Advertising, social work programs get boost from provost assessment incentive award

Johnny Sparks spent a year assessing the journalism department and its concentration in advertising for program retention, graduation and job placement.

His year of data collection paid off with a $5,000 award from the Provost's Office that will be matched by the College of Communication and Fine Arts.

"Assessment has, in the past, presented a challenge to our department," said Sparks, a journalism faculty member. "It's becoming increasingly necessary. It was good for me, and it was a need the department had."

The Provost's Assessment Incentive Award was given to the advertising and social work majors because they showed improvement, according to a memo from the Provost's office.

Central Michigan University's journalism program is one of two accredited programs in the state. In order to keep the accreditation from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Sparks said the assessment of retention, graduation and job placement had to happen anyway.

Sparks said the information is important for prospective students and their parents to have access to as well, attracting to the program.

"We're doing good work in journalism and we're always trying to improve," Sparks said. "Now, we have the data to prove that"