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ASSESSING THE STATE OF MATH EDUCATION IN ACEJMC ACCREDITED AND NONACCREDITED UNDERGRADUATE JOURNALISM PROGRAMS By CHRISTINE CUSATIS A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN MASS COMMUNICATION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2008 2008 Christine Cusatis To my mother, Nancy Faith Cusatis, and my father, William Joseph Cusatis, for always having confidence in me both academically and personally, and for all the sacrifices they have made to support my education ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Without the support of some talented people, this thesis would not be possible. Foremost, I would like to express my gratitude to my cochairs, Dr. Julie Dodd and Dr. Renee MartinKratzer, for their enthusiasm, inspiration and patience throughout this process. Additionally, I would like to mention that without Dr. MartinKrazter, I may not have expanded on the idea that eventually evolved into this thesis. Dr. Ronald Rodgers deserves a special thanks for both serving as a committee member and a great editing mentor. I thank him for all that he has taught me. Much gratitude goes to Jody Hedge, our program assistant, for all of her help with the technical aspects of this process. I would like to thank the people who have inspired me as a writer in general, including Bradley Markle, Robert Burr, and others. Of course, I would like to especially thank my mother and father for all that they have done to support me in my education. TABLE OF CONTENTS page A CK N O W LED G M EN T S ................................................................. ........... ............. ..... LIST OF TABLES ......... ..... .... ....................................................7 LIST OF FIGURES ................................... .. .... ..... ................. .8 A B S T R A C T ............ ................... .................. .......................... ................ .. 9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ............... .......................................................... 10 2 L IT E R A TU R E R E V IE W ......................................................................... ........................ 13 M ath L literacy in the N ew room ............................................................................. ............13 The Transfer of Learning Theory ........................................................................... ...... 15 Bridging Through a Course on Math for Journalists...........................................................17 M ath Education in Journalism Program s.................................................................... ...... 19 2 0 0 7 C u rricu lu m s ............... ................................................................................ ... ... 2 2 A rizona State U university ........................................................................ ...................22 U university of M issouri.......... ..... ............................................................... ...... ............ 23 U university of Florida .................. ................................ ....... .. ........ .... 23 W western K entucky U university .............................................................. .....................24 The University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) .................................. ............... 24 Pennsylvania State U university ................................................... ........................ 25 The University of NebraskaLincoln................................... ............... 25 T he U university of M ontana ....................... .......................................... .............. .............26 Syracuse U university ............ ........... ..................................... .... ........26 The U university of K ansas ............. .................................................. ............... 26 The Purpose of General Education Requirements ....................2.... ..... ....... ..................27 The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.................27 R e search Q u e stio n s.................................................................................................... .. 2 9 3 METHODOLOGY ................................. ......... ....................... 32 4 R E SU L T S .............. ... ................................................................36 RQ1: What Is the Overall State of Math Education in United States Journalism Programs? Is Math Only Taught in General Education Courses? Are Special Courses Specifically Designed for Math in the Context of Journalism Available? .......................36 RQ2: How Important Do the Chairs of Journalism Programs Feel that Math Education Is in the Journalism Curriculum ? .................. ........................... .... ......... ............... 37 RQ3: Are There Any Constraints on Math Education in the Journalism Curriculum?..........37 RQ4: How Do Administrators Describe the Math Skills of Students and Educators within Their Journalism Program? Are Students Prepared for the Math Skills R required in the Field? ............... ........ .............. ........... .. ....................... 38 RQ5: Do Differences in the Perception of Importance and Implementation of Math Education in the Journalism Curriculum Differ between AEJMC Accredited and Non A credited Program s? ......................... ........................ .. .. .. ...... .... ....... 38 5 D IS C U S S IO N ............................................................................................4 4 Trends in Math Education in College and University Journalism Programs .......................44 Constraints .................. ............. ...................... .......... 46 Perception of the Department Chair Regarding Math Education..................... .......... 48 ACEJMC Accredited vs. Nonaccredited Institutions..............................................49 6 CON CLU SION .......... ....................................................... ...... ............ ... 50 L im itatio n s ................... .... .. .. .............. ........................... ................ 5 3 Considerations for Future R esearch................................................ ............................ 53 APPENDIX A MODEL SYLLABUS FOR A COURSE ON MATH FOR JOURNALISTS .......................55 B SCHOOLS DERIVED FROM COMBINATION OF AEJMC AND DOW JONES D IR E C T O R IE S ..............................................................................6 1 C CO V ER LETTER ................................. ............. ........... .. ............... ............ 70 D SU R V E Y IN STR U M EN T ........................................................... .....................................71 L IST O F R E F E R E N C E S .............................................................................. ...........................76 B IO G R A PH IC A L SK E T C H .........................................................................................................82 LIST OF TABLES Table page 41 Required number of math courses, in credit hours, that journalists must complete as part of general education require ents.................................... ........................... ......... 40 42 Undergraduate journalism programs that incorporate math content, such as fractions, percentages, means, medians, modes, ratios, ranks and rates, into major courses within the program .................. .......................... ...................40 43 Undergraduate journalism programs that offer a course focusing specifically on math skills within the context of journalism ...................... ..... ............................ 40 44 Requirements for courses focusing specifically on math skills within the context of jou rn alism ................................................................................4 0 45 Plans for a future course focusing specifically on math skills within the context of jou rn alism ................................................................................4 0 46 The basis of the journalism program ................................................... ...............41 47 Perceived importance math education overall as part of the curriculum for undergraduate journalism students ........................................................ ............... 41 48 Perceived importance of journalists' possession of basic math skills .............................41 49 Perceived frequency of mathematical errors are in published reporting .........................41 410 Constraints to the addition of a mathematical focus in the journalism program ..............41 411 Constraints to the addition of a mathematical focus in the journalism program ..............42 412 Perception of the mathematical skills of the average journalism student at the respective institution .................. ................................... ........ .. ............ 42 413 Perception of the mathematical skills of the average journalism instructor at the respective institution ................. ...................................... ... ........ .......... 42 414 Perceived preparation of average journalism student at the respective institution for the m ath skills required on the job .............................. ............................ ............... 42 415 Institutions accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and M ass Communications (ACEJM C) ............................................................................43 416 Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) for accredited and nonaccredited schools on perceived importance of math education overall as part of the curriculum for undergraduate students............ .................................................................. ....... ............ 43 LIST OF FIGURES Figure 21 Poynter journalistic com petency pyram id ................................. ..................................... 31 page Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Mass Communication ASSESSING THE STATE OF MATH EDUCATION IN ACEJMC ACCREDITED AND NONACCREDITED UNDERGRADUATE JOURNALISM PROGRAMS By Christine Cusatis August 2008 Chair: Julie Dodd Cochair: Renee MartinKratzer Major: Mass Communication Although the importance of mathematical skills in the newsroom has been the focus of previous research, little attention has been given to the math education provided in collegiate journalism programs. To assess journalists' math education in the United States, 341 department chairs from both ACEJMC accredited and nonaccredited journalism programs were surveyed. Results indicated that few programs offered a math course specifically for the journalism major. Instead, most relied on general education requirements and segments of core journalism courses to provide students with math skills. Math general education requirements were typically satisfied with a minimal amount of credit hours. The mathematical skills of the average journalism student were rated as "poor" or "fair" by 70.2% of journalism chairs in the study. A lack of room in the curriculum was the most commonly cited constraint to the implementation of math education, although constraints such as conflicts with the math department and the limiting effect of accreditation standards on the curriculum were also documented. Strategies are proposed for future implementation of math education in journalism programs. CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION "If you don't know the difference between a noun and a verb, you could never get ajob as a reporter or editor. But newsrooms are full ofpeople who don't know how to calculate a percentage. " Chip Scanlan, 2004, p. 1 When it comes to math, students in the United States are often described as lagging behind their international peers. Ginsburg, Cooke, Leinwand, Noell & Pollock (2005) found in an analysis of three international surveys from 2003 that United States high school students were rated below average in mathranking eighth or ninth out of 12 countries. Following this study, the United States Department of Education (2006) increased focus on math education, described as "critical" for high school graduates who need math skills in a world where "employers seek critical thinkers and practical problemsolvers fluent in today's technology." In 2006 President Bush focused on improving elementary and middle school math education with the $260 million Math Now program, part of his No Child Left Behind Education Initiative (The United States Department of Education, 2006). Continuing this trend, Bush's fiscal year 2009 budget proposal set aside an additional $95 million to help prepare students for high school math (The United States Department of Education, 2008). Such attention to math education is important because it can prepare students for the job field. As Fahy (2005) described, math skills are required in 60% of 21st century jobs, although only 20% of the workforce possesses them. The journalism job field seems to reflect a similar pattern. For example, as Livingston (2005) suggested, journalists need math skills in order to comprehend reports on taxes, medical and scientific research, budgets and boxoffice receipts. Meyer (1991) suggested that as technology allows more information to be available to a journalist, the skills required to be a journalist increase, stating that "a journalist has to be a database manager, a data processor, and a data analyst" (p. 1). Furthermore, Rosenstiel (2005) recognized the importance of journalists' statistical skills when comprehending political polls. However important such skills may be, research suggests that journalists largely do not possess them. In a focus group on the use of math in newsrooms, Maier (2002) described a "frazzled copy editor" who "pleaded almost tearfully for a reference book she could consult on journalistic use of numbers just as she turns to the AP Stylebook for guidance on language" (p. 108). In a 2002 case study of a metropolitan newspaper, Maier found errors involving elementary mathematics about every other day. Furthermore, Trombly (2004) distinguished errors in journalists' understanding of public opinion polls. Such problems could stem from journalists' high level of anxiety over their math skills (Maier, 2003). Journalistic innumeracy can cause inaccurate reports and, consequently, distrust in the media. Dentzer (2000) illustrated such a case in 1999 when the Institute of Medicine, which serves to advise the nation on health matters, released a report on medical errors to the press. Instead of taking advantage of a press embargo that allotted journalists extra time to analyze the document before publication, NBC's health correspondent released the story two days early, reporting "dramatic conclusionsespecially the projection that anywhere from 44,000 to 98,000 Americans would die in 1999 from errors in hospitals" (Dentzer, 2000, T 1). This caused a dramatic surge in coverage of the issue, including many flawed reports. Dentzer (2000) attributed the majority of these mistakes to the media's misinterpretation of the number of Americans killed by medical errors in hospitals. Sources and methods were misjudged, as few reporters clarified that numbers were taken from two studies, one of which was 15 years old. Furthermore, many news sources only mentioned the higher projection that 98,000 Americans could die, omitting the lower estimate of 44,000 (Dentzer, 2000). Dentzer (2000) suggested that the "news media struggles to digest and convey the nuances of medical stories," which, she noted, include numbers ( 19). If American students, as well as journalists, have been shown to be generally weak at math, the problem could lie in education. Solmon (1981) as well as Scotland, Frith and Meech (2007) suggested that adequate college preparation is important for the workplace. With improvements in math education at the collegiate level, journalistic numeric literacy could increase. This study assessed the current level of mathematical education offered in journalism programs at colleges and universities across the United States to gain perspective on this aspect of journalism education. CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Math Literacy in the Newsroom Innumeracy, a term defined by mathematician John Paulos as "an inability to deal comfortably with fundamental notions of number and chance," is a problem in today's newsrooms (Scanlan, 2004, p. 1). Yet math is unavoidable when journalists are reporting on a multitude of issues, including, "local tax rates, medical research reports, school district budgets, environmental impact reports, and boxoffice receipts," among many others (Livingston, 2005, p. 1). Maier (2002) found in a case study of a North Carolina newspaper that approximately half of the stories analyzed involved mathematical calculation. Despite the need for math skills, however, journalists seem to be reluctant to work with numbers (Livingston, 2005). Journalistic innumeracy leads to inaccurate reports and distrust in the media. Maier (2002) suggests that mathematical errors in the media are so common and "legendary" that the public is wise to be skeptical (p. 507). Through a threemonth accuracy audit of a North Carolina newspaper, Maier identified a new type of mathematical error roughly every other day. Problems included rounding, tallying and comprehension of numbers. Innumeracy can often result in misleading perceptions of the world. Berger (2001) found that data used to depict "threatening trends" involving accidents and crime and health news were often filled with statistical errors, making threats seem worse than they actually were. Although Berger suggests that journalists are fond of playing up worsening conditions, he acknowledges "some reporters' and editors' ineptness in presenting quantitative trend data itself" (p. 675). Similarly, Hewitt (1996) found that the media tend to misrepresent homelessness, being more likely to cite high estimates due to bias and problems distinguishing the "good" research from the "bad." Journalistic innumeracy is especially prominent when dealing with public opinion polls. Trombly (2004) asserted that journalists often misinterpret polls because they misunderstand the sampling margin of error, a statistic that represents the reliability of an estimate in relation to a sample size. She cited the 2000 presidential election as an example, where "misunderstanding the margin of error caused reporters to proclaim losers and winners when in fact there was a statistical tie" (p. 10). In this case, the difference between measurements fell within the sampling margin of error, indicating that the results were not statistically significant. Rosenstiel (2005) recognized that sampling margin of error is a common problem for journalists, describing a 2004 assessment that "understanding and use of polls may be more of a problem than many journalists imagine" (p. 713). The Poynter Institute (2007) began encouraging journalistic math literacy through a segment in its free online education program, "News University," which was launched in 2005. The program, intended to provide "interactive, inexpensive courses that appeal to journalists at all levels of experience," includes a free course titled "Math for Journalists" (p. 1). The course, designed to "make routine math routine," offers journalists practice with fractions, percentages, means, medians, modes, ratios, ranks and rates, among other skills. In 1998, the faculty at the Poynter Institute ranked numeracy among the top 10 abilities (Figure 21) needed for competent journalists and newsrooms, stating that Journalists who fail to master math are missing one of the key building blocks of excellence. They lack a basic skill needed to decipher much of the information in the world around them, such as crime statistics, pollution standards, real estate taxes, and unemployment figures. Without math skills, journalists are bound to fall short in their quest for accuracy (p. 2). The Poynter Institute asserts that competent journalists can calculate percentages, ratios, and rates of change; have knowledge of arithmetic; are familiar with statistics; know the difference between median and mean; understand margin of error and probability theory; can translate numbers into easy to understand terms; and understand graphs and pictorial representations of numbers. Just how "competent" journalists currently are in this respect is questionable. Maier (2003) tested the mathematical skills of journalists at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., by administering the "Mathematics Competency Test for Journalists" (p. 924). The 25question exam, which encompassed only juniorhigh level math, was given to reporters, graphic artists, editors and news researchers. Results showed that the staff averaged a score of 68%, with one in five reporters missing more than half the questions. Copy editors scored significantly higher overall than the other groups. Maier (2003) also tested the mathematical confidence of journalists at The News & Observer through the "FennemaSherman Confidence in Learning Mathematics Scale." Results showed that even those who scored relatively high on the math competency test had low confidence in their math skills, suggesting, as Maier describes, that "problems that journalists experience with numbers may be as much as matter of perception as they are of math ability or knowledge" (p. 931). However, Maier's finding that journalists' math scores increased with higher levels of math education suggests that education may be vital in improving journalistic competency. The Transfer of Learning Theory When discussing math education forjournalism students, the transfer of learning theory may be relevant. Cormier and Hagman (1987) describe transfer of learning as a situation where previously acquired knowledge affects the way new knowledge is gained and skills are performed. Therefore, it may be important to consider the transfer of learning from student's previous math educationhigh school and general education coursesto their work in journalism courses and the workplace. Perkins and Salomon (1992) suggest there are two types of transfer. There is positive transfer, which "enhances a related performance in another context," negative transfer, which "undermines" it (p. 3). Furthermore, the authors differentiate near transfer from far transfer. Perkins and Salomon (1992) describe near transfer as "between very similar contexts" such as "when a garage mechanic repairs an engine in a new model of car, but with a design much the same as prior models" (p. 3). Far transfer, which the authors suggest occurs less often, is between "remote and alien" situations, such as the application of chess strategy to investment decisions, politics or campaigns (p. 3). The transfer of mathematical concepts to journalism could then be considered a positive transfer of learning, since it would enhance the individual's performance as journalist. It could also be classified as a far transfer, as math and journalism are academically distant in most aspects. However, they have to be somewhat related for transfer to occur, as Pea (1987) suggested, "transfer of knowledge or learning will occur between two tasks insofar as the tasks share identical elements" (p. 641). Simons (1999) examined how education can aid in the transfer of learning in one situation to another. He suggested that students "tend not to use much of their prior knowledge actively" because they have problems recognizing which knowledge is applicable in certain situations (p. 580). He stated, Using prior knowledge may require a great deal of work, it may create confusion, it may distract you from the main points, and it may make your learning too idiosyncratic. Thus, from the perspective of the learner, the problem is when to use prior knowledge actively and when to protect oneself from its influences (p. 580). When transfer does occur, Perkins and Salomon (1992) suggested, it is propelled by two different forces. The first, low road transfer, involves activation of routines by a stimulus. The second, and more relevant to this study, is high road transfer, which involves searching for connections between two contexts in a deliberate way (Perkins and Salomon, 1992). Simons (1999) suggested that a far transfer, such as the transfer of math skills to journalism, is best facilitated by the high road mechanism. Perkins and Salomon (1992) suggested that bridging, an instruction technique, encourages the high road transfer and a connection between far reaching contexts. Bridging, the authors suggested, Encourages the making of abstractions, searches for possible connections, mindfulness, and metacognition. For example, a teacher might ask students to devise an exam strategy based on their past experience, ajob counselor might ask students to reflect on their strong points and weak points and make a plan to highlight the former and downplay the latter in an interview. The instruction thus would emphasize deliberate abstract analysis and planning (p. 7). Therefore, bridging could be considered a successful technique in facilitating the transfer of math education to journalism studies. In this way, the transfer of learning theory could aid in the implementation of math education in college journalism programs, which could be considered an important step in preparing journalists for the work field. Bridging Through a Course on Math for Journalists The Indiana University School of Journalism's Statistical and Mathematical Methods for Journalism course (Appendix A) is particularly relevant to this discussion, in that it could be used as a mechanism to encourage the high road transfer, facilitating a connection between math and journalism. The course, developed by former professor Paul Voakes, was designed to remedy student problems in translating what they learned in math courses to their work in journalism. As Voakes (2005) described, It was as if the information was coming in one ear and going out the other because they were not applying it once they got back to the journalism school. It was as if there were no connection between that math and the kind of numeracy that we have to have in journalism (Voakes, 2005, video clip). In developing the course, which was taught by the math department, the journalism and math departments collaborated in order to not only teach journalists math skills, but also to incorporate those skills in reporting (Indiana University School of Journalism, 2005). Voakes (2005) explained, Because it's a course for journalism students only, the goals are slightly different than the goals of a typical statistics course. Our goals are to enable students to understand the statistical research that other professionals produce and to ask appropriate numerical questions but also to convey to a public audience the meaning of those numbers (video clip). The Indiana University School of Journalism's online convergence forum lists multiple problems faced with the implementation of such a course. For example, many students expected the course to "indulge their math phobias" rather than cure them (Indiana University School of Journalism Convergence Forum, 2005, 1). Administrators also faced challenges in transferring the skills learned in the single course throughout the journalism curriculum, stating that "At present, little has been done to broaden the impact of statistics on reporting and writing in advanced skills courses" (Indiana University School of Journalism Convergence Forum, 2005, 8). The fact that the math department controlled the course, although beneficial in that it did not affect the budget of the journalism department, also meant that its journalistic focus was diluted. Therefore, the Indiana University School of Journalism Convergence Forum (2005) recommended that future courses be taught under the journalism department with a text designed by both journalism and math departments. Math Education in Journalism Programs Numerous studies indicate that college preparation is important in acquiring skills for the workplace (Solmon, 1981; Scalan, 2004; Frith & Meech, 2007). Solmon (1981) cited a 1974 study that found that even after nine years in the industry, many graduates still used knowledge gained in college. Furthermore, in a survey of journalism graduates in Scotland, Frith and Meech (2007) found journalism education to be "an effective preparation for a successful journalism career" (p. 142). The authors argue, however, that the job skills offered in college can be "restrictive," stating "there is rarely any discussion of why journalism students should be required to study law and government but not, say, economics, statistics or basic science" (p. 157). Horn (1995) identified "generic" knowledge, skills and abilities desired by employers that "cut across occupations," including interpersonal skills, communication, critical thinking, motivation and personal attitudes, ability to work with data and information and, most relevant to this study, the ability to apply mathematics. However, he argued that in many cases there is a gap between the qualities employers desire and what is taught in the classroom. Similarly, Redmond (1994) described a divide between job skills and college preparation, finding that core journalism courses often do not incorporate skills desired by news directors. In this case, there was a difference between the "understanding of theories of mass communication to carry on philosophical debate in the academic world" and "understanding how people engage with mass media to argue principles with a pragmatic television station general manager" (Redmond, 1994, p. 40). Such "gaps" could be relevant in the case of journalistic math literacy, which may be largely ignored in school but particularly important on the job. Therefore, the roots of journalistic innumeracy could lie in journalists' education in academic programs. Indeed, the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) took a step to improve journalists' math skills at the college level by including "basic numerical and statistical concepts" as part of their accreditation standards. Authors such as Livingston (2005) and Wickham (2001) have also acknowledged journalists' need for math education with the publication of mathematical reference books designed specifically for journalists. Denham (1997) suggested that research methods should be taught at the undergraduate level in mass communication programs to remedy basic weaknesses in math comprehension. He stated that a course in research methods could help students improve critical thinking and aid in the comprehension of polls, measures of central tendency, ratings, and shares. Such improvements could make stories more accurate, as he explained, Before completing the course, a student might take a tragic news story, such as a child burning down his family's mobile home and killing his sister after viewing MTV's "Bevis & ButtHead," and attempt to make general statements about the relationship between television exposure and antisocial behavior. After completing the course, the student might be more conservative in considering the problem and may question whether a relationship would be present if data were aggregated across many children (p. 55). Denham warned, however, that while students should be taught the basic mathematical skills needed for journalists, higherlevel skills such as the derivation of formulas for multivariate statistics could repel students and should be avoided. Chip Scanlan (2004) of the Poynter Institute Faculty acknowledged the lack of numerical education in journalism programs in his essay "Why Math Matters." Scanlan cited Max Frankel, former executive editor of The New York Times, as complaining that some journalism schools "let students graduate without any numbers training at all...the media's sloppy use of numbers about the incidence of accidents or disease frightens people and leaves them vulnerable to journalistic hype, political demagoguery, and commercial fraud" (p. 2). Skinner, Gashner and Compton (2001) asserted that journalism education is stuck in a dichotomy between theory and practice. To the researchers, this clash is caused by differences in faculty, as "those who have taken the time to hone professional skills rarely hold graduate degrees and, because of the time required to earn a PhD, those with advanced degrees are not often sufficiently familiar with the more practical demands of the craft" (p. 344). Undergraduate studies, they assert, are primarily focused on the practice rather than theory. Therefore, the researchers argued, students are taught the skills required to be a journalist but not "the impact that the tools they utilize have on depictions they render" (p. 345). In this sense, the implications of journalistic innumeracy would pass unrealized to undergraduate students, who may not consider the detriment that a misinterpreted numerical value could have on a news story. Furthermore, funding and departmental permission for expanding journalism programs is not always easily obtained. Hynes (2001) suggested that campus arguments over the academic value of journalism and mass communications can lead to such programs being "targeted for reductions or elimination" (p. 10). Budgets are also a factor. In a survey of journalism program administrators in 1993, Kosiki and Becker (1994) found that decreased undergraduate enrollment led to cuts in purchasing power and "considerable budget stress" (p. 13). In addition, the process of curriculum change can be cumbersome. Manns and March (1978) found that college curriculum change was correlated to changes in financial conditions. The process can also be lengthy, as curriculum change typically takes 1824 months (Tanner, 1995). Mawn and Reece (2000) outlined the process in a case study of university curriculum change from a individual to a communitybased nursing program. The first steps in the process included the formation of a curriculum committee, evaluation of the curriculum through surveys of alumni, faculty, staff, students and other programs and a review of United States trends in nursing curriculum. After this, an outline of a new curriculum had to be generated, as well as new courses. The authors mentioned that throughout this process, it was rare that unanimous approval was reached on any issue. 2007 Curriculums In order to better understand how math is currently being implemented in college journalism programs, a cursory review of the 2007 curriculum requirements of various schools is appropriate. For this purpose, the top 10 intercollegiate winning schools of the 20062007 Hearst Journalism Awards Program were selected for review. The program, founded to "provide support, encouragement, and assistance to journalism education at the college and university level," offers scholarships and awards to students that demonstrate "outstanding performance" in journalism (Hearst Journalism Awards Program, 2007, p. 1). A journalism school itself is deemed a winner in the Overall Intercollegiate Competition when students within that school accumulate the highest number of points. Winners from the 20062007 Overall Intercollegiate Competition, in order from the first to 10th place, were Arizona State University, University of Missouri, University of Florida, Western Kentucky University, University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), Pennsylvania State University, University of NebraskaLincoln, University of Montana, Syracuse University, and the University of Kansas (Hearst Journalism Awards Program, 2007, p. 1). By reviewing topranking schools in this program, a sense of math education efforts in "top" journalism schools can be derived. Arizona State University Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Communication, the firstplace winner of the 20062007 Overall Intercollegiate Competition, requires only the "Mathematical Studies" requirement needed for students of all majors (The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Communication, 2007). To satisfy this requirement, students must complete one course in basic mathematics and one course in computer/statistics/quantitative applications, for a total of six credit hours (Arizona State University, 2007). However, The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Communication at Arizona State stands out among other Hearst Journalism awardwinning schools reviewed on the basis of math education. Though they are not required, two courses, Science Writing and Precision Journalism, have analytical concentrations largely missing from other programs. Science Writing, which is offered once a year, focuses on "writing, interviewing, reporting skills, and an understanding of key concepts in science" (Arizona State University, 2007, p. 1). Precision Journalism, a lecture and lab offered in both the fall and spring, focuses on "reporting polls and surveys and other numericallybased stories as well as on understanding the concepts that underlie polls and surveys" (Arizona State University, 2007, pg 1). University of Missouri As part of general education at the University of Missouri, students must complete both college algebra and a math reasoning proficiency requirements. The college algebra requirements can be fulfilled with the actual course (three credit hours), or waived by scoring a minimum of 26 on the math section of the ACT or a 600 on the math section of the SAT. The math reasoning proficiency requirements are fulfilled after students complete one statistics course (three credit hours) with the grade of a "C" or better (Missouri School of Journalism, 2006, p. 1). The University of Missouri also offers a journalism course in "Science, Health and Environmental Writing" (Missouri School of Journalism, 2006, p. 1). Although this course may incorporate numerical skills, it is not required. University of Florida The University of Florida requires six hours of general education math courses, and additional math courses beyond this are not required for students in the College of Journalism and Communications. Students do, however, have the choice between a quantitative option, where the student chooses eight credit hours from a list of statistics, computer and accounting courses, and a foreign language option, satisfied by a placement test or one year of college language. (The University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, 2008). The University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications requires a course in Fact Finding aimed to teach students how to "apply basic statistical databases (such as Excel) and techniques to analyze numerical data" (University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, 2007, 2). Western Kentucky University The only required math courses for students at the Western Kentucky University School of Journalism and Broadcasting are fulfilled with general education requirements (Western Kentucky University, 2005). This math requirement is satisfied with only one three credit hour basic math course of the student's choice, with options such as General Mathematics, Fundamentals of College Algebra, Trigonometry, Fundamentals of Calculus and Statistics. However, Western Kentucky University does require journalism students to complete a course in macroeconomics. The University also offers a course in advanced reporting involving "interviewing, observation and public computer records research skills coupled with survey research and team and assisted reporting" (Western Kentucky University School of Journalism and Broadcasting, 2005, p. 1). The University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) The University of North Carolina's School of Journalism and Mass Communication does not require journalism students to complete any math courses outside of general education requirements. However, the journalism department recommends, but does not require, that students choose the "Basic Concepts of Statistics and Data Analysis" course to satisfy the math portion of their general education requirements (University of North Carolina, 2007, p. 1). Pennsylvania State University The College of Communications at Pennsylvania State University only requires math courses that satisfy the University's general education requirements. Six credits of "quantification" courses are required that "teach the students to work with numbers so as to measure space, time, mass, forces, and probabilities; to reason quantitatively; and to apply basic mathematical processes to daily work and everyday living" (Pennsylvania State University, 2007, p. 1). The University of NebraskaLincoln The University of NebraskaLincoln's College of Journalism and Mass Communications has "group requirements" aimed to "provide a good introduction to the knowledge upon which our civilization is founded" (University of NebraskaLincoln, 2007, p. 342). Examples include Foreign Language, Arts, Historical Studies, and other general education groupings. In the Mathematics or Statistics group, students that did not receive four years of math education in high school are required to satisfy such "deficiencies" with three credit hours of courses such as Geometry I and II, Intermediate Algebra, College Algebra and Trigonometry (University of NebraskaLincoln, 2007, p. 342). The University of NebraskaLincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications offers a "Science Writing" as an elective designed to teach students how to write science articles aimed at the general public (University of NebraskaLincoln, 2007, p. 344), which could involve the interpretation of numerical data. The University of Montana The University of Montana requires that journalism students take no more math courses than dictated by general education requirements. Students are expected to fulfill coursework enabling them to "possess the ability to accomplish basic algebraic manipulations and achieve mathematical literacy at a level typically presented in college mathematics courses" (University of Montana, 2007, p. 1). The number of credit hours taken for mathematical literacy is determined by placement testing. (University of Montana, 2007). Syracuse University At Syracuse University, journalism students must complete general education math requirements including one course in "quantitative skills" and two courses in "natural sciences and mathematics," equating to approximately nine credit hours (Syracuse University, 2006). The University of Kansas At the University of Kansas, the only math courses that journalism students are required to take are also fulfilled under general education degree requirements. To satisfy this requirement, students must take both a firstlevel course in Algebra or Precalculus and a second level course, unless they "demonstrate eligibility for secondlevel mathematics courses" through high test scores and are able to skip the first course, thus influencing the number of credit hours that must be taken. On the secondlevel, students are given a choice between Introduction to Topics in Mathematics; Introduction to Finite Mathematics; Matrix Algebra, Probability, and Statistics; Calculus I; Calculus I Honors; Elementary Statistics and Introduction to Biostatistics. Journalism students with high SAT or ACT test scores may therefore be required to take only one math course at the University of Kansas. (William Allen White School of Journalism & Mass Communications, 2006). In review, most of these awardwinning journalism programs do not offer courses on math for journalism students, instead depending on general education to cover the subject. Again, the cursory analysis only provides a cursory look at the math education in journalism programs. Further research into the subject could paint a different picture. The Purpose of General Education Requirements As most journalism programs in this review relied on general education to cover math, it is important to take a deeper look at general education requirements themselves. Research suggests that general education courses provide students with the core education needed before entering a specialization. Ratcliff, Johnson, La Nasa and Gaff (2001) described general education as a core aspect of a degree, that "assures that all studentsregardless of specialization or intended careerbecome acquainted with history and culture and with science and mathematics" (p. 6). Furthermore, in an evaluation of student learning in general education courses, Donald and Denison (1996) found that students attributed skills such as critical thinking, responsibility and organized work habits to general education courses. However, Ratcliff et al. (2001) described problems with general education curriculum, such as concerns regarding its size. A summary of two national surveys from 2000 revealed that in a 120credit program, the average general education units required accounted for 37.6% of the degree, or 45.1 credit hours. This figure, compared with the average of 33.5% in 1974, suggests that focus on general education may be increasing, although not without a struggle (Ratcliff et al. 2001). As the authors suggest, "the role, structure, and importance of general education at individual institutions continues to be an area of increased priority and heated debate" (p. 14). The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication As of the 20072008 school year, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (AEJMC) has accredited 109 institutions in the United States through the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) (Smith, 2007). Since accredited schools represent a portion of the study population, it is important to examine what it means to be accredited. ACEJMC accreditation is a voluntary process in which an institution is examined by the Council to determine if the program follows standards set out by the Council (AEJMC, 2008). According to The Commission on Public Relations Education (2006), nine standards are used to assess the program, including mission, governance and administration; curriculum and instruction; diversity and inclusiveness; fulltime and parttime faculty; scholarship: research, creative and professional activity; student services; resources, facilities and equipment; professional and public service; assessment of learning outcome (The Commission on Public Relations Education, 2006, 7). The second standard, Curriculum and Instruction, requires that 80 hours of the degree program are completed outside of the journalism and mass communications program (The Commission on Public Relations Education, 2006). Ratcliff et al. (2001) suggested that a typical program requires about 120 credit hours; consequently, if such a program was accredited, only 40 credit hours would be taken in the actual journalism school. Furthermore, the ACEJMC requires that students graduating from the program should be educated in the 11 competencies and values, including 1) understand and apply First Amendment principles and the law appropriate to professional practice; 2) demonstrate an understanding of the history and role of professionals and institutions in shaping communications; 3) demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of groups in a global society in relationship to communications; 4) understand concepts and apply theories in the use and presentation of images and information; 5) work ethically in pursuit of truth, accuracy, fairness and diversity; 6) think critically, creatively and independently; 7) conduct research and evaluate information by methods appropriate to the communications professions in which they work; 8) write correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the communications professions, audiences and purposes they serve; 9) critically evaluate their own work and that of others for accuracy and fairness, clarity, appropriate style and grammatical correctness; 10) apply basic numerical and statistical concepts; 11) apply tools and technologies appropriate for the communications professions in which they work (AEJMC, 2008, 2). In light of the current state of journalistic innumeracy it is important to look more deeply into the implementation of math education at the collegiate level. