Deep Dive into the Online Journalism Master's Programs
The digital world has opened new doors and broadened the global conversation. However, to succeed, journalists must understand the full scope of technology to develop compelling content.
St. Bonaventure University's online Master of Arts in Sports Journalism and Master of Arts in Digital Journalism programs combine traditional journalism with digital innovation. Learn more about these unique programs and what it’s like to be a student in the programs in this virtual information session.
Listen as program faculty and a current student share:
- The Jandoli School of Communication at SBU, accreditation and notable alumni
- An overview of the Master's in Journalism programs structure, learning outcomes, curriculum, masterclasses, and capstone requirements
- The online student experience
- Admissions process and next steps
- Dr. Brian Moritz, Associate Professor, Director, Online Journalism Masters programs
- Dr. Tammy Rae Matthews, Assistant Professor, Online Journalism Masters programs
- Jack Milko - Current Sports Journalism Student and Graduate Assistant
- Munaf Bhaiji – Enrollment Advisor
Presented live on April 6, 2023
Watch Clips from the Webinar:
I'm going to go ahead and get started here. So hello everyone and welcome. My name is Christina, and I want to thank you for joining us today for today's webinar on the digital journalism and sports journalism programs offered through St.
Bonaventure University's Jandoli School of Communication.
Before we get started, I'd like to cover some housekeeping items. First of all, all attendees are muted during the webinar. Please feel free to type your questions into the Q& A box located on your screen as you think of them.
We reserve some time at the end of this presentation to answer your questions. And finally, we are recording this event so you'll be able to go back anytime if you would like to view this again.
All right, so presenting today our speakers; Dr. Moritz. Dr. Brian Moritz, is an associate professor in the Jandoli School of Communication, and the director of the online master's in digital and sports journalism programs.
He is an internationally recognized sports media scholar and researcher whose work examines the societal, organizational and economical models of digital journalism, with a particular focus on sports journalism.
His research has been published in Communication& Sport, and the International Journal of Communication and Sport, as well as in several collected anthologies.
And he is a frequent presenter at national and international conferences. In 2020 through 2021, he served as a chair of the Sports Communication Interest Group with the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.
He is also the author of the Sports Media Guy website, a contributor to the Neiman Labs Annual Prediction Web Prediction Package, and host of the writing podcast, The Other 51.
Dr. Tammy Rae Matthews is an assistant professor with SBU Jandoli School of Communication, and teaches courses in the digital and sports journalism master programs.
Dr. Matthews is recognized for her accomplishments in books such as Pushing Back: Empowering Birthing Bodies Online, How Blogs and Podcasts are Challenging Biocertified Discourses of Pregnancy and Birth.
She has freelanced for the Sun- Times publications and served as the chamber editor for Chicago Southland Business magazine. Along with her journalism experience, she has served as the director of marketing and communications for the Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. Matthews has even participated and presented in over a dozen academic conferences and panel presentations, touching on a variety of sports and society media, with a dissertation focus on Queering Namibian Sport: An Oral History.
Also, joining us today is Jack Milko, who is a current student in the masters in sports journalism program. He enrolled in the program during the first cohort in March 2021 and is set to graduate this coming May.
And last but not least, we have Munaf Bhaiji, an enrollment advisor on our admissions team. He has been working with prospective journalism students, and many of you may have already spoken with him as you've previously expressed interest in the programs.
He will be sharing some additional information about the programs towards the close of the presentation. All right, thank you to all of you for being here today.
And just a quick view of our agenda today. We'll begin by sharing a bit about St. Bonaventure and the Jandoli School of Communication. We will then dive into the journalism programs, highlighting the program structure, the curriculum and capstone requirements.
We will then provide insights on the online student experience, and then review the admission requirements and the application process. And we will conclude today with a Q& A session to answer any remaining questions you have.
And with that, I will turn it over to you, Dr. Moritz, to take it away.
Dr. Brian Moritz
Thank you, Christina. And thank you guys all for being here. Thank you to my colleagues and thank you to all of you who are joining us live, who are watching us recording. We're very honored to have you here and very honored to talk about the program.
So to start off, we have a little poll question that Christina is going to launch, just to kind of get a sense of what program you're interested in that we offer. So we offer two online masters programs, one in digital journalism and one that's more focused in sports journalism.
Or maybe you're undecided and trying to figure out which one you want to do, and that is cool too. So if you could take a second and just cast your vote, so that we can see where the current interest lies.
And then we can after this we can... I'll tell you, I'm happy to talk about St. St. Bonaventure University in general and about the Jandoli School in specifics.
I am very, very grateful to be a part of this program. I am a St. Bonaventure graduate myself. I graduated from the Jandoli School back in 1999, when it was the Jandoli School of Journalism and Mass Communication, so very, very, very, very, very long time ago.
And I'm very, very honored to be back here teaching in the program where I learned to be a journalist a lot of years ago. Being at St. Bonaventure was an absolute transformative experience for me.
And I don't say that words lightly, that's not a sales pitch. It really, really, really was the best decision, the important decision that I made in my life.
And I won't talk about it too much because I will take up all of our time. But I think we're ready to move on to the next slide, to tell you a little bit more about the university and our mission.
Yeah. Did you want to me to share the results? It looks like we have-
Dr. Brian Moritz
Yeah, sure. Let's see them.
So we have 67% of the attendees are most interested in the sports journalism, and then the 33% were undecided.
