Adopted and approved by SJMC Faculty December 2015
The School of Journalism and Mass Communications is committed to the university’s mission to foster a diverse and vibrant academic environment in the university. Toward that end, the school recognizes the importance of embracing diversity in its various forms and creating a welcoming environment that encourages all to excel.
The school defines diversity as cultural, ethnic, racial, gender, gender identity, religious and thought, and includes among underrepresented groups, male students of any race. The school’s Diversity Plan highlights the five key areas in the Focus Carolina Strategic Plan for Diversity, and as an Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) accredited unit, where applicable incorporates the language of the ACEJMC Diversity Standard.
Teaching and Learning
1. We will enhance our curriculum that fosters understanding of issues and perspectives in the context of domestic concerns about gender, race, ethnicity and gender identity.
Tactic 1-a. Systematically review and update course content to reflect diverse issues and other perspectives.
Tactic 1-b. Identify specific courses that focus on diversity and cross-cultural journalism and mass communications.
2. We will include instruction across the curriculum in issues and perspectives relating to mass communications across diverse cultures in a global society.
Tactic 2-a. Where applicable, include content about contributions from groups that include the five fault lines of Race/Ethnicity (African American, Asian, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, White), Gender (Straight male, straight female, lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender), Generation (Youth, baby boomer, Generation X, Millennials), Class (Rich, upper middle class/wealthy, middle class, working class, poor), and Geography (Urban, suburban, rural; plus region and neighborhoods), and provide global context to course content.
Tactic 2-b. In both senior semester capstone courses, instructors stress using diverse sources in stories.
3. We will provide opportunities for all students to learn about career opportunities, including underrepresented groups.
Tactic 3-a. Hold regular career fairs, seminars and panel discussions featuring diverse perspectives, panelists and other participants.
Tactic 3-b. Encourage each sequence to develop professional development programs that reach out to all students in general, underrepresented students in particular.
4. We will demonstrate effective efforts to attract, recruit and retain faculty, staff and students that reflect the state’s population and underrepresented groups.
Tactic 4-a. Reach out to alumni and other media professionals as resources to advance recruitment of student, staff, and faculty from underrepresented groups.
Tactic 4-b. Encourage more student, faculty and alumni visits to high schools to build awareness of the , University and field among high-achieving underrepresented students.
5. We will encourage the participation of diverse professionals whose expertise is valuable to the unit as adjunct professors, guest lecturers and event speakers.
Tactic 5-a. Identify classes, events and ongoing activities during Homecoming Week, Awards Day, Career Fairs, and others that might attract diverse perspectives.
Research, Scholarship, and Creative Achievement
1. We will encourage and support through internal and external funding and interdisciplinary collaborations and partnerships, research, scholarship, and creative achievement that informs, expands and seeks solutions to problems and issues of concern to majority and minority populations.
Tactic 1-a. Explore salient research topics and focus such as Women in Creative Leadership Roles, Health Disparity Issues and others that would attract faculty and student collaboration.
Tactic 1-b. Involve undergraduate and graduate students in faculty research projects.
Tactic 1-c. Use mentors to advise undergraduate research projects such as the Magellan undergraduate fellowship.
Tactic 1-d. Recommend that the Graduate Council provide effective mentors for diverse graduate students to pursue internal and external research grants.
2. We will provide a forum for exploring issues involving race, gender, and other forms of diversity.
Tactic 2-a. Continue the Civil Rights History Symposium
1. We will form meaningful partnerships to support the School’s diversity initiatives.
Tactic 1-a. Participate in Women’s Studies, African American Studies and other university diversity initiatives.
2. We will continue community outreach to nonprofit agencies and organizations that serve underrepresented groups through formal initiatives such as Service Learning, Leadership Connect, and others.
Tactic 2-a. Encourage The Carolina Agency to continue its work with diverse nonprofit agencies.
Tactic 2-b. Use leadership programs such as CreateAthon@USC to provide creative and leadership opportunities between our students and diverse nonprofit organizations, which the program has served each year since 2013.
3. We will partner with local, state, national and international professional organizations to develop and implement diversity initiatives for students, faculty and staff.
Tactic 3-a. The school partners with the Midlands Chapter of the American Advertising Federation (AAF) to host annual seminars on career opportunities targeting local high school and college students.
Tactic 3-b. The school partners with PRSA to increase career awareness of public relations as a career path among underrepresented high school and college students.
Tactic 3-c. Continue partnerships with the South Carolina Scholastic Press Association (SCSPA) and Southern Interscholastic Press Association (SIPA) to attract underrepresented students to the field, and use these organizations as a recruitment pipeline for diverse student enrollment in the SJMC.
Quality of Life in the school of Journalism and Mass Communications
1. We will develop and implement programs and activities that foster a welcoming environment and encourage all to excel.
Tactic 1-a. Establish the Diversity Committee as a standing committee in the school of Journalism and Mass Communications that comprises staff and student representation.
Tactic 1-b. Create a social event to welcome new faculty, staff and students.
2. We will reward outstanding faculty and staff achievement.
Tactic 1-a. Create a Diversity Award to recognize outstanding faculty and staff achievements during awards ceremonies.
3. We will foster a climate that is free of harassment and all forms of discrimination, accommodates the needs of those with disabilities, and values the contributions of all forms of diversity.
Recognition and Visibility
1. We will continue our excellent visibility in national and international programs that seek high achieving underrepresented students, such as the AAF Most Promising Minority Student recognition. The university has the second highest number of minority student participants in the country to be selected for this prestigious award.
2. We will encourage student participation in national scholarship and internship opportunities such as the Chips Quinn Scholarship Program and the Scripps Howard Foundation Internship Program, the minority internship program sponsored by the American Association of Advertising Agencies, the Post and Courier Scholarship/Internship Program, to name a few.
3. We will use the school’s targeted scholarships to attract, recruit and retain high-achieving underrepresented students.