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the current level of mathematical competency education offered in journalism programs at colleges and universities across the United States to gain perspective on the state of journalism education. Research Questions RQ1. What is the overall state of math education in United States journalism programs? Is math only taught in general education courses? Are special courses specifically designed for math in the context of journalism available? RQ2. How important do the chairs of journalism programs feel that math education is in the journalism curriculum? RQ3. Are there any constraints on math education in the journalism curriculum? RQ4. How do administrators describe the math skills of students and educators within their journalism program? Are students prepared for the math skills required in the field? RQ5. Do differences in the perception of importance and implementation of math education in the journalism curriculum differ between AEJMC accredited and nonaccredited programs? Figure 21. Poynter journalistic competency pyramid [Reprinted with permission from the Committee of Concerned Journalists. (2007). Competency in the newsroom. Retrieved August 10, 2007, from http://conceredjournalists.org/competency newsroomforumsummary] CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY An online survey of chairs of journalism departments in colleges and universities across the United States was conducted in order to assess the current state of math education in these programs. Numerous studies have cited the influential role of the department chair (Gmelch Parkay & Forrest, 1999; Adduci Woods & Webb, 1990; Seagren, Creswell & Wheeler, 1993). Gmelch, Parkay and Forrest (1999) asserted that the responsibilities of department chairs lead them to be "viewed often as the most important administration position in postsecondary education" (p. 3). Adduci, Woods and Webb (1990) described these responsibilities, including budgeting, curriculum development and committee leadership. Furthermore, Seagren, Creswell and Wheeler (1993) noted that chairs serve as a connection between administrators, faculty and students. If there was no official "chair" of the journalism institution, the questionnaire was directed to the highest administrator of the program. An online survey was chosen for this assessment for its ability to reach such a wide population. Journalism colleges and universities for this study were chosen based on the sampling method set out by the Grady College of Journalism & Mass Communication's yearly survey of journalism and mass communication graduates. The survey, which has been conducted since 1964, is based on a sample of schools found from a combination of the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund's Journalism Career and Scholarship Guide and the Journalism and Mass Communication Directory, published by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (Becker et al., 2005). The AEJMC Directory lists any school that lists itself, all schools accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications and all U.S. members of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication (Becker et al., 2005). The Dow Jones Newspaper Fund Guide lists schools that offer "at least 10 courses in newseditorial journalism and those courses that include core courses, such as an introduction to the mass media and press law and ethics, as well as basic skills courses such as reporting and editing" (Becker et al., 2005, p. 16). Through this selection process, a diverse group of both accredited and nonaccredited schools were represented. All schools from the combination of these lists were surveyed. The initial sample consisted of 380 programs, 109 which were accredited and 271 which were not (Appendix B). In the case that the emails were undeliverable and returned, the researcher attempted to find a correct address on the institution's Web site and resent the email. After this process, 39 email addresses were still undeliverable or unattainable, so the corresponding institutions were omitted from the survey sample, leaving a final sample of 341 programs. The questionnaire was administered online in February 2008. It was created with and hosted by SurveyMonkey (www.surveymonkey.com), and links to the questionnaire were e mailed to department chairs (Appendix C). Emails were personalized by the researcher using the names of the department chairs listed in the directories. As suggested by Babbie (2007), a second emailing was administered one week after the first to thank those who did participate and promote participation from those who did not. A third and final email was sent one week after the second to encourage further participation. Responses to the questionnaire were anonymous in hopes of eliciting honest responses from those influencing journalism programs in the United States. Respondents were advised in the email not to reveal their identity or the identity of their institution. In the case that a respondent did not answer all of the questions provided, missing data for continuous variables was replaced by the mean answer of all other respondents. A week after the third email notification, 121 responses had been collected, resulting in a 35.4% response rate. This is comparable to other response rates for online surveys. For example, Cook, Heath and Thompson (2000) found in a metaanalysis of online survey response rates that the mean response rate for 68 surveys in 49 studies was 39.6%. Furthermore, Shannon and Bradshaw (2002) found in a comparison of postal and Internet surveys that of 126 respondents, 66.7% responded to mail surveys and 33.3% responded to electronic surveys. Measures. Participants were asked 16 questions designed to assess the state of journalism math education at the collegiate level (Appendix D). To operationalize the overall state of math education in journalism programs, participants were asked questions such as "Does your undergraduate journalism program incorporate math content into major courses?" and "does your undergraduate journalism program offer a course focusing specifically on math skills within the context of journalism?" Respondents were also asked if such courses were required and if plans were underway for such courses. The survey also gauged the department chairs' view on the importance of math education with questions such as "how important do you feel that math education is overall as part of the curriculum for undergraduate journalism students?" and "how important do you feel it is for journalists to possess basic math skills?" with options on a Likert scale ranging from 1, "very unimportant, to 5, "very important." Constraints on math education in journalism programs were measured with questions such as "are there any constraints to the addition of a mathematical focus in your journalism programs," and if yes, participants were be able to choose from options such as lack of school financial support, lack of student interest, lack of qualified faculty, lack of time, or "other." Finally, department chairs' opinions on the level of preparation students receive regarding math education for the job field were measured with questions on a Likert scale, such as "how would you rate the mathematical skills of the average journalism student at your institution?" and "how prepared do you feel the average journalism student at your institution is for the math skills required on the job?" This survey gauged the state of math education in 20072008, the department chair's view of the importance of the issue, constraints on math education, chairs' view of student preparation when it comes to math education for the field and differences between ACEJMC accredited and nonaccredited programs. CHAPTER 4 RESULTS To address the first four research questions, descriptive statistics and openended responses were used. For questions answered in Likert scale form, points were given for each response so that a mean value could be calculated. Research Question 5 was investigated using a oneway analysis of variance (ANOVA). RQ1: What Is the Overall State of Math Education in United States Journalism Programs? Is Math Only Taught in General Education Courses? Are Special Courses Specifically Designed for Math in the Context of Journalism Available? Research Question 1 addressed the overall state of math education in United States journalism programs, including how math was implemented within individual programs. When asked how many credit hours of mathematical courses journalism students were required to complete with general education requirements, 78% of the 121 respondents responded between "03" credit hours (Table 41). When asked if math content, such as fractions, percentages, means, medians, modes, ratios, ranks and rates, was incorporated into major courses within the journalism program, such as reporting or editing courses, 71.7% said "yes," while 28.3% said "no" (Table 42). The majority (87.6%) of programs did not offer a course focusing specifically on math forjournalists, while 12.4% did. Of the 15 programs that had a special course, 66.7% said that the course was an elective. Among the programs with no special course, only 7.5% said they had plans for such a course underway (Tables 43, 44 and 45). When asked to describe the basis of the journalism program, 59.5% of the chairs described their program as "theory and practice based," while 39.7% said chose "practice based" only (Table 46). RQ2: How Important Do the Chairs of Journalism Programs Feel that Math Education Is in the Journalism Curriculum? Research Question 2 addressed the perceived importance of math education in the journalism curriculum. On a scale of 15 ranging from "very unimportant" through "very important," the mean score was of 3.72 (SD =.859). Overall, 66.1% of department chairs rated math education in the journalism curriculum as "important" or "very important," while 6.6% selected "very unimportant" to "not important" (Table 47). When asked how important it is for journalists to possess basic math skills on a scale of 15 from "very unimportant to very important," a mean score of 4.14 was derived (SD =.674). The majority of respondents, 90.8%, said that it was "important" or "very important" for journalists to possess basis math skills. Only one department chair stated that it was "very unimportant" for journalists to have basic math skills (Table 48). Participants were also asked to rate how common they thought mathematical errors were in published reporting on a scale of 15 from "very rare" to "very common." The mean score was 3.74 (SD = .797), with more than half (54.5%) responding "common" or "very common." No respondents chose "very rare" as an answer (Table 49). RQ3: Are There Any Constraints on Math Education in the Journalism Curriculum? Research Question 3 investigated the constraints on math education in the journalism curriculum. Most respondents (64.2%) stated that there were constraints on math education in their program. Of those, 68.4% chose "lack of room in the curriculum," while "lack of faculty support" was cited least often (12.7%). The remaining 21.5% chose "other," stating reasons such as "student resistance," "opposition of the math department on campus" and "accrediting councilimposed credit limits" (Tables 410 and 411). RQ4: How Do Administrators Describe the Math Skills of Students and Educators within Their Journalism Program? Are Students Prepared for the Math Skills Required in the Field? Research Question 4 focused on department chairs' perception of the math skills of students and instructors within their programs, as well as student preparation for math skills demanded in the work field. The mean rating of mathematical skills of the average journalism student, on a scale of 15 from "poor" to "excellent," with 6 as an option for "don't know," was 2.41 (SD = .104). Most chairs (70.2%) rated the math skills of the average journalism student as "poor" or "fair," while no respondents rated the average journalism student's math skills as "excellent" (Table 412). When rating the mathematical skills of the average journalism instructor, on a scale of 1 5 from "poor" to "excellent," the mean score was 3.84 (SD =.101). Most chairs (66.1%) rated the mathematical skills of the average instructor as "good" or "excellent." Only two respondents (1.7%) rated the skills of the average instructor as "poor" (Table 413). Despite low ratings for the math skills of the average journalism student, most chairs rated students as ready to handle math skills on the job. On a scale of 15 from "very unprepared" to "very prepared," the mean score 3.21 (SD =.076). Most respondents, 44.6%, rated students as "neutral," followed by 35.5% rating them as "prepared." Only two respondents (1.7%) rated students as "very unprepared." No chairs ranked students as "very prepared" (Table 414). RQ5: Do Differences in the Perception of Importance and Implementation of Math Education in the Journalism Curriculum Differ between AEJMC Accredited and Non Accredited Programs? The perception of importance as well as the implementation of math education in journalism curriculum between AEJMC accredited and nonaccredited programs were investigated in Research Question 5. Of those who completed the survey, 29.2% were from accredited programs while 70.8% were not (Table 414). Analysis of variances (ANOVAs) were performed to compare the means of certain variables between accredited and nonaccredited schools to determine the presence of a statistically significant difference. This revealed that there is a significant difference (F(df, 1) = 4.44, p <.05) between the mean scores for the department chairs' evaluation of the overall importance of math education in journalism curriculum for accredited (x = 3.97) and nonaccredited (x = 3.61) programs (Table 415). ANOVAs were also performed to compare the means of other variables between accredited and nonaccredited programs, including how chairs perceived student preparation for math skills needed on the job (F(df, 1) = .029, p = .866), how important it is for journalists to possess basic math skills (F(df,1) = .336, p = .563), how common math errors are in journalism (F(df, 1) = 3.63, p=.06), the math skills of the average student at the institution (F(df,1) = .320, p = .573) and the math skills of the average instructor at the institution (F(df, 1) = 1.82, p = .18). These pvalues indicate that there was no significant difference between accredited and nonaccredited schools for these variables. Although accredited schools are differentiated from nonaccredited schools by certain standards, this finding indicates that the views of department chairs regarding math education are similar in both types of program, other than the perception of the overall importance of math education. Table 41. Required number of math courses, in credit hours, that journalists must complete as part of general education requirements Credit hours Percent 13 46 79 Unsure Other N=121 59.5 24.0 Table 42. Undergraduate journalism programs that incorporate math content, such as fractions, percentages, means, medians, modes, ratios, ranks and rates, into major courses within the program Incorporate math courses Percent Yes 71.7 No 28.3 N= 120 Table 43. Undergraduate journalism programs that offer a course focusing specifically on math skills within the context of journalism Math skills within context of journalism Percent Yes 12.4 No 87.6 N= 121 Table 44. Requirements for courses focusing specifically on math skills within the context of journalism Option Percent Required 33.3 Elective 66.7 Total 100 N= 15 Table 45. Plans for a future course focusing specifically on math skills within the context of journalism Plans for course Yes No N= 107 Percent 92.5 Table 46. The basis of the journalism program Basis Percent Theory 0 Practice 39.7 Both 59.5 Unsure 0.8 N= 121 Table 47. Perceived importance math education overall as part of the curriculum for undergraduate journalism students Perceived overall importance Percent Very unimportant 4.1 Not important 2.5 Neutral 27.3 Important 52.9 Very important 13.2 N= 121 (M= 3.72, SD = .859) Table 48. Perceived importance of journalists' possession of basic math skills Importance of basic math skills Percent Very unimportant .8 Not important 1.7 Neutral 6.7 Important 63.9 Very important 26.9 N= 121 (M= 4.14, SD = .674) Table 49. Perceived frequency of mathematical errors are in published reporting Frequency of math errors Percent Very rare 0 Rare 11.6 Neutral 33.9 Common 47.1 Very common 7.4 N= 121 (M= 3.74, SD = .797) Table 410. Constraints to the addition of a mathematical focus in the journalism program Constraints Percent Yes 64.2 No 35.8 N=120 Table 411. Constraints to the addition of a mathematical focus in the journalism program Constraint options (respondent chose as many as applied) Percent Lack of room in the curriculum 68.4 Other priorities 32.9 Other (please specify) 21.5 Lack of qualified faculty 20.3 Lack of school financial support 20.3 N= 79 Table 412. Perception of the mathematical skills of the average journalism student at the respective institution Avg. math skills of student Percent Poor 15.7 Fair 54.5 Neutral 9.1 Good 17.4 Excellent 0 Don't know 3.3 N= 121 (M= 2.41, SD = .104) Table 413. Perception of the mathematical skills of the average journalism instructor at the respective institution Avg. math skills of instructor Percent Poor 1.7 Fair 14 Neutral 12.4 Good 47.9 Excellent 18.2 Don't know 5.8 N= 121 (M= 3.84, SD = .101) Table 414. Perceived preparation of average journalism student at the respective institution for the math skills required on the job Preparation for workplace math skills Percent Very unprepared 1.7 Not prepared 16.5 Neutral 44.6 Prepared 35.5 Very prepared 0 Don't know 1.7 N= 121 (M= 3.21, SD = .076) Table 415. Institutions accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) Accredited Percent Yes 29.2 No 70.8 N= 120 Table 416. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) for accredited and nonaccredited schools of perceived importance of math education overall as part of the curriculum for undergraduate students Importance of math education overall N Mean Std. Deviation Accredited 35 3.9714 .8 Nonaccredited 85 3.6118 .8 Total N=120, F(df, 1)= 4.44, p <.05 9066 3230 6173 3.7167 .8( CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION Trends in Math Education in College and University Journalism Programs Overall, this study indicated that math education in nationwide journalism programs is primarily covered with minimal general education credit hours and some segments of major journalism courses. Most respondents (59.5%), however, said that students were required only to complete 13 credit hours of mathematical courses to fulfill such requirements. Many said that it was the responsibility of general education requirements to provide journalism students with math skills. As one respondent commented, Students should be prepared before they get to our program (i.e., through high school and general education college courses) to deal with the math they encounter in our journalism courses and thus in journalism careers that is where the problem should be solved, rather than in journalism courses. Although researchers such as Ratcliff, Johnson, La Nasa and Gaff (2001) described the purpose of general education as providing students with the core education needed before entering a specialization, Maier's (2003) research on journalistic numerical competency suggested that such education is not preparing journalists for the workforce. This could be because, as this study found, the amount of math that journalists receive in general education courses is minimal, and not adequate to prepare journalists for the skills required on the job. Other department chairs stressed that math skills should be developed at the high school level. One respondent felt "the problem is the high schools," suggesting that journalism programs could "bring high school journalism teachers to campus to work out a program to benefit journalism students at the secondary level." Another said "the poor math preparation students receive in their K12 education leads to their poor math skills in college." Seventyone percent of respondents said that math content, such as fractions, percentages, means, medians, modes, ratios, ranks and rates, were incorporated in the major journalism courses. In this category, commonly cited courses included News Writing/Reporting, Research Methods, Editing, Public Affairs Reporting and Electronic Journalism courses. However, because respondents were not required to specify (and it was assumed they may not be sure of) the time spent on math education in these courses, it is unclear just how much math content was incorporated into these courses. For example, while one respondent commented that approximately four weeks of their program's News Writing and Reporting course was "devoted to the use of numbers in journalism and reporting," another said their program's Editing course had a "minor math component," while another said the topic was covered "a little bit in Public Affairs Reporting." Some chairs found incorporating math into the journalism curriculum to be an adequate technique, such as one who stated that math content is "best integrated into reporting, writing and editing classes; a one sizefitsall math class would be torture." Although program chairs suggested that math content is incorporated at least somewhat into journalism courses, few programs (12.4%) offered a course focusing specifically on math skills within the context of journalismsuch as exemplified by the Indiana University School of Journalism's Statistical and Mathematical Methods for Journalism course (Appendix C). Further information makes these results more distressing, since of those that do, 33.3% do not require that the course is taken. Of those that do not, math education does not seem to be on the agenda, as 92.5% do not have plans for such a course underway. The value of such a course can been seen through the Transfer of Learning Theory discussed earlier. Transfer of learning occurs in a situation where previously acquired knowledge affects the way new knowledge is gained and skills are performed (Cormier and Hagman, 1987). In this case, a transfer of math skills to journalism coursework would be a positive, far transfer, since it would link two remote subjects, in turn enhancing a journalism student's learning experience (Perkins and Salomon, 1992). Perkins and Salomon (1992) suggest that transfer between distant contexts, such as math and journalism, occur by a mechanism called high road transfer, in which connections between the two contexts are deliberately searched for. Bridging, the authors suggest, is a form of instruction that encourages this high road transfer by promoting "the making of abstractions" and "searches for possible connections" (p. 7). In this way, Indiana University School of Journalism's Statistical and Mathematical Methods for Journalism course (Appendix A) could serve as an instructional "bridge" between the learning of math and journalism skills. Voakes (2005) noted that part of the problem his students faced was a lack of "connection between that math," referring to isolated math courses, "and the kind of numeracy that we have to have in journalism" (Voakes, 2005, video clip). The Mathematical Methods for Journalism course worked to "bridge" that gap, which could, according to the Transfer of Learning Theory, facilitate learning transfer. Viewing such a course through this theoretical basis makes a stronger case for the implementation of such courses in the future. Constraints The reason for a lack of such planning/implementation of courses can be somewhat explained by the constraints cited by respondents. Lack of room in the curriculum was cited by 68.4% of respondents, a constraint that was described by some as a result of accreditation requirements. As described earlier, the Curriculum and Instruction standard of ACEJMC accreditation requires that 80 hours of the degree program are completed outside of the journalism and mass communications program (The Commission on Public Relations Education, 2006). Since Ratcliff et al. (2001) suggested that a typical program requires about 120 credit hours; journalism courses could only take up 40 hours of the curriculum, or roughly 15 courses. As one respondent from an accredited program commented, such programs "must have a balanced focus on all ACEJMC competencies and do so within limits of required hours." This problem could also possibly relate to the 32.9 % of respondents who cited "other priorities" as a constraint on math educationif such priorities include maintaining or achieving accreditation. A respondent from a nonaccredited school pursuing accreditation explained such priorities, stating "I don't know how you could possibly do an adequate job of preparing students for all of the things they need to know, and still stay under the hour requirements for ACEJMC." Other constraints were listed by respondents under the openended "other" response. For example, a few respondents cited problems dealing with their institution's math department. One respondent described the potential clash between departments, I think there would be a huge battle in our University's academic council over a course dealing with math education for journalists. The math department owns "math" at this University and would fight any attempt from another department to use that term in a course name. At the same time, they would want to make sure anyone teaching that class had the 18 hours of graduated credits in math, as required by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. This is a battle we cannot win, so we have modules on math concepts buried in existing classes. Another respondent described a similar hostile situation between departments, The Math department here is very narrow. They really don't see themselves as teachers; they are Mathematicians. They won't let anyone else do anything that looks like math that they are not teaching. Others cited student resistance toward math education. Lack of student interest was originally considered as a constraint when planning this research, but was disregarded due to the assumption that student preferences would not have much influence on the curriculum. However, seven journalism chairs took student opinion into account, as they answered in the openended response category for constraints on math education. Comments including "student preparation and attitude," "lack of mathorientation," and "student avoidance" were listed in this category. Journalism students' common aversion to math was often cited, as one remarked, "Traditionally, the students who choose to major in journalism are uncomfortable with math and avoid classes that incorporate math." However, others were not as willing to cater to such avoidance, such as one respondent who said of their program, "We should not be a haven for mathphobias." Perception of the Department Chair Regarding Math Education A department chair holds some influence over a program. Gmelch, Parkay and Forrest (1999) noted that chairs are seen as serving a vital administration role. Adduci, Woods and Webb (1990) described the many responsibilities entailed by