Dr. Brian Moritz
All right, sounds great. So we're happy to talk about both. And what you'll learn when Dr. Matthews is telling about the program in a little bit is there really is a lot of overlap between the two.
There's some specialization, but the two programs definitely run concurrently. And a little bit about St. Bonaventure University. We believe education should be a transformative experience, one that's enriched by the tools to love more humanely, deeply, and well in the world.
And the most important word on this slide to me is that word community. And I think that that is one of the things that has always made St. Bonaventure a special university in person, is that nature of community, that close- knit nature of the student body and of the students with professors, students with alums.
And it's something that we're working really hard with to bring that kind of community to the online space where it can be sometimes hard to find. We've all experienced that over the past few years.
And I think we're working really hard to bring this mission and bring these values that the university has lived by for a long time, as you'll see on the next slide, and bring that to the online space.
So moving on next, a little bit about St. Bonaventure University as a whole. We are located in the border of Olean and Allegany, New York.
And if where that is without looking it up, you're already way ahead of the game. If you're familiar with New York State, the campus is about an hour and a half south of Buffalo. So you go all the way to the west and go straight down.
So it's right on the Pennsylvania border, almost over at Ohio. So that's where the campus is physically located. It has been there since 1858 where it was founded by a Franciscan Brotherhood.
We are the nation's first Catholic Franciscan University and that Franciscan spirit is really an important part of the Bonas experience. The university itself, you can see some of the accolades that we've received.
It is accredited by the Middle States, we're actually in the accreditation process right now for Middle States. And what that means, they're going to talk about that in a little bit, is just kind of a recognition of the level of education that you're going to receive at St.
Bonaventure. We're a best value school, we're a top 20 regional program. And we've been in this online space for almost a decade now, since 2013 we've been offering these graduate degrees online.
And this program launched, as we said earlier, in 2021. And it's a really exciting time to be in the online space at the university.
And this is something that university leadership really believes in, is really supporting and putting their money where their mouth is. And what that means to you is that you get an excellent education.
And that student to faculty ratio is again a hallmark of a small university. St. Bonaventure has about 1, 800, 2, 000 undergraduates. It's an incredibly small school, but that brings benefits, that brings the personal touch.
And since most of us here are talking about the sports journalism program, you probably know Bonaventure for its basketball program. The men's basketball team has been in the NCAAs three times in the last 11 years.
Jack, fact check me on that if I messed it up. 1970, the team went to the final four. Basketball Hall of Famer, Bob Lanier, is one of our graduates, probably our best known graduate.
And our women's program has been to the NCAAs twice in the last 11 years, including a Sweet 16 run in 2012. So that's probably how you... If you're coming to St. Bonaventure it's probably how If we can go down the next slide, I'll talk a little bit about the Jandoli School of Communication of which we are a part of.
That first bullet point is important, we're just one of four schools offering accredited online graduate programs by ACEJMC, which is the main accrediting body in our area.
And you may not think accreditation matters, but it really does. It's an indication to you of the academic rigor and the level of education that you're going to be getting in a program like this.
So again, the accreditation process is rigorous, it is a signal to you as a potential student that we are...
This is an academically rigorous, a strong program, that's going to prepare you for a career in journalism, digital journalism and sports journalism.
We are very proud of our alum. You saw on the last slide we have about 31, 000 alumni worldwide. And if you can't tell by the way I'm talking about the school, the alumni love being alumni at St.
Bonaventure. We really love it, it really matters to us. And Jandoli School, it's a small journalism program when you compare it to the Syracuse, the Missouri's, the Northwesterns.
But we are small, man, but we are mighty. The little Jandoli School has five Pulitzer Prize winners, you can see some of the awards we've won. Some of our alum, I'll run down there, you probably are very familiar with if you're in the sports world.
Adrian Wojnarowski, he of the Woj Bomb at ESPN, is one of our graduates. Along with Dan Barry of the New York Times, who is one of the Pulitzer Prize winners that we have in the school, he is an alum.
Some of the other alums there, Chris LaPlaca, he is a senior vice president for communications at ESPN, was one of ESPN's first employees hired back in 1979.
And he is just a major player in the sports PR game, sports communications game. Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post, and Donna Ditota of Syracuse.
com. The two most recent AP New York Sports Writers of the Year are graduates, and Mike Vaccaro has won numerous times. Rayna Banks, an Emmy award- winning producer at ESPN.
And Charlie Specht at the Buffalo News, who previously was working for a TV station in Buffalo, and he won an Edward R. Murrow Award recently.
He did incredible journalism uncovering sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in Buffalo. Just incredible pieces of journalism.
So moving on next. Now it's up to Dr. Matthews, she's going to... I've told you about the school, she's going to tell you about the programs themselves.
Dr. Tammy Rae Matthews
Well, hi there y'all. I'm so happy to see you all. Thank you for joining us today. As my name is Dr. Tammy Rae Matthews. And first, I just wanted to congratulate you all for signing up and showing up to this webinar.
You've made a decision to come and to learn, and learning is always a smart choice. I've been in the journalism industry since high school, I was an editor for the Chicago Sun Times for more than a decade, and I have three journalism degrees.
So this is something that is deeply rooted in my life and in my existence. And my research and my personal life is highly ingrained in athletic, in sporting spaces.
I find so much power in sports and so much power in public discourse. And I think that being here is a great way for you all to move forward, so thank you for that.
