(Adopted 2018; revised 2022)
The S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication values formative assessment as a means of gauging student learning, reflecting on curriculum needs and maintaining a connection to industry. Every member of the Newhouse faculty participates in the assessment process on an annual basis. Assessment findings are reported both within Newhouse and Syracuse University.
A central objective of a Newhouse education is for graduates to be “Day-One Ready” in their chosen field. Our mission—to educate “agile, ethical, entrepreneurial, multicultural, socially responsible and innovative communication leaders who revere free speech, embrace diversity, have a global outlook and seek to explore and master emerging media and its impact on society”—provides the foundation of our professionally oriented program. This focus on career readiness creates a simple benchmark for assessment, one that empowers our faculty to align curricula to a changing industry.
Student Learning Outcomes
The Newhouse School adheres to the professional values and competencies of its accreditor, the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC):
Additionally, each Newhouse degree program has a program-specific competency to assess a unique learning outcome:
Advertising B.S. and Advertising M.A.: Present advertising ideas, plans, research, strategies and executions in settings appropriate to their career paths.
Arts Journalism and Communications M.S.: Analyze and interpret cultural products such as theater performances, operas, jazz and classical music performances and art exhibits; apply journalistic storytelling to specialized reporting on arts and culture.
Broadcast and Digital Journalism B.S. and M.A.: Effectively communicate ideas and information vocally, applying professional live reporting techniques that employ appropriate technologies.
Graphic Design B.S.: Produce professional quality design work by synthesizing the best practices and current theories of traditional graphic design, motion and emerging media.
Magazine, News and Digital Journalism B.S.: Integrate journalism skills to report, research, write, and produce a range of content types for a variety of platforms and audiences.
Magazine, News and Digital Journalism MS..: Demonstrate cross-platform fluency by producing a range of content types for a digital world.
Multimedia, Photography and Design M.S.: Produce professional quality cinematographic and photographic stories or design work by synthesizing the best practices and current theories of traditional graphic design, still, motion and emerging media
New Media Management M.S.: Under revision in 2022
Photography B.S.: Produce professional quality cinematographic and photographic stories by synthesizing the best practices and current theories of traditional still, motion and emerging media images.
Public Diplomacy and Global Communications M.A.: Apply public communications skills to governments, non-governmental organizations and the private sector.
Public Relations B.S.: Apply an understanding of management principles related to public relations.
Public Relations M.A.: Apply management principles as related to leadership, strategic planning for public relations departments, collaborating on teams, conducting performance reviews, integrating strategic communications with other organizational functions and considering fiscal resources.
Television, Radio and Film B.S. and M.A.: Demonstrate entry-level proficiency in a particular aspect of television, radio or film industry practices by synthesizing the best practices and current theories of the field.
Each program engages in a curriculum mapping exercise at least once every assessment cycle.
Direct and Indirect Measures
Learning outcomes are assessed at both the schoolwide and program levels for undergraduates. At the schoolwide level, first-year students take a knowledge survey that functions as a pre-test. Graduating seniors take the same knowledge survey in the spring. This knowledge survey is a direct measure of student learning. Seniors also complete a reflective exit survey shortly before graduation that measures their own understanding of the ACEJMC competencies.
Each program uses individual direct and indirect measures of student learning specific to their own curriculum.
|Undergraduate Program||Direct Measure(s)||Indirect Measure(s)|
|Advertising||Professional review of campaigns presentation||Awards / exit survey|
|Broadcast and Digital Journalism||Faculty review of capstone newscasts||Awards / exit survey|
|Magazine, News and Digital Journalism||Faculty review of capstone projects, portfolios||Awards / exit survey|
|Public Relations||Professional review of e-portfolio||Awards / exit survey|
|Television, Radio and Film||Faculty review capstones||Awards / exit survey|
|Photography||Faculty/professional portfolio review||Awards / exit survey|
|Graphic Design||Faculty/professional portfolio review||Awards / exit survey|
At the graduate level, most assessment is completed on the program level as there is no common core of classes.
|Graduate Program||Direct Measure(s)||Indirect Measure(s)|
|Advertising||Professional evaluations of campaigns||Exit survey, awards|
|Broadcast and Digital Journalism||Pre-post tests, Washington semester evaluations from news directors||Exit survey, awards|
|Magazine, News and Digital Journalism||Faculty review of capstone projects, pre/post test||Exit survey, awards|
|Public Relations||Professional review of portfolios, internship evaluations||Exit survey, awards|
|Television, Radio and Film||Comprehensive exams, internship evaluations||Exit survey, awards|
|Multimedia, Photography and Design||Portfolios||Exit survey, awards|
Assessment Schedule – Undergraduate / Graduate Programs:
The school’s director of assessment and program review oversees assessment via a standing committee with representatives from each department and the associate dean for academic affairs. The assessment committee designs and conducts schoolwide assessment. Members also serve as the assessment coordinator for their program.
Use of Information
Assessment information is discussed in most detail at the program level. Program faculty are directly involved in assessment, discussion of findings, and implementing any changes based on assessment. Schoolwide undergraduate assessment findings are reported annually to the entire faculty. All assessment findings are reported annually to the Syracuse University Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment.