The Poynter Institute and Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication announced Wednesday an online certificate program for adjunct journalism professors.
The program, which will be made available to journalism and mass communication programs across the country, will teach instructional skills. It will focus on the five areas: building a syllabus and course schedule, assessing teaching success, new teaching tools, student engagement and participation and teaching and evaluation and grading.
This pedagogical instruction is essential for adjunct professors, most of whom are trained primarily as journalism professionals, said Christopher Callahan, dean of the Cronkite School.
“They bring real-world experience and up-to-date skills into their classrooms, but few are trained as teachers,” Callahan said. “By giving them the tools they need to be successful in the classroom, we can meet the high expectations of journalism and mass communications programs and strengthen student learning.”
Registration for the certificate program will begin at Poynter’s NewsU in early 2015.
The program comes months after Poynter’s president, Tim Franklin, unveiled a new vision for the institute that includes plans for expanding online education. One element of Poynter’s new strategic plan, “teaching the teachers,” outlines ambitions to reach more high school and university journalism teachers in person and in online self-directed courses.
The program also aims to meet the increased demand for adjunct journalism faculty members across the nation. Part-time faculty members made up more than half of the nearly 1.5 million college educators nationwide in 2011, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education.