I'm dedicated to promoting the integrity and skills of our field and promoting inclusive spaces in sports and excellence in storytelling. And that's one thing that we really focus on in this program, and one reason that I've loved working here and that I've really enjoyed working with this program and growing with it.
So I've seen the industry change in unprecedented ways in the many, many years of my career. And I can confidently say that we'll keep progressing and keep growing. It's our job as journalism professors to introduce you to a multiple multitude of aspects of this field.
And as journalists, we are the arbitrators of knowledge, and we are in charge of honing in on storytelling and of ethical standards. So this program is great in all of these spaces.
It works to explore and accomplish these goals in an asynchronous platform, which allows you tons of flexibility in your various different phases where you are in your life.
So the program is 100% online with no on- campus requirements. Although you are welcome to visit campus, you can come for commencement, you can come visit anytime that you wish.
We are a team of professionals and scholars that are all throughout the country with a lot of different histories and a lot of different specialties. And we welcome bachelor degrees from all different kinds of levels, because we do understand that people come to journalism with various levels of expertise.
For example, you could be an expert in one area of sports or one area of online storytelling, and you're just learning how to hone those skills so that you can be a better storyteller and a better arbitrator of information.
And we're really proud of those people and we really welcome those different histories. So the program is really conducive to your needs, many students can finish in as many as 20 months.
And we all also recognize that people come to master's programs at various different times in your life, and so we have the program designed to help with those various different phases.
The courses are seven weeks long, so you can take... Usually people take about one course at a time because they are pretty intensive. We do recognize that they are short and we want to get as much information in there as possible, but some people will take two if you are in a phase in your life that you can accomplish that.
So we definitely are flexible in our locations, which makes things great, and also very committed to high level of academic standards.
So I know that the next portion we're going to talk a little bit more about the specifics. We have our online digital and sports journalism program, so completing these programs will prepare you for a multitude of careers in journalism and in media.
There's a lot of different fields out there, and it's constantly changing. TikTok definitely did not exist when I was an undergrad at the University of Missouri Columbia in 1996.
So now things are moving, and it's been really awesome to see the different ways that we tell stories. And the different ways that we can do it ethically and the different ways that we can do it while keeping up the standards that the SPJ has set for us that are continuously in place.
So the benefits, our program of our program is you'll learn more about social media storytelling, you'll learn about podcasting, an amazing way to tell stories that is constantly growing in popularity, especially in these phases.
You'll learn about different experts and different professionals will come in and talk about different ways of storytelling. There's lots of people with different texts and different ideas, different readings that they really enjoy.
All of the academics in this space are really committed to promoting your excellence and also the excellence of our field. So the course content helps you engage with each other.
Again, the community is really important, and doing discussion forums, and online conversations, and really engaging with each other is paramount for us and for this program.
So you'll learn different skills through readings, scenario- based projects, videos, major projects, minor projects, a multitude of grammar.
I'm really into the grammar, so you'll learn lots of different grammar things and writing things that you may not have known. That you might see on a daily basis that you'll start saying," Maybe this incorrect, maybe I should start editing billboards," for example, or restaurant menus, things like that.
So you'll become a virtual professional. And in terms of sports, sports is a really exciting field to get into right now, especially in terms of storytelling.
There's so many untold stories there, and we're really tapping into everybody's histories and everybody's interests. There's so many different kinds of sports, there's so many different ways that sports exist in people's lives, and we are here to help you pull those stories out, to understand them, to learn from them, and to tell the stories that nobody else has seen.
But as an expert, as a journalist, as somebody with a keen eye, we're here to help you tell those stories and get those stories into public spaces.
So in the next slides we'll talk just a little bit about the programs. The nice part about our programs is they're really specialized. And graduate programs overall are that way, that's the nice thing about higher education, you are allowed to take what your interests are and really focus in on them.
And personally as a professor, I think that's really, really paramount, allowing people to expand their creative minds, allowing people to see different ways. One of my favorite stories that a student had written was about a ballet, and she wrote so many different stories about the sport of ballet and the way that people moved and how it is in the background.
So there's tons and tons of sports. So from where I stand, I think it's very interesting to have a wide variety of creative spaces. So in our digital program, I really want to focus on our digital communications, our social media storytelling.
You'll learn about data journalism, coding, interactive storytelling, lots of different skills and ways to practice being a social media storyteller and a digital storyteller.
And that is a constantly growing field, and we know that right now, so I'm always excited to see how that field continuously develops.
And then on our next slide, we have some more focus on the sports. The sports is such an awesome place to be. Here we can focus on sports reporting, we do some more social media work here.
The business of sports media, this is an entrepreneurial section. There's tons of ways that sports exists in our society and we address all of those. And then the arts of the interviews.
My favorite part about journalism is interviewing people, meeting people, learning their stories, how to engage with them, learning all of those deep- seated experiences, and those things that you would never know unless you learn how to ask the right questions.
So I really focus on learning how to ask good questions and how to engage trust and get good answers. So we're going to move on to our capstone project, so you can learn a little bit more about when you make it to the end of your program.
Dr. Brian Moritz
So thank you, Dr. Matthews. And this is a really fun part, an important part, I think, of the program. So the capstone project is what you take when you're completing the program.
And it's three courses, you can see there. And they're one credit hour each, so it's a total of three credit hours. Our goal of this, I don't think it says it on the slide, but we want you to make the best piece of journalism that you've ever created up to this point in your life, the most profound piece of journalistic storytelling that you've done.