this position, including budgeting, curriculum development and leadership. Since chairs often hold some authority over a curriculum, their opinion on the importance of math education in journalism programs was a necessary component in this study. Findings suggest that department chairs are aware of the need for math education in the journalism curriculum, despite problems with its implementation. Math education in the journalism curriculum was most commonly described by chairs as "important" (52.9%). On the job, math skills were described as "important" by 63.9% of respondents for journalists to possess basic math skills. Furthermore, most respondents described mathematical errors in published reporting as "common." Most chairs recognized that the math skills of the average journalism student were lackingas 70.2% rated their students' math skills as "poor" or "fair." It was surprising, however, that despite this low rating, most chairs rated students responded "neutral" (44.6%) and "prepared" (35.5%) when asked how prepared their students were for the math skills required on the job. Such logic seems contradictorycan students with "fair" math skills be prepared for these skills required in the workplace? However, this could be attributed to chairs' want to shed a positive light on the competency of their program. It could also reflect a lack of awareness regarding program deficiencies. Another possibility could be that employers do not commonly expect journalists to possess math skills, and thus chairs suspect that students are ready to handle the skills required for the job. In either case, this subject is worthy of the attention of future researchers. ACEJMC Accredited vs. Nonaccredited Institutions As the ACEJMC accredited institutions in the survey sample are required to oblige by certain standards, differentiating them from the rest of the population, it was interesting to investigate whether accreditation correlated with different responses. A oneway analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed that the mean scores for overall importance of math education in journalism curriculums were statistically significant (p =.037) between accredited (x = 3.97) and nonaccredited (x= 3.61) programs. The fact that chairs of accredited programs rated math as more important could be a reflection of the ACEJMC accreditation standards, which mandate that students should be able to "apply basic numerical and statistical concepts" (AEJMC, 2008, 2). Three other ACEJMC standardsto "understand concepts and apply theories in the use and presentation of images and information," to "conduct research and evaluate information by methods appropriate to the communications professions in which they work," and to apply tools and technologies appropriate for the communications professions in which they work" also involve math components (AEJMC, 2008, 2). Thus, programs accredited by the ACEJMC are forced to consider the implementation of math in the journalism program, and this may have increased their perception of the overall importance of math educationas implementation affects accreditation. However, as discussed previously, some chairs have found these same accreditation standards to be a limiting factor in their programs, as they require a balance of different standards within a limited amount of credit hours. CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSION Solmon (1981), among other researchers, suggested that college preparation is important for the skills demanded in the workplace. Although numerous researchers, including Hewitt (1996), Trombly (2004) and Livingston (2005), have demonstrated the dire need for math skills in the newsroom, others, such as Maier (2003) and Rosentiel (2005) have shown that journalists largely do not possess these skills. Therefore, this study provided a necessary and muchneeded first step of the investigation of math skills being taught to journalism students at the collegiate level. This research indicated that few programs offer a course on math specifically for the journalism major. Instead, most rely on general education requirements and segments of core journalism courses, such as editing and reporting, to provide their students with the math skills needed to be a journalist. However, this study shows that minimal math general education credit hours are required. The extent to which programs incorporate math education into major journalism courses is not known at this time. Chairs of journalism programs, whom have some influence over the curriculum, largely recognize the prevalence of math errors in published reporting, the overall importance of math education in journalism programs and the need for journalists to possess basic math skills. However, they also state that their students have deficiencies in math skills. This research shows that constraints such as lack of room in the curriculum partially prevent this problem from being solved. This research also points to the limitations of AEJCMC accrediting standards as a possible reason for this constraint. Other constraints found in this study included conflicts with the institution's math department as well as the influence of student resistance toward math. When journalists report on issues involving math, including, as Livingston (2005) suggests, health care, medical and scientific research and budgets, it is important that they comprehend the numbers they work with. An increase in math education for journalism students could result in higher journalistic numeracy, which could in turn result in fewer math errors in journalism. This study suggests that the state of math education in journalism programs should be improved in order to achieve this goal. A few suggestions can be made to improve math education in collegiate journalism programs. Foremost, the transfer of learning theory points to bridging, through the implementation of a math course specifically within the context of journalism, as a technique to facilitate the transfer of math education to journalism studies. Courses such as that implemented in Indiana University's School of Journalism could serve as an excellent model for future efforts. However, this research suggests that in many cases, lack of room in the curriculum is a constraint to the addition of such a course. A possible solution to this problem could be exemplified in the case of Indiana University, where the math department controlled the course, leaving the budget of the journalism program untouched (Voakes, 2005). However, this also diluted the journalistic focus of the course, which is why the Indiana School of Journalism Convergence Forum (2005) recommended that future courses are taught under the journalism department. Since this study suggests that a lack of room in the curriculum is a major constraint to the addition of a new course, a better, moreeasily implemented solution could be to increase the impact of math in core journalism courses, such as reporting and editing. Although 71.7% of respondents indicated that they already implement some math education in major journalism courses, the 70.2% of respondents that rated their institution's average journalism student as having "poor" or "fair" math skills suggest that more math should be added the curriculum. To aid in the addition of a math focus to these courses, instructors could benefit from the resources texts such as Livingston and Voakes' (2005) Wol king n ith numbers and statistics: A handbook for journalists, as well as Wickhams' (2002) Math skills for journalists. The Indiana University School of Journalism's Convergence Forum, which offers free tools and tip sheets on the types of statistics and mathematical models needed in journalism and how to implement them into courses without repelling students, could also be of aid (Indiana University School of Journalism Convergence Forum, 2005). Such resources could help educators implement important math concepts into journalism education, including * margin of error; * sampling; * probability; * correlation; * measures of central tendency (mean, median, mode); * standard deviation; * averages, percentiles, ranges; * measurements and conversions; * simple and compound interest; * graphical and pictorial representation of data; * basic knowledge of arithmetic. It is journalist's responsibility to understand stories involving math and to put numbers into context in order to accurately report information. However, students with "poor" or "fair" math skills, as alluded to in this study, may not be able to correctly convey such information to the public. Through higher quality math education for journalism students, journalistic numeracy would increase. It is clear through this research that the quality of math education in journalism programs is a subject worthy of much further attention. Limitations Some of the major limitations of this study are inherent in any survey research. Since surveys rely on selfreporting, bias such as misinterpreting the question, purposeful dishonesty, and accidental reporting of misinformation can occur, causing errors in data. Another limitation of this study could be the low response rate (35.4 %), although multiple studies have suggested that such a rate is common for online survey research. Still, a larger sample would ensure more accurate results. The survey pool in this study was limited due to many incorrect or no longer functional email addresses on the contact lists used, which may have affected the response rate. Considerations for Future Research Future research could examine journalism departments' perception of skills required on the job to determine if there is a "gap" between instruction and practice. Further research could also consider the effect of ACEJMC accreditation on the implementation of math education in journalism programs, which was alluded to in this study but not the main focus. It would be useful to investigate indepth whether ACEJMC accreditation inspires more math education, due to numeracy requirements, or prevents its implementation due to credit restrictions. Interviews with the ACEJMC could be particularly effective in this research. It could also be useful to expand on the various methods used to educate journalism students in math that were described in this study, including high school education, general education requirements, the incorporation of math into core journalism courses and math courses specifically for journalists. Since this study shows that journalism students, for the most part, are expected to complete minimal math general education requirements, future research could examine why this is. Further research could also expand on the connection between the Transfer of Learning theory and courses designed specifically to teach math skills to journalists, as was alluded to in this study. Furthermore, the extent that math content is incorporated into major journalism courses, such as editing and reporting, could be examined. Future research could also examine what type of math skills are most beneficial to journalists, such as the math skills required on the job. For this purpose, researchers could examine the math required on entrylevel journalism job tests, such as the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund editing test. Other research could examine the type of math skills needed for journalists through a content analysis of prominent texts focusing on math for journalists, or an analysis of what types of math appear most frequently in the news. These suggestions could provide deeper insight into the state of math education in journalism programs than was within the scope of the current study. APPENDIX A MODEL SYLLABUS FOR A COURSE ON MATH FOR JOURNALISTS The following syllabus, from the Indiana University School of Journalism Convergence Forum (2005), offers an example of a course designed to teach students math specifically within the context of journalism. The course was developed by a journalism instructor, Paul Voakes, and a math instructor, Charles Livingston, both of the Indiana University School of Journalism, and was first implemented in 1999. In 2005, the course was being taught by graduate students in Indiana University's math department. MODEL SYLLABUS FOR A COURSE ON MATH FOR JOURNALISTS (Indiana University School of Journalism Convergence Forum, 2005) SYLLABUS K305: Statistical and Mathematical Methods for Journalism Indiana University Overview Welcome to Statistics and Mathematics for Journalism! This course has been developed with a grant from the National Science Foundation as part of a multiyear, campuswide project to expand and enhance mathematics instruction across the university curriculum. This course is dedicated to the proposition that a truly prepared, competent and professional communicator is one with basic skills in math and statistics. A large part of your professional responsibility will be to gather information independently and to present it accurately in a meaningful context. Without skills in math or stats, journalists constantly have to rely on the calculations and interpretations of their sources, and they constantly hope and pray that the numbers they use in their writing are appropriate and correct. That situation presents a picture of neither independence nor accuracy. However, journalists armed with some logic, some technique and some interpretive skills can analyze research, ask appropriate questions and understand the data well enough to tell readers and viewers clearly what the numbers mean. How is this section different from other sections of K300? This course will deal with statistical and mathematical techniques that are most relevant to journalism, and the assignments and readings will be more directly related to the experiences of journalists. The topics in statistics will include probability, the normal distribution, estimation, hypothesistesting, sampling methods, and survey and experiment design. We will also cover descriptive statistics, with a focus on the graphical presentation of data. Mathematical topics will include a review of the more basic arithmetic procedures commonly encountered in reporting. The course will include written assignments involving the interpretation and explanation of data, in addition to the computations more commonly assigned in statistics courses. We will also learn how to crunch, interpret and graphically display data by using Microsoft Excel. By the end of the semester, we want each of you to be able to do the following: 1) Understand the basic logic and concepts of statistics and the mathematical challenges journalists most often encounter; 2) Interpret the results of statistical analysis in ways that make sense to viewers and readers; 3) Perform basic statistical and mathematical procedures on a calculator and with Microsoft Excel; and, 4) Use the Web to find, download and manipulate relevant data sets. The prerequisite for this course is M118 (Finite Mathematics) or its equivalent. While we won't spend much time reviewing the work of M118, we will operate on the assumption that everyone is able to recall that course's basic concepts and techniques. If you haven't taken M118 and haven't talked to me already, please see me immediately. Readings There is one required textbook: Brase, Charles Henry, and Corrinne Pellillo Brase. Understanding Basic Statistics: Concepts and Methods. 6th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. 1999. We will often refer you to the class Web site, for additional readings, assignments and a guide to useful data on the Web. In addition, we will occasionally assign readings from the following books and Web sites. The books will be placed on reserve in the Journalism Library: http://more.abcnews.go.com/sections/science/whoscounting_index/whoscounting_index.html ("Who's Counting," on the ABC News site) http://www.dartmouth.edu/~chance/chance_news/current_news/current.html ("Chance News," the newsy part of Dartmouth's "Chance" course on probability and general math) Paulos, John Allen. A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper. Almer, Ennis C. Statistical Tricks and Traps. Course Activity Class itself Although you will not be graded for your attendance per se, it will become obvious quickly that attendance is a key to success in K300. As with many other courses, statistics doesn't make a lot of sense if you pop in only from time to time. However, if you keep up with readings, homework and attendance, you'll probably find the topics easy to understand and maybe even enjoyable. Class on Monday and Wednesday will consist of a combination of lecture, discussion and exercises. On Fridays we will meet in a computer lab to crunch numbers in Excel. Weekly homework Each week you will be responsible for an assignment that will likely include some or all of these components: 1. Math/Stats problems: This is the math assignment you've known since 2nd grade: completion of a few selected problems from the end of a chapter, or problems we've invented in a handout. 2. Excel exercises: Often at the conclusion of a Friday lab you will be given an Excelbased problem or two to reinforce the concepts covered earlier. 3. Writing Stories: Yes, even in math class we'll be writing! Just as every good reporter must be able to gather and interpret data accurately, every good writer must be able to explain clearly what the data mean. At times your assignment will not end with the calculation of a statistical result, or the reading of a table of results, but with your writing of a short news story (or section of an imagined larger story) that explains to readers or viewers the meaning of the numerical result. Quizzes Just to make sure that everyone is keeping up with the concepts and procedures, we will have several short (one or two questions) quizzes nearly every time the class meets. We will usually go over the solutions immediately as a way of reviewing material before moving on. We will drop your two lowest quiz grades, so please don't ask to make up a quiz if you miss a day. Journals You will be expected to read the news each day not only for its general content, but now also for its math content and to evaluate the journalists' use of math. To help us assess your assessment of the math you're reading in the news, you will be expected to keep a journal. This is your collection (in notebook form) of articles you've read that involved math or statistics, and your brief commentaries on these articles. The journals will be collected without prior notice, so you must bring your journal to class every day and be prepared to have it graded. Details will follow in a handout on Wednesday. Projects You will be expected to develop (and write the first several paragraphs for) two feature stories based on your own discovery of some current and interesting data. The choice of stories will be entirely up to you, but I must approve your story idea before you can proceed with the project. You will find, manipulate and analyze the data, and present a graphic illustration as well as a written story. The first project will be due [insert date], the second [insert date]. Exams There will be two exams during the semester and a final exam at the end. They will cover both the statistics topics we've covered in the text and the mathematics (nontext) and logic material presented in class. The final will be cumulative; that is, it will cover the material from day one. Grading Every exam and major assignment will be returned to you with two grades: a raw numerical score, and a lettergrade resulting from a curving of the class scores. Your final course grade will be determined by these proportions: Quizzes and homework 20% Journal 10% Two exams @15% each 30% First project 5% Second project 10% Final exam 25% Deadlines and other policies Written assignments outside class are due at the beginning of class. Deadlines are important in any field of endeavor, but especially important for journalists and other communicators. Assignments can be turned in late ONLY with the prior approval of one of us. An excuse is valid only if it is discussed with me BEFORE the assignment is due, and only if I agree that it's a valid excuse. Any work turned in late without an approved excuse will receive zero points. Please keep in touch with us. Call or email one of us if you have deadline concerns or any other questions or problems. Take advantage of the "or by appointment" phrase in our office hours. Academic honesty Honesty is vitally important in any journalism or math course. Please consult the "Policy on Academic Misconduct" at http://campuslife.indiana.edu/code/indexl.html especially the sections on cheating and plagiarism. It is extremely important to do your own work. Even in collaborative work, "sharing" of words and ideas is permissible only with your team partnerss. Submitting someone else's work as your own is blatant academic dishonesty. The penalty for academic misconduct will range from the lowering of the grade for that assignment to the automatic designation of "F" for the course, depending on the severity of the misconduct. Course outline ("B&B" refers to Brase & Brase, the course textbook; the numerals refer to chapter and section numbers.) Date Topic Readings/Assignments due Introductions; First Gathering of Data Jan. 10 Jan. 12 Discuss Monday's data; Descriptive, Inferential B&B 1.1; Handout Statistics; Writing with Numbers Jan. 14 Excel Lab: Intro to Excel Jan. 17 (No class: Martin Luther King Day) Jan. 19 Charts and Graphs B&B 2.2 Jan. 21 Excel Lab: Graphing Jan. 24 Percentages and Percentage Change (Handout) Jan. 26 Histograms, Frequency Distributions B&B 2.3 Jan. 28 Excel Lab: Frequencies, Histograms Jan. 31 Measures of Central Tendency: Mode, Median, B&B 3.1; Handout Mean; Adjusting for Inflation Feb. 2 Quartiles, Percentiles, Boxes and Whiskers B&B 3.4 Feb. 4 FIRST EXAM Feb. 7 Measures of Variation: B&B 3.2 Feb. 9 The Standard Deviation; Reporting with Rates Handout; Project 1 proposal due Feb. 11 Excel Lab: Averages, Percentiles, Ranges Feb. 14 Probability Theory B&B 4.1 Feb. 16 Random Variables and Probability Distributions B&B 5.1 Feb. 18 Excel Lab: Dressing up the Data Feb. 21 Binomial Probabilities; B&B 5.2; Handout Reporting on Interest and Compounding. Feb. 23 The Normal Distribution, in pictures B&B 6.1 Feb. 25 Excel Lab: Binomial Distribution Feb. 28 Zscores and raw scores B&B 6.2; Project 1 due March 1 Areas under the normal curve; B&B 6.3, Handout Writing with Numbers II March 3 Excel Lab: Exploring the Normal Distribution March 6 Sampling Distributions B&B 7.1 March 8 Central Limit Theorem B&B 7.2 March 10 Excel Lab: Random Selection, Central Limit Theorem March 1319 SPRING BREAK! March 20 Estimating the mean; confidence intervals B&B 8.1 March 22 Estimating proportions with confidence intervals B&B 8.3 March 24 SECOND EXAM March 27 Estimating differences in means, proportions B&B 8.5 March 29 Choosing a sample size; B&B 8.4; Handout; Reading and Reporting on Budgets Project 2 proposal due March 31 Excel Lab: Confidence Intervals April 3 Hypothesistesting; pvalues B&B 9.1, 9.3 April 5 Linear Regression B&B 10.1, 10.2 April 7 Excel Lab: Finding a trend line April 10 The Correlation Coefficient B&B 10.3 (pp. 596605) April 12 Analyzing r and r 2 (AE) B&B 10.3 (pp, 605608) April 14 Excel Lab: Regression and correlations April 17 Analyzing Contingency Tables B&B 11.1; Project 2 due April 19 Survey Design and Confounding Factors (Handout) April 21 Excel Lab: Building a contingency table April 24 Designing Experiments (Handout) April 26 Statistical Fallacies (Handout) April 28 No lab: Final Exam review May 15 Finals Week APPENDIX B SCHOOLS DERIVED FROM COMBINATION OF AEJMC AND DOW JONES DIRECTORIES 1. Auburn University 2. University of Alabama 3. University of Alaska Anchorage 4. University of Alaska Fairbanks 5. Arizona State University 6. University of Arizona 7. Arkansas State University 8. University of Arkansas 9. California State University, Chico 10. California State University, Fullerton 11. California State University, Northridge 12. San Francisco State University 13. San Jose State University 14. University of California, Berkley 15. University of Southern California 16. Colorado State University 17. University of Colorado 18. University of Connecticut 19. American University 20. Howard University 21. Florida A&M University 22. Florida International University 23. University of Miami 24. University of South Florida 25. University of South FloridaSt. Petersburg 26. Savannah State University 27. University of Georgia 28. Eastern Illinois University 29. Northwestern University 30. Southern Illinois University Carbondale 31. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville 32. University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign 33. Ball State University 34. Indiana University 35. University of Southern Indiana 36. Drake University 37. Iowa State University of Science and Technology 38. University of Iowa 39. Kansas State University 40. University of Kansas 41. Murray State University 42. Western Kentucky University 43. University of Kentucky 44. Grambling State University 45. Louisiana State University 46. Nicholls State University 47. Northwestern State University 48. Southern University 49. University of Louisiana at Lafayette 50. University of Maryland 51. Central Michigan University 52. Michigan State University 53. St. Cloud State University 54. University of Minnesota 55. Jackson State University 56. University of Mississippi 57. University of Southern Mississippi 58. Southeast Missouri State University 59. University of MissouriColumbia 60. University of Montana 61. University of Nevada, Reno 62. New Mexico State University 63. Hofstra University 64. Iona College 65. New York University 66. Syracuse University 67. Elon University 68. North Carolina A&T State University 69. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 70. Bowling Green State University 71. Kent State University 72. Ohio University 73. Oklahoma State University 74. University of Oklahoma 75. University of Oregon 76. Pennsylvania State University 77. Temple University 78. University of South Carolina 79. Winthrop University 80. South Dakota State University 81. University of South Dakota 82. East Tennessee State University 83. Middle Tennessee State University 84. University of Memphis 85. University of Tennessee 86. University of Tennessee at Chattanooga 87. University of Tennessee at Martin 88. Abilene Christian University 89. Baylor University 90. Texas Christian University 91. Texas State University 92. Texas Tech University 93. University of North Texas 94. University of Texas 95. Brigham Young University 96. University of Utah 97. Hampton University 98. Norfolk State University 99. Virginia Commonwealth University 100. Washington and Lee University 101. University of Washington 102. Marshall University 103. West Virginia University 104. Marquette University 105. University of WisconsinEau Claire 106. University of WisconsinOshkosh 107. University of Wisconsin River Falls 108. Alabama State University 109. Samford University 110. Spring Hill College 111. Troy University 112. University of Alabama at Birmingham 113. University of North Alabama 114. University of South Alabama 115. Northern Arizona University 116. Arkansas Tech University 117. Harding University 118. Henderson State University 119. John Brown University 120. Ouachita Baptist University 121. University of Arkansas Little Rock 122. University of Central Arkansas 123. Azusa Pacific University 124. California Polytechnic State University 125. California Polytechnic State University, Ponoma 126. California State University, Bakersfield 127. California State University, Fresno 128. California State University, East Bay 129. California State University, Long Beach 130. California State University, Sacramento 131. Humboldt State University 132. Pacific Union College 133. Pepperdine University Seaver College 134. Point Loma Nazarene University 135. San Diego State University 136. Santa Clara University 137. Stanford University 138. University of La Verne 139. University of San Francisco 140. University of the Pacific 141. Adams State College 142. Metropolitan State College of Denver 143. University of Denver 144. University of Northern Colorado 145. Colorado State University, Pueblo 146. Southern Connecticut State University 147. University of Bridgeport 148. University of Hartford 149. University of New Haven 150. Western Connecticut State University 151. Delaware State University 152. University of Delaware 153. George Washington University 154. Florida Southern College 155. Jacksonville University 156. University of Central Florida 157. University of North Florida 158. University of West Florida 159. Berry College 160. Brenau University 161. Clark Atlanta University 162. Fort Valley State University 163. Georgia College and State University 164. Georgia Southern University 165. Georgia State University 166. Morehouse College 167. University of West Georgia 168. University of Hawaii 169. Boise State University 170. Idaho State University 171. University of Idaho 172. Bradley University 173. Columbia College of Chicago 174. Illinois State University 175. Lewis University 176. Loyola University of Chicago 177. Northern Illinois University 178. Roosevelt University 179. University of St. Francis 180. Western Illinois University 181. Indiana Anderson University 182. Butler University 183. DePauw University 184. Franklin college 185. Indiana State University 186. Indiana University Ernie Pyle Hall 187. Purdue University 188. Saint Mary of the Woods College 189. University of Evansville 190. University of Indianapolis 191. Valparaiso University 192. Grand View College 193. Loras College 194. Momingside College 195. Baker University 196. Benedictine College 197. Fort Hays State University 198. Fort Hays State University Director 199. Pittsburg State University 200. Washburn University 201. Wichita State University 202. Eastern Kentucky University 203. Morehead State University 204. Northern Kentucky University 205. Louisiana College 206. Louisiana State UniversityBaton Rouge 207. Louisiana Tech University 208. Loyola University New Orleans 209. McNeese State University 210. Southeastern Louisiana University 211. University of Louisiana At Monroe 212. Xavier University of Louisiana 213. University of Maine 214. Columbia Union College 215. Hood College 216. Loyola College 217. Towson University 218. American International College 219. Boston University 220. Emerson College 221. Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts 222. Northeastern University 223. Simmons College 224. Suffolk University 225. University of Massachusetts 226. Andrews University 227. Eastern Michigan University 228. Grand Valley State University 229. Madonna University 230. Oakland University 231. University of DetriotMercy 232. Wayne State University 233. Western Michigan University 234. Bemidji State University 235. Minnesota State University, Mankato 236. Minnesota State University, Moorhead 237. Northwestern College 238. University of St. Thomas 239. Winona State University 240. Alcorn State University 241. Mississippi State University 242. Rust College 243. College of the Ozarks 244. CulverStockton College 245. Evangel University 246. Lincoln University 247. Lindenwood University 248. Missouri Southern State University 249. Missouri State University 250. Park University 251. Saint Louis University 252. Stephens College. 253. University of Central Missouri 254. Webster University 255. Creighton University 256. Hastings College 257. Midland Lutheran College 258. Union College 259. University of Nebraska at Kearney 260. University of Nebraska at Omaha 261. Wayne State College 262. University of Nevada, Las Vegas 263. Keene State College 264. College of New Jersey 265. Rider University 266. Rowan University 267. Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey 268. Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Newark 269. Seton Hall University 270. William Paterson University of New Jersey 271. Eastern New Mexico University 272. University of New Mexico 273. Baruch College 274. Fordham University 275. Ithaca College 276. Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus 277. Long Island University C.W. Post Center 278. Mercy College 279. Pace University 280. St. Bonaventure University 281. St. John Fisher College 282. St. John's University 283. State University College of Buffalo 284. State University of New York at New Paltz 285. State University of New York College at Westbury 286. State University of New York at Plattsburgh 287. Utica College of Syracuse University 288. Campbell University 289. East Carolina University 290. Johnson C. Smith University 291. University of North Carolina at Asheville 292. University of North Carolina at Pembroke 293. Western Carolina University 294. Wingate University 295. WinstonSalem State University 296. North Dakota State University 297. Ashland University 298. Franciscan University of Steubenville 299. Marietta College 300. Miami University 301. Ohio State University 302. Ohio University 303. Ohio Wesleyan University 304. University of Akron 305. University of Dayton 306. University of Toledo 307. Youngstown State University 308. Cameron University 309. East Central University 310. Northeastern State University 311. Oklahoma Baptist University 312. Oklahoma City University 313. Southern Nazarene University 314. University of Central Oklahoma 315. University of Tulsa 316. Southern Oregon University 317. University of Portland 318. Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania 319. Cabrini College 320. Duquesne University 321. Indiana University of Pennsylvania 322. Lehigh University 323. Lock Haven University 324. Mercyhurst College 325. Point Park College 326. University of Scranton 327. University of Rhode Island 328. Benedict College 329. Austin Peay State University 330. Belmont University 331. Southern Adventist University 332. Tennessee State University 333. Tennessee Tech University 334. Angelo State University 335. HardinSimmons University 336. Midwestern State University 337. Prairie View A&M University 338. Sam Houston State University 339. Southern Methodist University 340. Stephen F. Austin State University 341. Texas A&M UniversityCommerce 342. Texas A&M UniversityKingsville 343. Texas Southern University 344. Texas Wesleyan University 345. Texas Woman's University 346. Trinity University 347. University of Houston 348. University of Texas at Arlington 349. University of Texas at El Paso 350. University of Texas of the Permain Basin 351. University of Texas at Tyler 352. West Texas A&M University 353. Southern Utah University 354. Utah State University 355. Weber State University 356. Castleton State College 357. St. Michael's College 358. Emory & Henry College 359. James Madison University 360. Liberty University 361. Radford University 362. Regent University 363. University of Richmond 364. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 365. Virginia Wesleyan College 366. Central Washington University 367. Eastern Washington University 368. Gonzaga University 369. Pacific Lutheran University 370. Seattle University 371. Walla Walla College 372. Washington State University 373. Western Washington University 374. Bethany College 375. University of WisconsinMadison 376. University of WisconsinMilwaukee 377. University of WisconsinStevens Point 378. University of WisconsinSuperior 379. University of WisconsinWhitewater 380. University of Wyoming APPENDIX C COVER LETTER University of Florida College of Journalism & Mass Communications Email Letter To the Chair or highest administrator in the affiliated journalism & communications program: You have been randomly selected to participate in a research project designed to assess the state of mathematical competency education in United States journalism programs. I hope you will take the time to complete this questionnaire. As an educator, your input would be of great value in this research. I am a graduate student at the University of Florida's College of Journalism & Communications, and this survey is being conducted as part of my thesis. Accompanying this email is a link to a short questionnaire that asks a variety of questions about journalist's math education. If you are willing, please follow this link to complete the questionnaire. The questionnaire should take no more than 15 minutes to complete. Through your participation I hope to understand more about a journalist's math education at the collegiate level. You do not need to put your name or the name of your institution on the questionnaire. Your participation is completely voluntary. If you have any questions or concerns about completing the questionnaire or about participation in this study, you may contact me at any time. Your response would be greatly appreciated. If you choose to follow this link to the questionnaire, the first item you will view is an informed consent document that will provide all the information reasonably needed to decide whether or not to participate. Sincerely, Christine Cusatis Graduate Student College of Journalism & Mass Communications University of Florida 1225 SW 1st Avenue, Apt 301 Gainesville, FL 32608 cc202@ufl.edu APPENDIX D SURVEY INSTRUMENT Thank you for your participation in the "Assessing the State of Math Education in Journalism Programs" survey. This survey is being conducted in order to help understand the status of math education in United States journalism programs at the undergraduate collegiate level. Please click the radio button corresponding with your answer choice. Your time and candor are greatly appreciated. Questionnaire Please answer the following questions honestly and accurately. Please click the letter or number corresponding to your answer choice (see example below). Thank you for your participation. 1. How many credit hours worth of mathematical courses are students in the undergraduate journalism program in your college required to complete as part of their general education requirements? Circle one: a. 0 b. 13 c. 46 d. 79 e. other (please list) f. unsure 2. Does your undergraduate journalism program incorporate math content, such as practice fractions, percentages means, medians, modes, ratios, ranks and rates, into major courses within the program, such as reporting or editing courses, for example? 1 2 Yes No If Yes, please list the names of the courses) that incorporate math. 3. Does your undergraduate journalism program offer a course focusing specifically on math skills within the context of journalism? Circle the number corresponding with your answer: 1 2 Yes No If Yes, is this course required for: Circle the number corresponding with your answer: 1 2 All majors It is an elective If No, are any plans underway for such a course? Circle the number corresponding with your answer: 1 2 Yes No 4. If you could generalize your institution's journalism program, would it be considered (circle one): a. theoretically based b. practice based c. both d. unsure 5. How important do you feel that math education is overall as part of the curriculum for undergraduate journalism students? Circle the number corresponding with your answer: 1 2 3 4 5 Very Unimportant Unimportant Neutral Important Very Important 6 How important do you feel it is for students in the undergraduate journalism program to take a course on math specific to journalism? Circle the number corresponding with your answer: 1 2 3 4 5 Very Unimportant Unimportant Neutral Important Very Important 7. Are there any constraints to the addition of a mathematical focus in your journalism program? Circle the number corresponding with your answer: 1 2 Yes No If Yes, please check all of the following constraints that apply: Slack of school financial support Other priorities Slack of faculty support Slack of qualified faculty lack of room in the curriculum other (please list) R4 Questions: graduate preparation 8. How would you rate (in your opinion) the mathematical skills of the average journalism student at your institution? Circle the number corresponding with your answer: 1 2 3 4 5 Poor Fair Neutral Good Excellent 6 Don't Know 9. How would you rate (in your opinion) the mathematical skills of the average journalism instructor at your institution? Circle the number corresponding with your answer: 1 2 3 4 5 Poor Fair Neutral Good Excellent 6 Don't Know 10. How prepared do you feel the average journalism student at your institution is for the math skills required on the job? Circle the number corresponding with your answer: 1 2 3 4 5 Very Unprepared Unprepared Neutral Prepared Very Prepared 6 Don't Know 11. How important do you feel it is for journalists to possess basic math skills? Circle the number corresponding with your answer: 1 2 3 4 5 Very Unimportant Unimportant Neutral Important Very Important 12. How common do you feel that mathematical errors are in published reporting? Circle the number corresponding with your answer 1 2 3 4 5 Very Rare Rare Neutral Common Very Common 13. Is your institution accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC)? Circle the number corresponding with your answer: 1 2 Yes No 14. Do you have any comments regarding math education in journalism programs? LIST OF REFERENCES Adduci, L. Lynne, WoodsHouston, M. A., & Webb, A.W. (1990). The department chair: Role ambiguity and role strain. Philadelphia, PA: Research for Better Schools. Arizona State University.(2007).General Studies. 20072008 General Catalog. Retrieved August 5, 2007, from http://www.asu.edu/aad/catalogs/general/genstudiesintro.html  88218 Babbie (2007). The practice of social research. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth. Becker, L.B., Vlad, T. & Coffey, A.J. (2005). 2004 survey of journalism & mass communication graduates. Grady College of Journalism & Mass Communication. Retrieved March 20, 2007, from http://www.grady.uga.edu/annualsurveys/ Berger, C. (2001). Making it worse than it is: Quantitative depictions of threatening trends in the news. Journal of Communication, 51 (4), 655677. Committee of Concerned Journalists. (2007). Competency in the newsroom. Retrieved August 10, 2007, from http://concernedjoumalists.org/competencynewsroomforumsummary Cook, C., Heath, F., & Russel, T. (2000). A metaanalysis of response rates in Webor Internetbased surveys. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 60, 821. Cormier S. M., & Hagman, J.D. (1987). (Eds.) Transfer of learning: Contemporary research and applications. New York: Academic Press. Denham, B. (1997) Teaching research methods to undergraduates. Journalism & Mass Communication Editor, 51 (4), 5462. Dentzer, S. (2000). Media mistakes in coverage of the Institute of Medicine's error report. American College ofPhysicians. 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Undergrad enrollments decline; programs feel budget squeeze. Journalism Educator, 49 (3), 414. Livingston, C. & Voakes, P. (2005). Wo/ king in ith numbers and statistics: A handbook for journalists. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Manns, C.L, & March, J.G. (1978). Financial adversity, internal competition, and curriculum change in a university. Administrative Science Quarterly, 23 (4), 541552. Mawn, B. & Reece, S.M. (2000). Reconfiguring a curriculum for the new millennium: The process of change. Journal of Nursing Education, 39 (3), 101108. Maier, S. (2002). NRJ Books. Newspaper Research Journal, 23 (23). Maier, S. (2002). Numbers in the news: A mathematics audit of a daily newspaper. Journalism Studies, 3 (4), 507519. Maier, S. (2003). Numeracy in the newsroom: A case study of mathematical competence and confidence. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 80 (4), 921936. Megwa, E.R., Hynes, T., Vercic, D., & Karan, K. (2001) Journalism education. 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A comparison of response rate, response time, and costs of mail and electronic surveys. The Journal ofExperimental Education, 70(2), 179 192. Simons, P.R.J. (1999). Transfer of learning: paradoxes for learners. International Journal of Educational Research, 31, 577589. Skinner, D., Gasher, M., & Compton, J. (2001). Putting theory to practice: A critical approach to journalism studies. Journalism, 2 (3), 341360. Smith, R. (2007). ACEJMC: Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. Buffalo State University. Retrieved March 25, 2008 from http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache:6a g2Ulz9m0J:www.buffalostate.edu/communication/documents/ACEJMC.pdf+how+many +schools+accredited+by+%09ACEJMC&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=7&gl=us&client=firefoxa Solmon, L.C. (1981). New findings on the links between college education and work. Higher Education, 10 (6), 615648. Syracuse University. (2006). Syracuse University Online Course Catalog 20072008. Retrieved July 10, 2007, from http://coursecatalog.syr.edu/default. aspx?prog=107 SINGLE Tanner, C. (1995). The time they areachangin'. Journal of Nursing Education, 34, 247. The Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication. (2008). Accreditation focus on assessment. Retrieved March 4, 2008, from http://www.aejmc.org/_officers/officerresources/teaching/accreditationfocus.php The Commission on Public Relations Education. (2006). Program certification & accreditation. Retrieved March 4, 2008, from http://www.commpred.org/report/programCertificationAccreditation.html The Poynter Institute. (2007). News University. Retrieved April 22, 2007, from http://www.newsu. org The Poynter Institute. (1998). Numerical Competence. Retrieved March 8, 2007, from http://legacy.poynter.org/research/compcred/compnumer.htm The United States Department of Education. (February 2006). Math Now: Advancing Math Education in Elementary and Middle School. Retrieved March 24, 2008, from http://www.ed.gov/about/inits/ed/competitiveness/mathnow.html The United States Department of Education. (2008, February 4). President's Budget S. eulgilthen Nation's Commitment to No Child Left Behind, [Press release]. Retrieved March 24, 2008, from http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2008/02/02042008.html The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Communication. (2007). Undergraduate Programs. Retrieved August 5, 2007, from http://cronkite.asu.edu/undergrad/index.php Trombly, M. (2004). Do Poll Stories Help Voters? Quill, 92 (3), 811. University of Florida College of Journalism and Mass Communications. (2007). JOU3110 Appliedfact finding. Retrieved July 10, 2007, from hhttp://www.jou.ufl.edu/academic/j ou/coursedetail.asp?course=JOU3110 University of Florida College of Journalism and Mass Communications. (2007). Degree Requirements. Retrieved March 25, 2008, from http://www.jou.ufl.edu/academic/jou/degreerequire.asp University of Montana. (2007). Course Catalog 20072008. Retrieved August 5, 2007, from http://www2.umt.edu/catalog/policy_procedure.htm gened University of NebraskaLincoln. (2007). 20062007 Undergraduate Bulletin. Retrieved July 10, 2007, from http://www.unl.edu/joumalism/students/undergrad/info. shtml University of North Carolina. (2007). 20062007 Undergraduate Bulletin. School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Retrieved June 10, 2007, from http://www.unc.edu/ugradbulletin/depts/schjoum.html Voakes, P. (2005). Math For Journalists [video clip]. Indiana University School of Journalism. Retrieved July 10, 2007, from http://convergence.joumalism.indiana.edu/curriculum/math/ William Allen White School of Journalism and Communications. Undergraduate Admission and Curriculum. The University of Kansas. Retrieved August 5, 2007, from http://www.journalism.ku.edu/academics/ugcurric.shtml Western Kentucky University. (2005). Academic Information/General Education Requirements. Retrieved August 5, 2007, from http://www.wku.edu/coursecatalog/index.php?subcategoryid=81 Western Kentucky University School of Journalism and Broadcasting. (2005). Courses. Retrieved August 5, 2007, from http://www.wku.edu/Journalism/courses.htm Wickham, K. (2002). Math skills for journalists. Oak Park, IL: Marion Street Press. BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Christine Cusatis was born July 9, 1984 in Hazleton, Pennsylvania and is the oldest of three children. Although she lived in Virginia and North Carolina, she grew up mostly in Jacksonville, Florida, graduating from Bartram Trail High School in 2002 with a Florida Bright Futures Scholarship. She briefly attended the University of North Florida before transferring to the University of Florida to pursue a degree in wildlife ecology. However, her interest in writing lab reports and passion for reading and writing led her to soon transfer to the University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications. While pursing her undergraduate education, Christine worked as a freelance writer, reporting lab tutor, and held an internship at the Independent Florida Alligator. She also held parttime jobs to support her education. In 2006, Christine graduated from the University of Florida with a B.A. in journalism and began to pursue a master of arts in mass communication with a specialization in journalism from the University of Florida. Upon completion of her M.A.M.C. degree, Christine will pursue a career in editing where she may utilize the vast array of skills and knowledge she has gained through her education. PAGE 1 ASSESSING THE STATE OF MATH ED UCATION IN ACEJMC ACCREDITED AND NONACCREDITED UNDERGRADU ATE JOURNALISM PROGRAMS By CHRISTINE CUSATIS A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN MASS COMMUNICATION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2008 PAGE 2 2008 Christine Cusatis PAGE 3 To my mother, Nancy Faith Cusatis, and my fa ther, William Joseph Cusatis, for always having confidence in me both academically and personally, a nd for all the sacrifices they have made to support my education PAGE 4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Without the support of some talented peopl e, this thesis would not be possible. Foremost, I would like to express my gratitude to my cochairs, Dr. Julie Dodd and Dr. Renee MartinKratzer, for their enthusiasm, in spiration and patience th roughout this process. Additionally, I would like to mention that without Dr. Martin Krazter, I may not have expanded on the idea that eventually evolved into this thesis. Dr. Ronald Rodgers deserves a special thanks for both serving as a committee member and a great editing mentor. I thank him for all that he has taught me. Much gratitude goes to Jody Hedge, our program assistant, for all of her help with the technical aspects of this process. I would like to thank the people who have inspired me as a writer in general, including Bradley Markle, Robert Burr, and others. Of course, I would like to especially thank my mother and father for all that they have done to support me in my education. 