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Poynter and Cronkite Pioneer Certificate Program for Adjunct Faculty

August 19, 2014

The Poynter Institute and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University will launch an innovative online certificate program for adjunct faculty and others who teach journalism and mass communications classes at universities and colleges around the country.

The training builds on ASU’s subject matter expertise and Poynter’s highly successful e-learning platform, News University, and will cover five key areas: building a syllabus and course schedule, preparing for and measuring teaching success, new teaching tools for the classroom, student engagement and participation, and grading and evaluation.

The program will be offered to journalism and mass communication programs that are seeking training for their adjunct faculty as well as for their new full-time faculty and other faculty members who want to refresh their skills. Others who are interested in improving their classroom teaching techniques also may register on an individual basis.

Registration for the program will begin in early 2015 at Poynter’s NewsU. Individuals may complete course modules at their own pace, and they will receive feedback from educators at the Cronkite School and will be assessed on what they learn. Those who successfully complete the training will receive a certificate of proficiency.

Tim Franklin, Poynter’s president, said, “Poynter is committed to excellence in journalism education, and I am delighted to partner with one of America’s best and most innovative journalism schools. It’s one more example of how Poynter continues to find new ways of teaching teachers.”

The new training initiative comes at a time when universities are increasingly utilizing adjuncts for course instruction. Part-time faculty members made up more than half of the nearly 1.5 million educators in degree-granting institutions of higher education in 2011 and are the largest and fastest-growing segment of the post-secondary instructional workforce in the United States, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education.

“Many of the adjuncts teaching in journalism and mass communication programs come from the professions and are highly valued at our institutions,” said Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan. “They bring real-world experience and up-to-date skills into their classrooms, but few are trained as teachers. 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.”

Two surveys conducted by Poynter and the Cronkite School in late 2013 and early 2014 revealed strong demand and support for this type of certificate program among educators and professionals. When educators were asked whether they knew of “adjunct faculty who could benefit from training in effective teaching skills,” 80 percent responded in the affirmative. When professionals were asked whether they believed “a training program to prepare professionals to teach is needed,” 87 percent said that a program was “needed” or “extremely needed.”

The cost for schools to enroll their faculty in the program will be $200 per individual. Prices also are available for individuals who wish to enroll separately from their institutions.

For more information about the online certificate program, contact Vicki Krueger, Poynter’s director of interactive learning, at 727.553.4316 or vkrueger@poynter.org, or Kristin Gilger, associate dean of the Cronkite School, at 602.496.9448 or kristin.gilger@asu.edu.

About The Poynter Institute
The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is an international leader in journalism education, and a strategy center that stands for uncompromising excellence in journalism, media and 21st century public discourse. Poynter faculty teach seminars and workshops at the Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., and at conferences and organizational sites around the world. Its e-learning division, News University, www.newsu.org, offers the world’s largest online journalism curriculum in six languages, with more than 400 interactive courses and 290,000 registered users in more than 200 countries. The Institute’s website, www.poynter.org, produces 24-hour coverage of news about media, ethics, technology, the business of news and the trends that currently define and redefine journalism news reporting. The world’s top journalists and media innovators come to Poynter to learn and teach new generations of reporters, storytellers, media inventors, designers, visual journalists, documentarians and broadcast producers, and to build public awareness about journalism, media, the First Amendment and protected discourse that serves democracy and the public good.