And this is really your opportunity as a student, and the student's opportunity to flex their muscles to kind of show what you've learned. And it is synthesizing everything you've learned from your first class up until this point into a multimedia story that is published online that you report on, that you create all the multimedia elements.
It really is a showcase for the students and for you. And to a point that Dr. Matthews just made about the wide range of stories and types of stories that are told, the first cohort that Jack is a part of just completed their capstone projects last month, they published them last month.
And when I tell you the range of subjects and the stories that were told, it exceeded my wildest expectations. So Jack's story was an incredible look at the name, image and likeness rules at the NCAA that allows college athletes to make money, really for the first time, and especially its impact on schools like St.
Bonaventure. And did some incredible reporting on that piece as well, on that part of the story. And it was incredibly, incredibly well done. We have one student, Richard Vara, who did a heartbreaking piece on the stray dog problem in Houston, Texas.
And the fact that there are a million stray dogs and animals in that city. And just a gut- wrenching and beautifully reported piece.
Trying to think... We had another student do a story on whether women take the last name of the man they're marrying or not, and kind of the cultural implications and the societal implications of that.
All the way down to, and this was absolutely one of my favorite stories, we had a student who did a story on the chocolate chip cookie and did the history of the chocolate chip cookie, breaking down what makes it good.
And you hear that and you're like," What?" And then you read it and it was just the most delightful piece of journalism and it was really well- thought- out. All of this is in service of to say that you get a lot of freedom with this project.
You get to pick what interests you, what you're an expert on, and then do a deep dive in that. So it's not a forced thing. We want you to cover what you want to cover.
And that's continuing with the current cohort that's in the sequence right now. One student is a military veteran in Texas, I believe. And he's doing his story on PTSD and how sport is used in treatment of that and in therapy for PTSD for veterans, especially from Afghanistan and Iraq.
And again, just heart rendering stories, an incredibly emotional piece, but that's the level of work that you can do here. And that frankly, we expect you to do here because with great power comes great responsibility.
And we think that this... We want you to take on these big issues and these big stories. And that's what you get to do in the capstone project. And if we can move along here, I think that's one of the main aspects of this.
And just a quick note of our faculty and, my God, we have a murderers row of faculty teaching in the program. I mean, it starts with Dr. Matthews, who's right below me on the Zoom chat here, just an internationally known scholar, experienced journalist.
I mean, the best of the best, we could not not have created a better candidate than we found in her, and she is fantastic. Some of the other faculty members in our current program that we have teaching, Dr.
Rich Lee and Anne Lee, experienced journalists of 20- plus years professional experience in the New York City and New Jersey area, and now teaching at St. Bonaventure for years.
Heather Harris, an accomplished visual artist who teaches visual communications. Dr. Tara Walker, the brilliant, brilliant academic, brilliant ethical and legal mind who teaches in our program.
And some of the people who have taught in our program and helped us develop courses include Sam Borden from ESPN, a feature writer there who has taught the art of the sports interview.
Cindy Royal, an academic at Texas State, who is an innovator in journalism coding. Literally wrote the book we were going to use, and then she wanted to teach and develop the course, so she developed and taught our coding class.
Just an incredible person. And then Jessica Huseman, the founder of VoteBeat. It is a news organization dedicated to covering elections at the local level throughout the United States.
She developed and will be teaching our data journalism class. So you learn from the best. I mean, I say that as the most unaccomplished person on that list, and I am proud to be the most unaccomplished person on that list because it is just an incredible faculty that you learn from.
And especially learning from, moving onto the next slide, one of the biggest features we have in our program is our journalism masterclasses. And I know Jack will speak a lot about this in his student experience. So every course you get a masterclass, every single course.
And what that is is a video lesson delivered almost always live, sometimes we have to play around with schedules, but almost always live in- person, with either one of our accomplished alums or another industry expert.
And this is your chance to basically have a small Zoom session with the best minds in journalism. I mean, the picture we have here was the one that Dr. Matthews ran.
They learned social media journalism from Adrian Wojnarowski. I mean, come on, it does not get any better than that. In our capstone classes for Jack's cohort we had John Branch, the Pulitzer Prize...
We had two Pulitzer Prize winners deliver our masterclasses, John Branch from the New York Times, the author of Snowfall, and just an incredible number of other pieces. And then Dan Barry, our esteemed alum, has spoken at one of the classes as well.
And these are opportunities you get to... It's not just the video session, you get to ask questions. In our journalism masterclass the experts have gone in depth with the stories that students are currently working on and helped them, given them direction, given them guidance and stuff like that.
So it really is a unique opportunity that we have in our program to be able to tap into our incredible alumni base, this entire web of journalism experience and knowledge that we have access to and that you have access to.
And I've never had a masterclass where the person giving the masterclass did not give their contact information and say," Please contact me if you have any other questions." And they are willing and able to talk with you.
So it's just an incredible opportunity that you get. Again, in every single class there is one of these sessions. And I think, I know Jack's going to talk a lot more about that.
And I think it's time for... You've heard from the professors, now it's time to hear from one of our students. So Jack, take it away. Tell us a little bit about your experience here.
Thanks so much, Brian. And before I really touch on my experience, I just want to emphasize how special Dr. Matthews and Dr. Moritz are. I had the privilege to take multiple classes of theirs, and they're just incredible.
And you will learn so much about the journalism industry in more ways than you can ever imagine. So they are the best of the best. As they've emphasized all throughout, they're really, really amazing people.