4 PAGE 5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4 LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ..........7 LIST OF FIGURES.........................................................................................................................8 ABSTRACT.....................................................................................................................................9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION................................................................................................................. .10 2 LITERATURE REVIEW.......................................................................................................13 Math Literacy in the Newsroom.............................................................................................13 The Transfer of Learning Theory...........................................................................................15 Bridging Through a Course on Math for Journalists..............................................................17 Math Education in Journalism Programs................................................................................19 2007 Curriculums...................................................................................................................22 Arizona State University.................................................................................................22 University of Missouri.....................................................................................................23 University of Florida.......................................................................................................23 Western Kentucky University.........................................................................................24 The University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill).............................................................24 Pennsylvania State University.........................................................................................25 The University of NebraskaLincoln...............................................................................25 The University of Montana.............................................................................................26 Syracuse University.........................................................................................................26 The University of Kansas................................................................................................26 The Purpose of General Education Requirements..................................................................27 The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.................27 Research Questions............................................................................................................. ....29 3 METHODOLOGY.................................................................................................................3 2 4 RESULTS...................................................................................................................... .........36 RQ1: What Is the Overall State of Math Education in United States Journalism Programs? Is Math Only Taught in Genera l Education Courses? Are Special Courses Specifically Designed for Math in the Context of Journalism Available?..........................36 RQ2: How Important Do the Chairs of Journalism Programs Feel that Math Education Is in the Journalism Curriculum?........................................................................................37 RQ3: Are There Any Constraints on Math E ducation in the Journalism Curriculum?..........37 5 PAGE 6 6 RQ4: How Do Administrators Describe th e Math Skills of Students and Educators within Their Journalism Program? Are Students Prepared for the Math Skills Required in the Field?......................................................................................................... 38 RQ5: Do Differences in the Perception of Importance and Implementation of Math Education in the Journalism Curriculum Differ between AEJMC Accredited and NonAccredited Programs?.........................................................................................................38 5 DISCUSSION................................................................................................................... ......44 Trends in Math Education in College and University Journalism Programs.........................44 Constraints..............................................................................................................................46 Perception of the Department Ch air Regarding Math Education...........................................48 ACEJMC Accredited vs. Nonaccredited Institutions............................................................49 6 CONCLUSION................................................................................................................... ....50 Limitations.................................................................................................................... ..........53 Considerations for Future Research........................................................................................53 APPENDIX A MODEL SYLLABUS FOR A COURSE ON MATH FOR JOURNALISTS.......................55 B SCHOOLS DERIVED FROM COMBI NATION OF AEJMC AND DOW JONES DIRECTORIES......................................................................................................................61 C COVER LETTER................................................................................................................. ..70 D SURVEY INSTRUMENT......................................................................................................71 LIST OF REFERENCES...............................................................................................................76 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.........................................................................................................82 PAGE 7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 41 Required number of math courses, in credit hours, that journalist s must complete as part of general educ ation requirements..............................................................................40 42 Undergraduate journalism programs that incorporate math content, such as fractions, percentages, means, medians, modes, ratios, ranks and rates, into major courses within the program..............40 43 Undergraduate journalism programs that o ffer a course focusing specifically on math skills within the cont ext of journalism...............................................................................40 44 Requirements for courses focusing specifica lly on math skills within the context of journalism..........................................................................................................................40 45 Plans for a future course focusing specifically on math skills within the context of journalism..........................................................................................................................40 46 The basis of the journalism program.................................................................................41 47 Perceived importance math educati on overall as part of the curriculum for undergraduate journalism students....................................................................................41 48 Perceived importance of journalist s possession of basic math skills...............................41 49 Perceived frequency of mathemati cal errors are in published reporting...........................41 410 Constraints to the addition of a math ematical focus in the journalism program...............41 411 Constraints to the addition of a math ematical focus in the journalism program...............42 412 Perception of the mathematical skills of the average journalism student at the respective in stitution......................................................................................................... .42 413 Perception of the mathematical skills of the average journalism instructor at the respective in stitution......................................................................................................... .42 414 Perceived preparation of average journalis m student at the respective institution for the math skills required on the job.....................................................................................42 415 Institutions accredited by the Accrediti ng Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC)...................................................................................43 416 Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) for accredited and nonaccre dited schools on perceived importance of math education overall as part of the curriculum for undergraduate students.......................................................................................................43 7 PAGE 8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 21 Poynter journalistic competency pyramid.........................................................................31 8 PAGE 9 Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Mast er of Arts in Mass Communication ASSESSING THE STATE OF MATH ED UCATION IN ACEJMC ACCREDITED AND NONACCREDITED UNDERGRADU ATE JOURNALISM PROGRAMS By Christine Cusatis August 2008 Chair: Julie Dodd Cochair: Renee MartinKratzer Major: Mass Communication Although the importance of mathem atical skills in the newsro om has been the focus of previous research, little attenti on has been given to the math education provided in collegiate journalism programs. To assess journalists math education in the United States, 341 department chairs from both ACEJMC accredited and nonaccredited journalism programs were surveyed. Results indicated that few program s offered a math course specifically for the journalism major. Instead, most relied on general education requireme nts and segments of core journalism courses to provide students with math skills. Math general education requirements were typically satisfied with a minimal amount of credit hours. The mathematical skills of the average journalism student were rated as poor or fair by 70.2% of j ournalism chairs in the study. A lack of room in the curriculum was the most commonly cited cons traint to the implementation of math education, although constraints such as conflicts with the math department and the limiting effect of accreditation standards on the curric ulum were also documented. Strategies are proposed for future implementation of ma th education in journalism programs. 9 PAGE 10 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION If you dont know the differ ence between a noun and a verb, you could never get a job as a reporte r or editor. But newsrooms are full of people who dont know how to calculate a percentage. Chip Scanlan, 2004, p. 1 When it comes to math, students in the Unite d States are often described as lagging behind their international peers. Ginsburg, C ooke, Leinwand, Noell & Pollock (2005) found in an analysis of three in ternational surveys from 2003 that United States high school students were rated below average in mathr anking eighth or nint h out of 12 countries. Following this study, the United States Department of Education (2006 ) increased focus on math education, described as critical for high school graduates who need math skills in a world where employers seek critical thinkers and practical problemsolvers fluent in today's technology. In 2006 President Bush focused on improving elementary and middle school math education with the $260 million Math Now program, part of his No Child Left Behind Education Initiati ve (The United States Department of Education, 2006). Continuing this trend, Bushs fiscal year 2009 budget proposal set aside an additional $95 million to help prep are students for high school math (The United States Department of Education, 2008). Such attention to math education is important because it can prepar e students for the job field. As Fahy (2005) described, math skills are required in 60% of 21st century jobs, although only 20% of the workforce possesses them. The j ournalism job field seems to reflect a similar pattern. For example, as Livingston (2005) suggested, journalists ne ed math skills in order to comprehend reports on taxes, medical and scientific research, budgets and boxoffice receipts. Meyer (1991) suggested that as technology allows more inform ation to be available to a journalist, the skills requi red to be a journalist increase, statin g that a journalist has to be a 10 PAGE 11 database manager, a data processor, and a data analyst (p. 1). Furthermore, Rosenstiel (2005) recognized the importance of journalists statisti cal skills when comprehending political polls. However important such skills may be, resear ch suggests that jour nalists largely do not possess them. In a focus group on the use of ma th in newsrooms, Maier (2002) described a frazzled copy editor who pleaded almost t earfully for a reference book she could consult on journalistic use of numbers just as she turns to the AP Stylebook for guidance on language (p. 108). In a 2002 case study of a me tropolitan newspaper, Maier found errors involving elementary mathematics about every other day. Furthermor e, Trombly (2004) distinguished errors in journalists understanding of public opinion polls. Such problems could stem from journalists high level of anxiety over their math skills (Maier, 2003). Journalistic innumeracy can cause inaccurate reports and, consequently, distrust in the media. Dentzer (2000) illustrated such a case in 1999 when the Institute of Medicine, which serves to advise the nation on h ealth matters, released a report on medical errors to the press. Instead of taking advantage of a press embargo that allotted journalists ex tra time to analyze the document before publication, NBCs health corre spondent released the story two days early, reporting dramatic conclusionsespecially the projection that anywhe re from 44,000 to 98,000 Americans would die in 1999 from errors in hos pitals (Dentzer, 2000, 1). This caused a dramatic surge in coverage of the issue, including many flawed re ports. Dentzer (2000) attributed the majority of these mistakes to the medias misinterpret ation of the number of Americans killed by medical erro rs in hospitals. Sources and methods were misjudged, as few reporters clarified that number s were taken from two studies, one of which was 15 years old. Furthermore, many news sources only menti oned the higher projection that 98,000 Americans could die, omitting the lower estimate of 44,000 (Dentzer, 2000). 11 PAGE 12 12 Dentzer (2000) suggested th at the news media struggles to digest and convey the nuances of medical stories, whic h, she noted, include numbers ( 19). If American students, as well as journalists, have been shown to be gene rally weak at math, the problem could lie in education. Solmon (1981) as well as Scotland, Fr ith and Meech (2007) sugge sted that adequate college preparation is important for the workplace. With improvements in math education at the collegiate level, journalistic numeric literacy coul d increase. This study assessed the current level of mathematical education offe red in journalism programs at co lleges and universities across the United States to gain perspective on this aspect of journalism education. PAGE 13 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Math Literacy in the Newsroom Innumeracy, a term defined by mathematician John Paulos as an inability to deal comfortably with fundamental notions of nu mber and chance, is a problem in todays newsrooms (Scanlan, 2004, p. 1). Yet math is una voidable when journalists are reporting on a multitude of issues, including, local tax rates, medical research reports, school district budgets, environmental impact reports, and boxoffice receipts, among many ot hers (Livingston, 2005, p. 1). Maier (2002) found in a case st udy of a North Carolina newspape r that approximately half of the stories analyzed involved mathematical calculation. Despite the need for math skills, however, journalists seem to be reluctan t to work with numbe rs (Livingston, 2005). Journalistic innumeracy leads to inaccurate reports and distrust in the media. Maier (2002) suggests that mathematical errors in the media are so common and legendary that the public is wise to be skeptical (p. 507). Through a threemonth accuracy audit of a North Carolina newspaper, Maier identified a new type of mathematical erro r roughly every other day. Problems included rounding, tallying and comprehension of numbers. Innumeracy can often result in misleading pe rceptions of the worl d. Berger (2001) found that data used to depict threa tening trends involving accidents and crime and health news were often filled with statis tical errors, making threats seem worse than they actually were. Although Berger suggests that journalis ts are fond of playing up worsen ing conditions, he acknowledges some reporters and editors ineptness in presenting quantitative trend data itself (p. 675). Similarly, Hewitt (1996) found that the media tend to misrepresent homelessness, being more likely to cite high estimates due to bias and problems distinguishing the good research from the bad. 13 PAGE 14 Journalistic innumeracy is especially prom inent when dealing with public opinion polls. Trombly (2004) asserted that jour nalists often misinterpret polls because they misunderstand the sampling margin of error, a statistic that represents the reliability of an estimate in relation to a sample size. She cited the 2000 presidential election as an example, where misunderstanding the margin of error caused reporters to proclaim losers and winners when in fact there was a statistical tie (p. 10). In this case, the difference between measurements fell within the sampling margin of error, indicating that the results were not statistically significant. Rosenstiel (2005) recognized that sampling margin of error is a common problem for jour nalists, describing a 2004 assessment that understanding and use of polls may be more of a problem than many journalists imagine (p. 713). The Poynter Institute (2007) began encour aging journalistic math literacy through a segment in its free online education program, News University, which was launched in 2005. The program, intended to provide interactive, ine xpensive courses that appeal to journalists at all levels of experience, includes a free course titled Math for Journalists (p. 1). The course, designed to make routine math routine, offers journalists practice with fractions, percentages, means, medians, modes, ratios, ra nks and rates, among other skills. In 1998, the faculty at the Poynter Institute ranked numeracy among the top 10 abilities (Figure 21) needed for competent jour nalists and newsroom s, stating that Journalists who fail to master math are missing one of the key building blocks of excellence. They lack a basic skill needed to decipher much of the information in the world around them, such as crime statistics, pollution standards, real estate taxes, and unemployment figures. Without math skills, journalists are bound to fall short in their quest for accuracy (p. 2). The Poynter Institute asserts that competent journalists can calc ulate percentages, ratios, and rates of change; have knowledge of arithmetic; are familiar with statistics; know the difference between median and mean; understand margin of error and probability theory; can translate 14 PAGE 15 numbers into easy to understand terms; and under stand graphs and pictor ial representations of numbers. Just how competent journalists currently are in this respect is questionable. Maier (2003) tested the mathematical skills of journalists at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., by administering the Mathematics Competency Te st for Journalists (p. 924). The 25question exam, which encompassed only juni orhigh level math, was given to reporters, graphic artists, editors and news researchers. Resu lts showed that the staff averag ed a score of 68%, with one in five reporters missing more than half the questions. Copy editors scored significantly higher overall than the other groups. Maier (2003) also tested the mathema tical confidence of journalists at The News & Observer through the FennemaSherman Conf idence in Learning Mathematics Scale. Results showed that even those who scor ed relatively high on the math competency test had low confidence in their math skills, sugges ting, as Maier describes, that problems that journalists experience with numbers may be as much as matte r of perception as they are of math ability or knowledge (p. 931). However, Maiers fi nding that journalists math scores increased with higher levels of math education suggest s that education may be vital in improving journalistic competency. The Transfer of Learning Theory When discussing math education for journalism students, the transfer of learning theory may be relevant. Cormier and Hagman (1987) descri be transfer of learning as a situation where previously acquired knowledge affects the wa y new knowledge is gained and skills are performed. Therefore, it may be important to cons ider the transfer of learning from students 15 PAGE 16 previous math educationhigh school and ge neral education course sto their work in journalism courses and the workplace. Perkins and Salomon (1992) suggest there are two types of transfer. There is positive transfer, which enhances a related performance in another context, ne gative transfer, which undermines it (p. 3). Furthermore, the authors di fferentiate near transf er from far transfer. Perkins and Salomon (1992) describe near transfer as between very similar contexts such as when a garage mechanic repairs an engine in a new model of car, but with a design much the same as prior models (p. 3). Far transfer, which the authors suggest occurs less often, is between remote and alien situations, such as the applic ation of chess strategy to investment decisions, politics or campaigns (p. 3). The transfer of mathematical concepts to journalism could then be considered a positive transfer of learning, since it woul d enhance the individua ls performance as a journalist. It could also be classified as a far transfer, as math and journalism are academically distant in most aspects. However, they have to be somewhat related for transfer to occur, as Pea (1987) suggested, transfer of knowledge or learning will occur between two tasks insofar as the tasks share identical elements (p. 641). Simons (1999) examined how education can aid in the transfer of learning in one situation to another. He suggested that students tend not to use much of their prior knowledge actively because they have pr oblems recognizing which knowledge is applicable in certain situations (p. 580). He stated, Using prior knowledge may require a great deal of work, it may create confusion, it may distract you from the main point s, and it may make your learning too idiosyncratic. Thus, from the perspective of th e learner, the problem is when to use prior knowledge actively and when to protect oneself from its influences (p. 580). 