to count toward satisfying a student’s AOC credits. By eliminating the out-of-unit restriction, the new AOC curriculum will provide students with greater opportunity to tailor their academic plan to their career goals and personal interests.

Dr. Susan Jacobson, the department’s new interim chair, said the new AOC curriculum is pivotal to providing students with a more well-rounded academic experience. “Even 20 years ago in the media business, it was enough to be a good storyteller in one medium, and a knowledge generalist. Today, the field of journalism and media has exploded with digital tools that make it possible to tell stories with photos, video, data visualizations, through social media and more, and the need for greater expertise in specific areas like sports, climate, business, and the arts that it’s just not practical to limit the classes in journalism and media that students may take.”

To kick off the new AOC curriculum, the Fall 2021 schedule of classes includes an Introduction to Photojournalism course to be taught by Pulitzer Prize winner Patrick Farrell; a Sports Journalism in Contemporary Society course that will be taught by the department’s newest faculty member and career sports journalist, Professor Tim Sullivan; and a dynamic, mini-term Play-by-Play Broadcasting course with AJ Ricketts, Play-by-Play Broadcaster for FIU Athletics.

The department plans to submit new course proposals during the upcoming curriculum update process to be approved by Tallahassee. Each new AOC track will consist of four courses for a total of 12 academic credits.


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