And the first question I want to answer today is what prompted me to pursue a sports journalism degree in the first place? And for as long as I remember, I've always wanted to go and pursue a career in sports media.
But of course, you have to learn the business, you have to learn the trades, you have to learn how to be a good storyteller. You have to learn how to interview people properly, you have to learn the ethics, you have to learn everything there is you need to know about the industry.
And that's where this program at Bonaventure is terrific, because it really turns you into that five tool player that's going to make you an all- star in the sports media field.
And when I graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 2020, that's where I received my bachelor's degree, in the middle of COVID of course, I was left with kind of an emptiness about where I wanted to turn to next.
And like I mentioned, I wanted to pursue a career in sports media, but I couldn't just show up at ESPN, or CBS Sports, or NBC Sports and say," Hey, I did some broadcasting undergrad, you want to hire me?" Well, that's not really going to work.
I didn't really know the trades, know the business, like I just alluded to. And then I started exploring my options. And I looked at various journalism programs around the country, which would've taken a lot of time and a lot of money, and also a move, a major move, which would've been tough.
And fortunately for me, my father, Kyle, is a St. Bonaventure graduate class of 1985. I've had a few aunts and uncles go to Bonaventure as well as some cousins, so I feel pretty connected to the university to begin with.
And so during COVID I really started covering the basketball team just as a little side gig, just to get some journalism practice. But I was as blind as a bat, freewheeling, not really knowing what to do.
And it was March of 2021, like we discussed at the beginning of this webinar, that this program was unveiled for the first time. And I thought to myself," Do what?
Yes, this is it. This is affordable, it's 100% online." I could do it. I live in New York City, so it's about a seven- hour drive from St. Bonaventure, so going to classes would be a little bit of a tough commute.
But I felt that this was for me, and it really was. It's been an amazing experience, one of the best decisions I've ever made. And like I've talked about throughout here, I have just learned so much.
And what's really special about Bonaventure is how small and tight the community is. Even though I've been online, I have met so many different Bonaventure people, I've got a Bonaventure hat and a Bonaventure backpack, and I'll walk around New York City.
I was in the Atlanta Airport a few weeks ago, and somebody said," Hey, go Bonnies." And I go," Wow," in Atlanta, Georgia of all places. But the connection that you have among the students, at least of my cohort, I go back and forth with a lot of my fellow students all the time.
Brian and I were just texting yesterday about Bonaventure basketball and the masters even, right? So it's a real connection that you have at Bonaventure, which really makes it special.
And quite frankly, that's what my favorite part about this program is. Oh, excuse me, one second. Sorry about that, it was my brother coming in.
But my favorite part about the program really is the connections between professor, student and alumni. And like we talked about, these masterclasses, which are so special.
The first masterclass I had was in our JMC 500 introduction class, and you kind of learned the basics of sports journalism that way. And Brian brought in all the heavy hitters from ESPN, from USA Today, from wherever, all Bonaventure alum, who distilled their knowledge, who distilled their wisdom, shared the real trades of the business, which are so important to know.
Because you can read about whatever you want to in a book, you can read about all the different things, listen to different podcasts, but when you're learning from the people in the business themselves, that's really special.
And to lend them their contact information and follow up with them. I mean, a few weeks ago I was texting with Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post about the Bonaventure basketball team, and he was also giving some tips about reporting and whatnot.
And just that is so valuable to have in a guy like that in your corner to support you. I mean, there's no price tag on that. And that that'll help you for your career, that'll help you for forever.
And so this May I will graduate from St. Bonaventure, really, really excited to do so. Going to walk the stage in the Reilly Center, which is where the basketball team plays.
And it's going to be special for me because my family will be there. Like I said, graduated in the middle of 2020, so I didn't really have a ceremony. And my career plans after that will be I'm looking to apply to different jobs as a writer, or somebody in sports media, or in sports broadcast production as well.
And so making these connections at Bonaventure, learning the trades of the business, will give you an upper leg when you're applying to jobs in sports media. And even so I have a couple interviews next week, which I'm really, really excited about these opportunities.
And they look, and they see somebody with a master's in journalism and that really excites them. That really gets them going, because you're going to have the skills needed to really be successful in the sports media world.
And if I could have any one tip for any incoming student, online education is really new in terms of the history of higher education and don't shy away from online.
I think learning online is so flexible, I've been able to balance a full- time job in New York City while pursuing a degree. It's taken up a lot of my weekends, but it's all worth it.
It really is all worth it. You can complete assignments at two o'clock in the morning if you want to, if you're a night owl. If you're an early riser, you can get things done at six o'clock in the morning. It really does not matter, there's not a set schedule that you need to follow.
But you follow and you learn to learn yourself and learn to follow your own schedule. So if there's one thing you take away from this conversation, don't shy away from the online experience.
It's been great for me, it's tailor- made for a lot of different individuals. And thanks so much for your interest in St. Bonaventure, and I really hope you consider it because Bonnie's a special, special place.
Thank you so much, Jack. Now we're going to turn it over to Munaf to talk through some admissions information.
Yeah, sure. Thank you. Thank you, everyone. I mean, that was very enlightening for me also. So yeah, I can be very happy to talk to you about the application and the admissions process, very briefly.
First and foremost, as mentioned before, one of the main requirements for this program is for you to have a bachelor's degree, a recognized bachelor's degree. It needs to be from a regionally accredited university.