16 PAGE 17 When transfer does occur, Perkins and Salomon (1992) sugge sted, it is propelled by two different forces. The first, low road transfer, i nvolves activation of rou tines by a stimulus. The second, and more relevant to this study, is hi gh road transfer, which involves searching for connections between two contexts in a delib erate way (Perkins and Salomon, 1992). Simons (1999) suggested that a far transfer such as the transfer of math skills to journalism, is best facilitated by the high road mechanism. Perkins and Salomon (1992) suggested that bridging, an instruction technique, encourages the high road transfer and a connect ion between far reaching contexts. Bridging, the authors suggested, Encourages the making of abstractions, sear ches for possible connections, mindfulness, and metacognition. For example, a teacher might ask students to devise an exam strategy based on their past experience, a job counsel or might ask students to reflect on their strong points and weak points and make a plan to highlight the former and downplay the latter in an interview. The instruction t hus would emphasize deliberate abstract analysis and planning (p. 7). Therefore, bridging could be consid ered a successful technique in f acilitating the transfer of math education to journalism studies. In this way, the transfer of learning theory could aid in the im plementation of math education in college journalism programs, which could be consid ered an important step in preparing journalists for the work field. Bridging Through a Course on Math for Journalists The Indiana University School of Journalisms Statistical and Math ematical Methods for Journalism course (Appendix A) is particularly relevant to this discussion, in that it could be used as a mechanism to encourage the high road transfer, facilitating a connection between math and journalism. The course, developed by form er professor Paul Voakes, was designed to 17 PAGE 18 remedy student problems in translating what they learned in math courses to their work in journalism. As Voakes (2005) described, It was as if the information was coming in one ear and going out the other because they were not applying it once they got back to the journalism school. It was as if there were no connection between that math and the kind of numeracy that we have to have in journalism (Voakes, 2005, video clip). In developing the course, which was taught by th e math department, the journalism and math departments collaborated in order to not only teach journalists math skills, but also to incorporate those skills in reporting (Indiana University School of Journalism 2005). Voakes (2005) explained, Because its a course for journalism students on ly, the goals are slightly different than the goals of a typical statistics course. Our goals are to enable st udents to understand the statistical research that other professionals produce and to ask appropriate numerical questions but also to convey to a public audience the meaning of those numbers (video clip). The Indiana University School of Journalism s online convergence forum lists multiple problems faced with the implementation of such a course. For example, many students expected the course to indulge their math phobias rather than cure them (Indiana University School of Journalism Convergence Forum, 20 05, ). Administrators also faced challenges in transferring the skills learned in the singl e course throughout the journalism curriculum, sta ting that At present, little has been done to broaden the im pact of statistics on reporting and writing in advanced skills courses (Indiana University School of Journalism Convergence Forum, 2005, ). The fact that the math depa rtment controlled the course, alt hough beneficial in that it did not affect the budget of the journalism department, al so meant that its journalistic focus was diluted. Therefore, the Indiana University School of Journalism Convergence Forum (2005) recommended that future courses be taught under th e journalism department with a text designed by both journalism and math departments. 18 PAGE 19 Math Education in Journalism Programs Numerous studies indicate that college prepar ation is important in acquiring skills for the workplace (Solmon, 1981; Scalan, 2004; Frith & Meech, 2007). Solmon (1981) cited a 1974 study that found that even after nine years in the industry, many graduates still used knowledge gained in college. Furthermore, in a survey of journalism graduates in Scotland, Frith and Meech (2007) found journalism education to be an eff ective preparation for a successful journalism career (p. 142). The authors argue, however, th at the job skills offered in college can be restrictive, stating there is rarely any discussion of w hy journalism students should be required to study law and government but not, sa y, economics, statistics or basic science (p. 157). Horn (1995) identified generic knowledge, skills and abilities desired by employers that cut across occupations, including interp ersonal skills, communication, critical thinking, motivation and personal attitudes, ab ility to work with data and in formation and, most relevant to this study, the ability to apply mathematics. Howeve r, he argued that in many cases there is a gap between the qualities employers de sire and what is taught in th e classroom. Similarly, Redmond (1994) described a divide between job skills and co llege preparation, findi ng that core journalism courses often do not incorporate skills desired by news directors. In this case, there was a difference between the unders tanding of theories of ma ss communication to carry on philosophical debate in the academic world and understanding how people engage with mass media to argue principles with a pragmatic te levision station general manager (Redmond, 1994, p. 40). Such gaps could be relevant in the case of journalistic math literacy, which may be largely ignored in school but part icularly important on the job. Therefore, the roots of journalistic innumer acy could lie in journa lists education in academic programs. Indeed, the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass 19 PAGE 20 Communications (ACEJMC) took a step to improve journalists math skills at the college level by including basic numerical and statistical con cepts as part of their accreditation standards. Authors such as Livingston (2005) and Wickham (2001) have al so acknowledged journalists need for math education with the publication of mathemati cal reference books designed specifically for journalists. Denham (1997) suggested that research met hods should be taught at the undergraduate level in mass communication programs to remedy basic weaknesses in math comprehension. He stated that a course in research methods could help students impr ove critical thinking and aid in the comprehension of polls, measures of central tendency, ratings, and shares. Such improvements could make stories more accurate, as he explained, Before completing the course, a student might ta ke a tragic news story, such as a child burning down his familys mobile home and killing his sister after viewing MTVs Bevis & ButtHead, and attempt to make general statements about the relationship between television exposure a nd antisocial behavior. After completing the course, the student might be more conservative in considering the problem and may question whether a relationship would be present if data were aggregated across many children (p. 55). Denham warned, however, that while students shoul d be taught the basic mathematical skills needed for journalists, higherlevel skills such as the derivation of formulas for multivariate statistics could repel stud ents and should be avoided. Chip Scanlan (2004) of the Poynter Institute Faculty acknowledged the lack of numerical education in journalism programs in his essay W hy Math Matters. Scanla n cited Max Frankel, former executive editor of The New York Times as complaining that some journalism schools let students graduate without any numbers training at all ...the medias sloppy use of numbers about the incidence of accidents or disease frightens people and leaves them vulnerable to journalistic hype, political demagoguer y, and commercial fraud (p. 2). 20 PAGE 21 Skinner, Gashner and Compton (2001) asserted that journalism education is stuck in a dichotomy between theory and practice. To the res earchers, this clash is caused by differences in faculty, as those who have taken the time to hone professional skills rarely hold graduate degrees and, because of the time required to ear n a PhD, those with advanced degrees are not often sufficiently familiar with the more practical demands of the craft (p. 344). Undergraduate studies, they assert, are primarily focused on th e practice rather than theory. Therefore, the researchers argued, students are taug ht the skills required to be a journalist but not the impact that the tools they utilize have on depictions they render (p. 345). In this sense, the implications of journalistic innumeracy would pass unreali zed to undergraduate students, who may not consider the detriment that a misinterpreted numerical value could have on a news story. Furthermore, funding and departmental perm ission for expanding journalism programs is not always easily obtained. Hynes (2001) suggested that campus arguments over the academic value of journalism and mass communications can lead to such programs being targeted for reductions or elimination (p. 10). Budgets are also a factor. In a survey of journalism program administrators in 1993, Kosiki and Becker (199 4) found that decreased undergraduate enrollment led to cuts in purchasing power and considerable budget stress (p. 13). In addition, the process of curriculum change can be cumbersome. Manns and March (1978) found that college curriculum change was correlated to changes in financial conditions. The process can also be lengthy, as curriculum change typically takes 18 months (Tanner, 1995). Mawn and Reece (2000) outlined the process in a case study of university curriculum change from a individual to a communitybased nu rsing program. The first steps in the process included the formation of a curriculum committee, evaluation of the curriculum through surveys of alumni, faculty, staff, student s and other programs and a review of United States trends in 21 PAGE 22 nursing curriculum. After this, an outline of a new curriculum had to be generated, as well as new courses. The authors mentioned that through out this process, it was rare that unanimous approval was reached on any issue. 2007 Curriculums In order to better understand how math is currently being implemented in college journalism programs, a cursory review of the 2007 curriculum requirements of various schools is appropriate. For this purpose, the top 10 intercollegiate winning schools of the 2006 Hearst Journalism Awards Program were selected fo r review. The program, founded to provide support, encouragement, and assistance to journa lism education at the college and university level, offers scholarships and awards to students that demonstrate outstanding performance in journalism (Hearst Journalism Awards Program, 2007, p. 1). A journalism school itself is deemed a winner in the Overall Intercollegiat e Competition when students within that school accumulate the highest number of points. Winners from the 2006 Overall Intercollegiate Competition, in order from the first to 10th place, were Arizona State University, University of Missouri, University of Florida, Western Kent ucky University, University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), Pennsylvania State University, University of Nebr askaLincoln, University of Montana, Syracuse University, and the Univ ersity of Kansas (Hearst Journalism Awards Program, 2007, p. 1). By reviewing topranking schools in this program, a sense of math education efforts in top journalism schools can be derived. Arizona State University Arizona State Universitys Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Communication, the firstplace winner of the 2006 Overall In tercollegiate Competition, requires only the Mathematical Studies requirement needed fo r students of all majors (The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Communication, 2007). To satisfy this requirement, students must 22 PAGE 23 complete one course in basic mathematics and one course in computer /statistics/quantitative applications, for a total of six credit hours (Arizona St ate University, 2007). However, The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Comm unication at Arizona State stands out among other Hear st Journalism awardwinning sc hools reviewed on the basis of math education. Though they are not required, two courses, Science Writing and Precision Journalism, have analytical concentrations largely missing from other programs. Science Writing, which is offered once a year, focuses on writing, interviewing, reporting skills, and an understanding of key concepts in science (A rizona State University, 2007, p. 1). Precision Journalism, a lecture and lab offered in both th e fall and spring, focuses on reporting polls and surveys and other numericallybased stories as well as on understanding the concepts that underlie polls and surveys (Arizo na State University, 2007, pg 1). University of Missouri As part of general education at the Univers ity of Missouri, students must complete both college algebra and a math reasoning proficienc y requirements. The colle ge algebra requirements can be fulfilled with the actua l course (three credit hours), or waived by scoring a minimum of 26 on the math section of the ACT or a 600 on the math section of the SAT. The math reasoning proficiency requirements are fulfil led after students complete one statistics course (three credit hours) with the grade of a C or better (Missouri School of Journalism, 2006, p. 1). The University of Missouri also offers a journalism course in Science, Health and Environmental Writing (Missouri School of J ournalism, 2006, p. 1). Although this course may incorporate numerical skills, it is not required. University of Florida The University of Florida requires six hours of general education math courses, and additional math courses beyond this are not required for students in the College of Journalism 23 PAGE 24 and Communications. Students do, however, have the choice between a quantitative option, where the student chooses eight credit hours from a list of statis tics, computer and accounting courses, and a foreign language option, satisfied by a placement test or one year of college language. (The University of Florida College of Journalism and Comm unications, 2008). The University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications require s a course in Fact Finding aimed to teach students how to apply basi c statistical databases (such as Excel) and techniques to analyze numerical data (Unive rsity of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, 2007, 2). Western Kentucky University The only required math courses for students at the Western Kentucky University School of Journalism and Broadcasting are fulfilled with general education requirements (Western Kentucky University, 2005). This math requirem ent is satisfied with only one three credit hour basic math course of the students choice, with options such as General Mathematics, Fundamentals of College Algebra, Trigonometr y, Fundamentals of Calculus and Statistics. However, Western Kentucky University does require journalism students to complete a course in macroeconomics. The University also offers a course in advanced reporting involving interviewing, observation and public computer r ecords research skills coupled with survey research and team and assisted reporting (Weste rn Kentucky University School of Journalism and Broadcasting, 2005, p. 1). The University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) The University of North Carolinas School of Journalism and Mass Communication does not require journalism students to complete any math courses outside of general education requirements. However, the journalism department recommends, but does not require, that 24 PAGE 25 students choose the Basic Concepts of Statistics and Data Analysis course to satisfy the math portion of their general educati on requirements (University of North Carolina, 2007, p. 1). Pennsylvania State University The College of Communications at Pennsylva nia State University only requires math courses that satisfy the Universitys gene ral education requirements. Six credits of quantification courses are requi red that teach the students to work with numbers so as to measure space, time, mass, forces, and probabilities; to reason quantitatively; and to apply basic mathematical processes to daily work and ev eryday living (Pennsylva nia State University, 2007, p. 1). The University of NebraskaLincoln The University of NebraskaLincolns College of Journalism and Mass Communications has group requirements aimed to provide a good introduction to the knowledge upon which our civilization is founded (U niversity of NebraskaLincol n, 2007, p. 342). Examples include Foreign Language, Arts, Historical Studies, and other general education groupings. In the Mathematics or Statistics group, students that did not receive four years of math education in high school are required to satisfy such deficiencies with thr ee credit hours of courses such as Geometry I and II, Intermediate Algebra, Co llege Algebra and Trigonometry (University of NebraskaLincoln, 2007, p. 342). The University of NebraskaLincoln Colle ge of Journalism and Mass Communications offers a Science Writing as an elective designed to teach students how to write science articles aimed at the general public (U niversity of NebraskaLincol n, 2007, p. 344), which could involve the interpretation of numerical data. 25 PAGE 26 The University of Montana The University of Montana requires that jour nalism students take no more math courses than dictated by general education requirements. Students are expected to fulfill coursework enabling them to possess the ability to accomp lish basic algebraic manipulations and achieve mathematical literacy at a level typically presen ted in college mathematics courses (University of Montana, 2007, p. 1). The number of credit hou rs taken for mathematical literacy is determined by placement testing. (U niversity of Montana, 2007). Syracuse University At Syracuse University, journalism student s must complete general education math requirements including one course in quantitative skills and two courses in natural sciences and mathematics, equating to approximately nine credit hours (Syracuse University, 2006). The University of Kansas At the University of Kansas, the only math courses that jo urnalism students are required to take are also fulfilled under general educ ation degree requirements. To satisfy this requirement, students must take both a firstlevel course in Algebra or Precalculus and a secondlevel course, unless they demons trate eligibility for secondlevel mathematics courses through high test scores and are able to skip the first co urse, thus influencing th e number of credit hours that must be taken. On the secondlevel, st udents are given a choi ce between Introduction to Topics in Mathematics; Introduction to Finite Mathematics; Matrix Algebra, Probability, and Statistics; Calculus I; Calculus I Honors; Elementary Statistics a nd Introduction to Biostatistics. Journalism students with high SAT or ACT test scores may therefore be required to take only one math course at the University of Kansas (William Allen White School of Journalism & Mass Communications, 2006). 26 PAGE 27 In review, most of these awardwinning journalism programs do not offer courses on math for journalism students, instead depending on general education to cover the subject. Again, the cursory analysis only provides a curs ory look at the math education in journalism programs. Further research into the s ubject could paint a different picture. The Purpose of General Education Requirements As most journalism programs in this review relied on general education to cover math, it is important to take a deeper look at general education requi rements themselves. Research suggests that general education c ourses provide students with the core education needed before entering a specialization. Ratcliff, Johnson, La Na sa and Gaff (2001) descri bed general education as a core aspect of a degree, that assures th at all studentsregardless of specialization or intended careerbecome acquainted with history a nd culture and with science and mathematics (p. 6). Furthermore, in an evaluation of student learning in general educ ation courses, Donald and Denison (1996) found that student s attributed skills such as cr itical thinking, responsibility and organized work habits to general education courses. However, Ratcliff et al. (2001) described problems with ge neral education curriculum, such as concerns regarding its size. A summary of two national surveys from 2000 revealed that in a 120credit program, the average general e ducation units required accounted for 37.6% of the degree, or 45.1 credit hours. This figure, comp ared with the average of 33.5% in 1974, suggests that focus on general education may be increasin g, although not without a str uggle (Ratcliff et al. 2001). As the authors suggest, the role, struct ure, and importance of general education at individual institutions continues to be an area of increased priority and heated debate (p. 14). The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication As of the 2007 school year, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (AEJMC) has accredited 109 ins titutions in the United States through the 27 PAGE 28 Accrediting Council on Educati on in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) (Smith, 2007). Since accredited schools represent a portion of the study population, it is important to examine what it means to be accredited. ACEJMC accreditation is a voluntary process in which an institution is examined by the Council to determine if the program follows standards set out by th e Council (AEJMC, 2008). According to The Commission on Public Relations Education (2006), nine st andards are used to assess the program, including mission, governance and administration; curriculum and instruction; diversity and inclusiveness; fulltime and parttime faculty; scholarship: research, creative and professional activity; student services; resources, facilities and equipment; professional and public service; assessment of learning outcome (The Comm ission on Public Relations Education, 2006, 7). The second standard, Curriculu m and Instruction, requires that 80 hours of the degree program are completed outside of the journalism and mass communications program (The Commission on Public Relations Education, 2006). Ra tcliff et al. (2001) sugge sted that a typical program requires about 120 credit hours; conseq uently, if such a program was accredited, only 40 credit hours would be taken in the actual journalism school. Furthermore, the ACEJMC requires that stude nts graduating from the program should be educated in the 11 competencies and values, including 28 PAGE 29 1) understand and apply First Amendment principles and the law appropria te to professional practice; 2) demonstrate an understanding of the history and role of prof essionals and institutions in shaping communications; 3) demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of groups in a global soci ety in relationship to communications; 4) understand concepts and apply theories in the use and pr esentation of images and information; 5) work ethically in pursuit of trut h, accuracy, fairness and diversity; 6) think critically, creativ ely and independently; 7) conduct research and evaluate inform ation by methods appropriate to the communications professions in which they work; 8) write correctly and clearly in forms and st yles appropriate for the communications professions, audiences a nd purposes they serve; 9) critically evaluate their own work and that of others for accuracy and fairness, clarity, appropriate style and gr ammatical correctness; 10) apply basic numerical a nd statistical concepts; 11) apply tools and technologies appropriate fo r the communications professions in which they work (AEJMC, 2008, 2). In light of the current state of journalistic innumeracy it is important to look more deeply into the implementation of math education at the collegiate level. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the current level of mathematical competen cy education offered in journalism programs at colleges and universities across the United States to gain perspec tive on the state of journalism education. Research Questions RQ1. What is the overall state of math educati on in United States journalism programs? Is math only taught in general education course s? Are special courses specifically designed for math in the context of journalism available? 29 PAGE 30 RQ2. How important do the chairs of journalism programs feel that math education is in the journalism curriculum? RQ3. Are there any constraints on math e ducation in the journalism curriculum? RQ4. How do administrators describe the math skills of students and educators within their journalism program? Are st udents prepared for the math skills required in the field? RQ5. Do differences in the perception of importance and implementation of math education in the journalism curriculum differ between AEJMC accredited and nonaccredited programs? 