Prerequisites keep students from taking new courses

(published in CM Life‘s Aug. 26, 2009 edition)

Not only are the changes the journalism field goes through on a seemingly daily basis affecting those currently working in the field, they are also affecting those who are in school to be journalists.

Myself included.

When I decided to become a journalist, I envisioned myself working for a newspaper somewhere. Whether that newspaper be located in Michigan or not is the point.

However, my vision is getting darker with every passing day.

On the verge of graduating, there’s no saying where I will end up working or what medium I will be working for. To add to this confusion, there is no guarantee if I will even be prepared for the way the field is changing once I do graduate.

This makes registering for classes even that much more difficult.

I have to decide which classes to take in order to ensure I know the ropes once that degree with my name on it is physically tangible.

However, I am at risk of having too many journalism credits.

Too many journalism credits? How can I be punished for attempting to learn anything and everything I can about my chosen field?
Shoot me in the face for wanting to become a convergent journalist; that is being able to take photos, capture video and make Soundslides presentations, in addition to reporting and writing. As a convergent journalist, I will be more of an asset to a potential employer.

My first step is to take JRN 340, Intro to Online Journalism, but registration issues are delaying that process. JRN 102, Intro to Journalism, is a prerequisite for JRN 340, but since I was a transfer student, I have JRN 101 credit and not JRN 102. I signed up to take JRN 102, but was told I should not take it if I have JRN 101 credit.

So how am I supposed to become a convergent journalist when I am not even able to take the required courses?

After a few stressful days of wondering how I can get into JRN 340 and talking with numerous people to help me solve this problem, everything will be okay in the immediate future.

But only three days into the semester I will already be a week behind.

Frustrating on every level.

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