Now, again, just to clarify, the degree can be... We're not looking for any particular background or anything, it could be in any background, it doesn't have to be in journalism or communications related background.
Now, as far as the applications process, we've streamlined it quite beautifully. It's a very, very easy process, and it's also a very quick process.
So typically when you apply, all you do is you're going to submit an online application form, which pretty much takes about 15, 20 minutes on average. So that's the first step.
Secondly, we do require all your transcripts, obviously from the institution that you graduated from, that's going to verify your degree or confirm your degree.
But we do also require transcripts from any other institutions you have attended, where you've taken classes related to academia pretty much.
Not certifications or anything in trade schools or anything, we don't require those. Now, initially, we do accept unofficial transcripts for review purposes and to give you a decision.
Now, once you get accepted and you confirm, then we do give you plenty of time to make sure that you order the official transcripts. But initially you can actually submit your unofficial copies.
And then we just require one more thing, and that's a personal statement, or we like to call it the writing sample. It needs to be roughly around 500 words, just give or take a little bit.
Now, the writing sample, we are pretty flexible with that. It can be a fictitious piece that you want to put together, just want to want to look at your writing and I guess your journalism skills.
Now, if you have already done some journalism work before and already have some articles in place, you could submit those also, as long as they are unedited.
And as you can... We don't have any GRE or GMAT required. Now, typically, once we get these three things in, your online application, your transcripts and your writing sample, your file is complete, it immediately gets sent for review.
And typically we do have a decision for you within... We normally tell you three to five working days, but I've seen decisions as early as one to three days also.
Yeah, I guess that's pretty much it. It's very simple as that, so.
Right. Great, thank you, Munaf. I went ahead and I put the link to the application location, or if you'd like to connect with our admissions team and Munaf, you can go ahead and follow that link.
And I just want to once again say thank you to everyone who presented today. We're going to go ahead and transition to our question and answer portion of the session today.
So we have... Munaf, there's a couple admissions related questions.
We have an international student on... Hold on there one second.
So he had questions on the TOEFL test. Is there a minimum score to be admitted?
Right. So for that, I do need to mention a couple of things. So if the student's degree was earned outside the United States, then typically two things need to happen.
Now, if it was done in an English medium, if the degree was actually taken in English medium then the TOEFLs are usually not required. But if they're obviously done in another language, then yes, typically either an ESL or a TOEFL would be required.
And then the other thing, just to add to that, any degrees that are earned outside the USA are usually welcome, as long as they are equivalent in the USA.
And the way we have to get that equivalency, the student would actually need to get the degree evaluated. Now, one of the institutions we recommend that we work very well with is WES, W- E- S, which is World Education Services.
But there are others out there also, and as long as they're accredited by an institution or a party called NASES, N- A- C- E- S.
org, there's a list of institutions in there that would be acceptable. But as I said, our experiences with WES has been very, very seamless, pretty much, so that's the one that we normally recommend.
Wonderful, thank you. The next question, looks like, Jack, you'd like to answer this one. This attendee does not have a media communications undergrad, theirs is in law, and they're wondering if it's okay to apply.
Yeah, it's absolutely okay, because my undergraduate degree is in political science, which is very similar to law. So that's why I felt obligated to answer this question, because you can do a lot of different things with your undergraduate degree, and you can translate that into a media communications background into the sports journalism or digital journalism master.
So like I said, I was political science undergrad, a little bit different from sports journalism, but yes, you can are good to go with that.
Dr. Brian Moritz
And Jack, to build off of that, one of the required courses, part of the core curriculum, is our journalism ethics course, which is in a lot of ways a law and ethics course.
So it looks at a lot of the media law issues that face journalists in the 21st century. And that's taken by both sports journalism and digital journalism students.
And so it's a really good... I think you'll find that your law knowledge and experience comes in handy there. And it's something that comes in handy throughout the program through a lot of the classes as well.
So two things I wanted to point out based off of what Jack said... And we'll keep taking questions too, please don't feel like you have to stop. But kind of going off of what Jack said, with the masterclass that he said, the JMC 500 one, one thing that I think is notable about our alums is I don't have to ask twice or I don't have to ask a lot.
I say," Hey, we're doing a masterclass for our grad students. Would you be willing to help?" And the immediate response from all of these accomplished alums is," Yes, when do you need me?
When can we do this?" And that just speaks to the Bonaventure community, that speaks to the spirit of Jandoli, Mike Vaccaro, as Jack was talking about Mike.
And Mike's been a mentor to a generation of Jandoli graduates, myself included. He says," One of the core elements that we have is paying it forward." People paid it forward for him, he pays it forward to us, and now we are paying it forward to that, so that spirit matters.
And Jack was saying about his job search... First of all, congratulations and good luck on those interviews, Jack. But what I want to say is that when you go for a job interview, or an internship, or to get some journalism experience, in both journalism and in sports, but I can definitely speak this for sports journalism, a Bonaventure degree matters.
A journalism degree from St. Bonaventure University, people in the industry see that, and that carries weight, that matters. That people know what we do here and know the reputation of the Jandoli School.
So having a degree from here will help you. It looks very good when you're getting a job because of the reputation of the Jandoli School and the education that we're able to give here, so.
Thank you so much, Brian, for adding all of that. Let's see, next question. Let's cover off a little bit more about what to expect in each of the seven- week courses in terms of homework, and different assignments, and things like that.
Tammy, do you want to cover off on that?
Dr. Tammy Rae Matthews
Yeah, sure. First, I just wanted to say that... I am piggybacking off of about the reputation of the Jandoli School. When I was presenting on some of my research in Paris, and I had mentioned that I was starting working at this university, a lot of the international sports researchers were thrilled and excited, and they were very much pumped about this school and this program.
And so I can definitely attest to that, even before I started working here people were very thrilled about it, so that is very true.
And in terms of the program, it depends on which class. Each class has a lot of different characteristics. In the social media class we really focus on immediacy, we focus on the different kinds of platforms that you would go to for social, the different ways that you would tell stories, and your experience within the social spaces.
And a lot of these sports classes, you really focus on storytelling. You pick a story and then you work on it through the entire semester or the entire term. There are weekly assignments.
I really focus on some more intricate grammar focused things, so I really want people to know terms in the way that you write easily.
And the point of that is so that when you are writing later, you can write quicker and the right ways to properly convey your story, because the last thing you want is a grammar error to change the meaning of a story.
We also focus on new ways to talk visually, we do some video journals in some classes. And so each one is really tailored to the topic.
The readings depend on the topic of the class. And it depends on the topics of the students too, what the students want and what's going on in modern day, because journalism does change quite often.
And so every time we run the classes, we revisit them, we make sure that they're still up- to- date and that everything is copacetic for the future.
So it really just depends on the class. The timeframe, you'll learn within the first week how much time it will take and when the deadlines are. Sometimes deadlines are on Fridays, sometimes they're Sundays, sometimes they're Wednesdays, so that all really depends on the class as well.
And that's all laid out in the syllabus. The nice part about the online forum is that everything is set for you and exactly what to expect right at the start, so you can plan your weeks, you can plan your schedules if you do work on the weekends, if you work at nights, if you work during the days, just depending on the way that you are organized.
So the content of the class, again, really depends on the topic. But they are all focused on the ultimate goal of getting you into public publications, getting you into public spaces, getting your knowledge out, practicing on Twitter, practicing with different publications to get your stories actually out there.
Dr. Brian Moritz
And to play off of that, in the sports reporting course that Dr. Matthews taught last summer, that I'm going to be teaching this summer, you pitch a story to College Basketball Times.
And several of our students have had their stories published in College Basketball Times from that class, so it's a good opportunity to get real world experience based through the class.
And one thing I wanted to touch on on the online experience, to build off of what Dr. Matthews was saying, is the discussion forums, which are a part of most every class. And I know especially during COVID, if you were in undergrad and you had discussion forums, you're probably rolling your eyes and saying," Ugh, discussions," right?
But what we do... I'm really proud of the discussion forums. And it's a credit to the students, it's credit to the people like Jack in the classes that we work to.
You can't recreate the in- person class environment, so we don't try. And I think there's a real community that builds up in each cohort and each class on these discussion forums. And they're weekly discussions.
They might be in some classes they're related to that week's subject material, might be a hypothetical question. When you get into those capstone courses, speaking about the 700 level, they really turn into writer's workshops where it's like," Hey, I need help with this.
Does anybody know somebody I can talk to for my story?" Or," I'm having trouble getting this effect working on my story. Anybody help?" Or just commiseration like," This is going great. This is going terrible."" Yeah, I know." And just that building of a community.
And I've been fortunate enough to see multiple cohorts now in that, and it's been amazing to see that organic community kind of develop within those discussion forms where it becomes...
It's not the slog and the chore of," I've got to post stuff in the discussion." There's a real good give and take, and a good exchange of ideas among students. And I know we only have a few minutes left, but Jack, if you wanted to speak really quickly on that discussion forum experience and what it's been like for you?
Yeah, thank you, Brian. And to keep this discussion going, not to use that word literally, but of course the discussion boards are fantastic. Each class, all nine classes that you enroll in to pursue this master's degree, that's an integral part of the program.
And it's been great because you get to learn about other students, their backgrounds, their perspectives. Because what I've found really fulfilling about this program is you're not just learning from your professors, the material, and the alumni, and the masterclasses, but you're also learning from your fellow students.
Some students of mine have been in the journalism business before and they want to dive deeper into the sports and digital journalism world, some are far older than I am, some are younger than I am.
But learning from different people, having conversations, understanding different perspectives are so important. I mean, we've talked about pretty much every possible wide range of subject in our discussion boards, Dr.
Matthews and Dr. Moritz. And they've been really terrific. And it's funny, Brian, at the onset there talked about how," Oh, the discussion boards," you kind of roll your eye at that. At least I did when I wrapped up my undergrad in some of my classes when I did the discussion boards.
But I really enjoyed putting some time and effort into trying to create a fulfilling answer for myself, and also replying to other students and really sparking a conversation, which was really meaningful.
Thank you, that was wonderful. All right, so if anybody else has any further questions, go ahead and put them in the chat box. We have a couple other topics that we thought that we could cover.
So relating to the student experience, again, let's see... If the student needs support, either professor or a student success advisor, what support resources are available to the students?
Brian, do you want to start with that?
Dr. Brian Moritz
I'll start with that and then Jack can certainly speak from a more personal experience on that. But every student in the program does have a dedicated student success coach which you can reach out to.
And they help you with advising, they help you getting your schedule straight, they help you with a lot of the.... If you need connection with our on- campus writing center, they can connect you with there.
They can connect you with a lot of resources that you might need. If you need help from the Office of Student Disabilities, I'm possibly getting that name wrong, but if you need any accommodations like that, they can help you out with that.
And certainly, I think we strive as professors, I hope we do this, and I think we strive as a department to be responsive to our students, to be supportive of our students, to be accessible to our students electronically, via email, via discussion forums, via Zoom if we need to chat.
I know Jack and I have talked over Zoom about projects, I've talked with other students in the program when they want to meet and talk through a project or something like that. And I think it's an important point, this is an asynchronous online program, and that's by design.
Gives you freedom, you can work, you do this, you can be wherever. But we don't want this to be just you log on and watch a couple things or read a couple things, and then that's it.
We're a part of this program with you, and we want to make sure that you feel that connection to the faculty, to the department and to the university.
So it's something we really strive to. And I hope we do a good job of it, I'd like to think we do. But Jack, you can speak from a student perspective, I think, about what your experience has been like with that.
Yeah. And I have a perfect example. So one of the final courses I took was an art of the sports interview. And it's really, really amazing because it's taught by Sam Borden, and Sam is a renowned award- winning reporter who has done tremendous work for ESPN, the New York Times, all over the world.
And our final project was we had to schedule a long form interview and analyze our subject about our interviewing skills.
And I was having a tough time of getting subjects. This course wrapped about a month ago, in the beginning of March of 2023. And I was on a college basketball beat trying to secure interviews with college basketball coaches.
And I probably sent 15 or 16 different emails, phone calls, all the nine yards to try and get my project, right? Because I needed to, I had no other choice.
And where I'm going with this is Sam was so readily available. We probably had three or four different Zoom calls, and he really helped map out a game plan for me.
He also gave me terrific advice about following up with individuals who I wanted to interview. And he was just so readily available, so amazing. And this is a guy who while teaching a class, ran a story and published a story about the Super Bowl.
So he's a busy guy and he is dedicating time to make sure that his students are successful. And ultimately I was. And that's a credit to not only Sam as a professor, but that goes really for all the professors at the J School at Bonaventure.
Because in my experience here all of them reply within 24 hours, set up a time and say," Hey, let's walk through this. Let's make sure that not only we're successful, but you're successful too."
Dr. Brian Moritz
And I think our goal... And that's a great story, Jack, thank you for sharing it. And I think our goal is that the norm in our program, that is just an example that is not an outlier, that is not special.
Certainly Sam is special, and what he did was incredible. But we strive for that to be the experience that all of our students have.
Thank you so much for sharing all of that. I know we're narrowing in on our hour here, so we haven't touched on the cost of the program and things.
So, Munaf, if you wanted to share a little bit on that? And if there's any scholarship opportunities or any financial aid related items that you wanted to cover?
Yeah, sure. Real quick. So I mean, to keep it really simple, our cost per credit for both the journalism programs is we are at $ 815.
That's 8- 1- 5 US dollars per credit. So the best way to look at this, if you want to break it down, each course is three credits, pretty much.
So you're paying for three credits, so you're paying 2445, 2, 445, that's your tuition cost. And that pretty much includes everything.
The only thing that's not included or recovered in that cost is the cost of any books that you'll be required to purchase, so you would need to budget for that separately. We don't have any out- of- state costs or anything, so it's very uniform, everybody pays the same rate pretty much, which is cool.
And then there's, as discussed already, the total number of courses for both programs is 10. So you're looking at a total of 30 credits in total, that's what you're paying for.
And so the total cost for the program is $24, 450 plus books. And as far as scholarships, so we don't have any sort of known scholarships that are directly linked to the program.
We just feel that price wise and everything we are in a very, very reasonable area there. Now, students are most welcomed to apply for any private or public scholarships that are out there.
There are many websites that they can visit online. And if they do qualify, they can use that to actually fund all of or part of the tuition.
And very, very quickly, FAFSA, absolutely. A lot of our students do fill out FAFSAs, then they do rely on FAFSAs. Now, at the post -graduate level, just to keep the FAFSA basics, I don't work in the financial department so I can't do too much detail anyway.
But just the basics with the FAFSA, you just want to make sure that if you're going to do that, just make sure you fill out the FAFSA by going to the official government website, FAFSA.
aid. gov. And make sure you have a FAFSA on file, it's been submitted. It takes anywhere from three, five, sometimes up to seven working days for it to process. But we do have an office of financial aid here at St.
Bonaventure. So once you've been accepted and confirmed, we'll actually put you in touch with one of the advisors. In fact, I normally send out an email with a bunch of numbers that you can contact in email, and they'll actually help you through the rest of the process.
Just very quickly, at the postgraduate level, unlike the undergraduate level, typically there's no Pell Grants or any other types of scholarships associated.
It's mostly, in most situations, it's just usually loans, pretty much government student loans, which you can use to pay as you go along. And typically they are payable six months or sometimes even one year after you graduate.
Okay, thank you. All right, I will go ahead and wrap up because we've reached our hour point here, but thank you for that great discussion and all the content that was shared.
So yeah, if you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to contact Munaf at email. We'll be following up with the recording of this session that will come out by tomorrow, so if you'd like to share it with others or listen to it again, that will be coming to your inbox probably by tomorrow afternoon I think.
And just wanted to say thank you again for joining us today. And thank you to our panelists. Have a wonderful day.
Dr. Brian Moritz
Thank you. Thanks.
Dr. Tammy Rae Matthews