30 PAGE 31 31 Figure 21. Poynter journalistic competency pyramid [Reprinted with permission from the Committee of Concerned Journalists. (2007). Competency in the newsroom. Retrieved August 10, 2007, from http:// concernedjournalists.org/competencynewsroomforumsummary] PAGE 32 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY An online survey of chairs of journalism de partments in colleges and universities across the United States was conducted in order to assess the current state of ma th education in these programs. Numerous studies have cited the infl uential role of the department chair (Gmelch Parkay & Forrest, 1999; Adduci Woods & Webb, 1990; Seagren, Creswell & Wheeler, 1993). Gmelch, Parkay and Forrest (1999) asserted that the responsibilities of de partment chairs lead them to be viewed often as the most important administration position in postsecondary education (p. 3). Adduci, Woods and Webb (1990) described these respons ibilities, including budgeting, curriculum development and committee leadership. Furthermore, Seagren, Creswell and Wheeler (1993) noted that chairs serve as a connection between administrators, faculty and students. If there was no official chair of the journalism institution, the questionnaire was directed to the highest admini strator of the program. An online survey was chosen for this assessment for its ability to reach such a wide population. Journalism colleges and universities for this study were chosen based on the sampling method set out by the Grady College of Journa lism & Mass Communications yearly survey of journalism and mass communication graduates. The survey, which has been conducted since 1964, is based on a sample of schools found from a combination of the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund's Journalism Career and Scholarship Guide and the Journalism and Mass Communication Directory, published by the Association for E ducation in Journalism and Mass Communication (Becker et al., 2005). The AEJMC Directory lists any school that list s itself, all schools accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications and all U.S. members of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication (Becker et al., 2005). 32 PAGE 33 The Dow Jones Newspaper Fund Guide lists sch ools that offer at least 10 courses in newseditorial journalism and those courses that include core course s, such as an introduction to the mass media and press law and ethics, as well as basic skills courses such as reporting and editing (Becker et al., 2005, p. 16). Through this selection process, a diverse group of both accredited and nonaccredited schools were repres ented. All schools from the combination of these lists were surveyed. Th e initial sample consisted of 380 programs, 109 which were accredited and 271 which were not (Appendix B). In the case that the emails were undeliverable and returned, the researcher attempted to find a correct address on the institutions Web site and resent the email. After this pr ocess, 39 email addresses were s till undeliverable or unattainable, so the corresponding institutions were omitted from the survey sample, leaving a final sample of 341 programs. The questionnaire was administered online in February 2008. It was created with and hosted by SurveyMonkey (www.surveymonkey.com), and links to the questionnaire were emailed to department chairs (Appendix C). Emails were personalized by th e researcher using the names of the department chairs listed in the di rectories. As suggested by Babbie (2007), a second emailing was administered one week after the first to thank those who did participate and promote participation from those who did not. A third and final email was sent one week after the second to encourage further participation. Res ponses to the questionnai re were anonymous in hopes of eliciting honest responses from those in fluencing journalism programs in the United States. Respondents were advised in the email not to reveal their iden tity or the identity of their institution. In the case that a respondent did no t answer all of the questions provided, missing data for continuous variables was replaced by th e mean answer of all other respondents. 33 PAGE 34 A week after the third email notification, 121 responses had been collected, resulting in a 35.4% response rate. This is comparable to other response rates for online surveys. For example, Cook, Heath and Thompson (2000) found in a metaana lysis of online survey response rates that the mean response rate for 68 surveys in 49 studies was 39.6%. Furthermore, Shannon and Bradshaw (2002) found in a comparison of postal and Internet surveys th at of 126 respondents, 66.7% responded to mail surveys and 33.3% responded to electronic surveys. Measures. Participants were asked 16 questions designed to asse ss the state of journalism math education at the collegiat e level (Appendix D). To operationa lize the overall state of math education in journalism program s, participants were asked questions such as Does your undergraduate journalism program incorporate math content into major courses? and does your undergraduate journalism program o ffer a course focusing specifically on math skills within the context of journalism? Respondent s were also asked if such cour ses were required and if plans were underway for such courses. The survey also gauged the department chairs view on the importance of math education with questions su ch as "how important do you feel that math education is overall as part of the curriculum for undergraduat e journalism students? and how important do you feel it is for journalists to posse ss basic math skills? with options on a Likert scale ranging from 1, very unim portant, to 5, very important. Constraints on math education in journalism programs were measured with questions such as are there any constrai nts to the addition of a mathem atical focus in your journalism programs, and if yes, participants were be able to choose from options such as lack of school financial support, lack of student interest, lack of qualified facu lty, lack of time, or other. Finally, department chairs opinions on th e level of preparation students receive regarding math education for the job field were m easured with questions on a Likert scale, such 34 PAGE 35 35 as how would you rate the ma thematical skills of the average journalism student at your institution? and how prepared do you feel the average journalism student at your institution is for the math skills required on the job? This survey gauged the state of math education in 2007, the department chairs view of the importance of the issue, constraint s on math education, ch airs view of student preparation when it comes to math education for the field and differences between ACEJMC accredited and nonaccredited programs. PAGE 36 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS To address the first four research questions, descriptive statistics and openended responses were used. For questions answered in Likert scale form, poi nts were given for each response so that a mean value could be calculate d. Research Question 5 wa s investigated using a oneway analysis of variance (ANOVA). RQ1: What Is the Overall State of Math Educat ion in United States Journalism Programs? Is Math Only Taught in General Education Courses? Are Special Courses Specifically Designed for Math in the Context of Journalism Available? Research Question 1 addressed the overall st ate of math education in United States journalism programs, including how math was im plemented within individual programs. When asked how many credit hours of mathematical co urses journalism students were required to complete with general education requirements 78% of the 121 respondents responded between credit hours (Table 41). When asked if math content, such as frac tions, percentages, means, medians, modes, ratios, ranks and rates, was incorporated into ma jor courses within the journalism program, such as reporting or editing course s, 71.7% said yes, while 28.3% said no (Table 42). The majority (87.6%) of programs did not offe r a course focusing specifically on math for journalists, while 12.4% did. Of the 15 progr ams that had a special course, 66.7% said that the course was an elective. Among the programs w ith no special course, only 7.5% said they had plans for such a course underway (Tables 43, 44 and 45). When asked to describe the basis of th e journalism program, 59.5% of the chairs described their program as theory and practice based, while 39.7% said chose practice based only (Table 46). 36 PAGE 37 RQ2: How Important Do the Chairs of Journ alism Programs Feel that Math Education Is in the Journalism Curriculum? Research Question 2 addressed the perceive d importance of math education in the journalism curriculum. On a scale of 1 ra nging from very unimportant through very important, the mean score was of 3.72 ( SD =.859). Overall, 66.1% of department chairs rated math education in the journalism curriculum as important or very important, while 6.6% selected very unimportant to not important (Table 47). When asked how important it is for journalists to possess basic math skills on a scale of 15 from very unimportant to very important, a mean score of 4.14 was derived ( SD =.674). The majority of respondents, 90.8%, said that it was important or very important for journalists to possess basis math skills. Only one department chair stat ed that it was very unimportant for journalists to have basic math skills (Table 48). Participants were also asked to rate how common they thought mathematical errors were in published reporting on a scale of 1 from v ery rare to very common. The mean score was 3.74 ( SD = .797), with more than half (54.5%) responding common or very common. No respondents chose very rare as an answer (Table 49). RQ3: Are There Any Constraints on Math Education in the Journalism Curriculum? Research Question 3 investigated the constr aints on math education in the journalism curriculum. Most respondents ( 64.2%) stated that there were constraints on math education in their program. Of those, 68.4% c hose lack of room in the curriculum, while lack of faculty support was cited least often (12.7%). The remain ing 21.5% chose other, stating reasons such as student resistance, opposition of the math department on campus and accrediting councilimposed credit limits (Tables 410 and 411). 37 PAGE 38 RQ4: How Do Administrators Describe the Ma th Skills of Students and Educators within Their Journalism Program? Are Students Prep ared for the Math Skills Required in the Field? Research Question 4 focused on department ch airs perception of the math skills of students and instructors within their programs, as well as stud ent preparation for math skills demanded in the work field. The mean rating of ma thematical skills of the average journalism student, on a scale of 15 from poor to excellen t, with 6 as an option for dont know, was 2.41 ( SD = .104). Most chairs (70.2%) rated the math sk ills of the average journalism student as poor or fair, while no respondents rated the average journalism students math skills as excellent (Table 412). When rating the mathematical skills of the av erage journalism instructor, on a scale of 1 5 from poor to excellent, the mean score was 3.84 (SD =.101). Most chairs (66.1%) rated the mathematical skills of the aver age instructor as good or e xcellent. Only two respondents (1.7%) rated the skills of the average instructor as poor (Table 413). Despite low ratings for the math skills of the average journalism student, most chairs rated students as ready to handle math skills on the job. On a scale of 1 from very unprepared to very prepared, the mean score 3.21 ( SD =.076). Most res pondents, 44.6%, rated students as neutral, followed by 35.5% rating them as prepared. Only two respondents (1.7%) rated students as very unpr epared. No chairs ranked stude nts as very prepared (Table 414). RQ5: Do Differences in the Perception of Importance and Implementation of Math Education in the Journalism Curriculum Differ between AEJMC Accredited and NonAccredited Programs? The perception of importance as well as th e implementation of math education in journalism curriculum between AEJMC accr edited and nonaccredited programs were investigated in Research Question 5. Of thos e who completed the survey, 29.2% were from 38 PAGE 39 accredited programs while 70.8% were not (Table 414). Analysis of variances (ANOVAs) were performed to compare the means of certain variables between accred ited and nonaccredited schools to determine the presence of a statistically significant difference. Th is revealed that there is a significant difference ( F (df,1) = 4.44, p .05) between the mean scores for the department chairs evaluation of the overall importance of math education in journalism curriculum for accredited ( x = 3.97) and nonaccredited ( x = 3.61) programs (Table 415). ANOVAs were also performed to compare the means of other va riables between accredited and nonaccredited programs, including how chairs perceived student pr eparation for math skills needed on the job (F(df,1) = .029, p = .866), how important it is fo r journalists to possess basic math skills (F(df,1) = .336, p = .563), how common math errors are in journalism (F(df,1) = 3.63, p=.06), the math skills of the average stud ent at the institution (F(df,1) = .320, p = .573) and the math skills of the average instructor at the institution (F(df,1) = 1.82, p = .18). These pvalues indicate that there was no significant difference between accredited a nd nonaccredited schools for these variables. Although accredited schools are differentiated fr om nonaccredited schools by certain standards, this finding indicates that the views of department chairs regarding math education are similar in both types of program, other than the perception of the overall importance of math education. 39 PAGE 40 Table 41. Required number of math courses, in credit hours, that journalists must complete as part of general education requirements Credit hours Percent 0 5.0 1 59.5 4 24.0 7 3.3 Unsure 5.8 Other 2.5 N=121 Table 42. Undergraduate journalism programs that incorporate math content, such as fractions, percentages, means, medians, modes, ratios, ranks and rates, into major courses within the program Incorporate math courses Percent Yes 71.7 No 28.3 N= 120 Table 43. Undergraduate journali sm programs that offer a course focusing specifically on math skills within the context of journalism Math skills within context of journalism Percent Yes 12.4 No 87.6 N= 121 Table 44. Requirements for course s focusing specifically on math skills within the context of journalism Option Percent Required 33.3 Elective 66.7 Total 100 N= 15 Table 45. Plans for a future course focusing specifically on math skills within the context of journalism Plans for course Percent Yes 7.5 No 92.5 N= 107 40 PAGE 41 Table 46. The basis of the journalism program Basis Percent Theory 0 Practice 39.7 Both 59.5 Unsure 0.8 N= 121 Table 47. Perceived importance math educati on overall as part of the curriculum for undergraduate journalism students Perceived overall importance Percent Very unimportant 4.1 Not important 2.5 Neutral 27.3 Important 52.9 Very important 13.2 N= 121 (M = 3.72, SD = .859) Table 48. Perceived importa nce of journalists posse ssion of basic math skills Importance of basic math skills Percent Very unimportant .8 Not important 1.7 Neutral 6.7 Important 63.9 Very important 26.9 N= 121 (M = 4.14, SD = .674) Table 49. Perceived frequency of mathem atical errors are in published reporting Frequency of math errors Percent Very rare 0 Rare 11.6 Neutral 33.9 Common 47.1 Very common 7.4 N= 121 (M = 3.74, SD = .797) Table 410. Constraints to the addition of a mathematical focus in the journalism program Constraints Percent Yes 64.2 No 35.8 N=120 41 PAGE 42 Table 411. Constraints to the addition of a mathematical focus in the journalism program Constraint options (respondent chose as many as applied) Percent Lack of room in the curriculum 68.4 Other priorities 32.9 Other (please specify) 21.5 Lack of qualified faculty 20.3 Lack of school financial support 20.3 N= 79 Table 412. Perception of the mathematical ski lls of the average journalism student at the respective institution Avg. math skills of student Percent Poor 15.7 Fair 54.5 Neutral 9.1 Good 17.4 Excellent 0 Dont know 3.3 N= 121 (M = 2.41, SD = .104) Table 413. Perception of the math ematical skills of the average journalism instructor at the respective institution Avg. math skills of instructor Percent Poor 1.7 Fair 14 Neutral 12.4 Good 47.9 Excellent 18.2 Dont know 5.8 N= 121 (M = 3.84, SD = .101) Table 414. Perceived preparation of average journalism student at the respective institution for the math skills required on the job Preparation for workplace math skills Percent Very unprepared 1.7 Not prepared 16.5 Neutral 44.6 Prepared 35.5 Very prepared 0 Dont know 1.7 N= 121 (M = 3.21, SD = .076) 42 PAGE 43 43 Table 415. Institutions accredited by the Accr editing Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) Accredited Percent Yes 29.2 No 70.8 N= 120 Table 416. Analysis of Va riance (ANOVA) for accredited a nd nonaccredited schools of perceived importance of math education overall as part of the curriculum for undergraduate students Importance of math education overall N Mean Std. Deviation Accredited 35 3.9714 .89066 Nonaccredited 85 3.6118 .83230 Total 120 3.7167 .86173 N=120, F(df,1)= 4.44, p .05 PAGE 44 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION Trends in Math Education in College and University Journalism Programs Overall, this study indicated that math e ducation in nationwide journalism programs is primarily covered with minimal general educati on credit hours and some segments of major journalism courses. Most respondents (59.5%), howeve r, said that students were required only to complete 1 credit hours of mathem atical courses to fulfill such requirements. Many said that it was the responsibility of general education requirements to pr ovide journalism students with math skills. As one respondent commented, Students should be prepared before they ge t to our program (i.e., through high school and general education college courses) to deal with the math they encounter in our journalism courses and thus in journalism careers that is where the problem should be solved, rather than in journalism courses. Although researchers such as Ratcliff, Johnson, La Nasa and Ga ff (2001) described the purpose of general education as providi ng students with the core educa tion needed before entering a specialization, Maiers (2003) rese arch on journalistic numerical co mpetency suggested that such education is not preparing journa lists for the workforce. This could be because, as this study found, the amount of math that jour nalists receive in general edu cation courses is minimal, and not adequate to prepare journalists for the skills required on the job. Other department chairs stressed that math skills should be devel oped at the high school level. One respondent felt the problem is the high schools, sugges ting that journalism programs could bring high school journalism t eachers to campus to work out a program to benefit journalism students at the secondary leve l. Another said the poor math preparation students receive in their K12 education lead s to their poor math skills in college. Seventyone percent of respondents said that ma th content, such as fractions, percentages, means, medians, modes, ratios, ranks and rate s, were incorporated in the major journalism 44 PAGE 45 courses. In this category, commonly cited c ourses included News Writing/Reporting, Research Methods, Editing, Public Affairs Reporting and El ectronic Journalism courses. However, because respondents were not required to specify (and it was assumed they may not be sure of) the time spent on math education in these courses, it is unclear just how much math content was incorporated into these courses. For exam ple, while one respo ndent commented that approximately four weeks of their programs News Writing and Reporting course was devoted to the use of numbers in journalism and reporting, another said their programs Editing course had a minor math component, while another said the topic was covered a little bit in Public Affairs Reporting. Some chairs found incorporat ing math into the journalism curriculum to be an adequate technique, such as one who stated that math cont ent is best integrated into reporting, writing and editing classes; a one si zefitsall math class would be torture. Although program chairs suggested that math c ontent is incorporated at least somewhat into journalism courses, few programs (12.4%) offe red a course focusing specifically on math skills within the c ontext of journalismsuch as exemplified by the Indiana University School of Journalisms Statistical and Mathematical Met hods for Journalism course (Appendix C). Further information makes these results more distressi ng, since of those that do, 33.3% do not require that the course is taken. Of t hose that do not, math education does not seem to be on the agenda, as 92.5% do not have plans for such a course underway. The value of such a course can been seen through the Transfer of Learning Theory discussed earlier. Transfer of learning occurs in a situation where previously acquired knowledge affects the way new knowledge is gained and sk ills are performed (Cormier and Hagman, 1987). In this case, a transfer of math skills to jour nalism coursework would be a positive, far transfer, since it would link two remote s ubjects, in turn enhancing a journalism students learning 45 PAGE 46 experience (Perkins and Salomon, 1992). Perkin s and Salomon (1992) suggest that transfer between distant contexts, such as math and journalism, occur by a mechanism called high road transfer, in which connections between the two c ontexts are deliberately searched for. Bridging, the authors suggest, is a form of instruction that encourages this high ro ad transfer by promoting the making of abstractions and searc hes for possible connections (p. 7). In this way, Indiana University School of Journalisms Statistical and Mathematical Methods for Journalism course (Appendix A) could serve as an instructional bridge between the learning of math and journalism skills. Voakes (2005) noted that part of the problem his students faced was a lack of connection between that math, referring to isolated math courses, and the kind of numeracy that we have to have in journalism (Voakes, 2005, video clip). The Mathematical Methods for Journalism course worked to bridge that gap, which could, according to the Transfer of Learning Theory, facilitate learning transfer. Viewing such a course through this theoretical basis make s a stronger case for the implemen tation of such courses in the future. Constraints The reason for a lack of such planning/implementation of courses can be somewhat explained by the constraints cite d by respondents. Lack of room in the curriculum was cited by 68.4% of respondents, a constraint that was described by some as a result of accreditation requirements. As described earlier, the Curri culum and Instruction standard of ACEJMC accreditation requires that 80 hours of the degr ee program are completed outside of the journalism and mass communications program (The Commission on Public Relations Education, 2006). Since Ratcliff et al. (2001) suggested that a typical pr ogram requires about 120 credit hours; journalism courses could onl y take up 40 hours of the curricu lum, or roughly 15 courses. As one respondent from an accredited program commented, such programs must have a 46 PAGE 47 balanced focus on all ACEJMC competencies and do so within limits of required hours. This problem could also possibly relate to the 32.9 % of respondents who cited other priorities as a constraint on math educationif such priorities include mainta ining or achieving accreditation. A respondent from a nonaccredited school pursu ing accreditation explained such priorities, stating I don't know how you could possibly do an adequate job of preparing students for all of the things they need to k now, and still stay under the hour requirements for ACEJMC. Other constraints were listed by respondents under the openended other response. For example, a few respondents cited problems dealing with their institutions math department. One respondent described the potential clash between departments, I think there would be a huge battle in our University's academic council over a course dealing with math education fo r journalists. The math department owns "math" at this University and would fight any attempt from another department to use that term in a course name. At the same time, they would wa nt to make sure anyone teaching that class had the 18 hours of graduated credits in mat h, as required by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. This is a battle we cannot win, so we have modules on math concepts buried in existing classes. Another respondent described a similar hos tile situation betw een departments, The Math department here is very narrow. They really dont see themselves as teachers; they are Mathematicians. They won t let anyone else do anything that looks like math that they are not teaching. Others cited student resistance toward math education. Lack of student interest was originally considered as a constraint when pla nning this research, but wa s disregarded due to the assumption that student preferences would not ha ve much influence on the curriculum. However, seven journalism chairs took student opinion into account, as they answered in the openended response category for constraints on math educa tion. Comments including student preparation and attitude, lack of mathorientation, and st udent avoidance were listed in this category. Journalism students common aversion to math was often cited, as one remarked, Traditionally, the students who choose to major in journalism are uncomfortable with math and avoid classes 47 PAGE 48 that incorporate math. However, others were not as willing to cat er to such avoidance, such as one respondent who said of their program, W e should not be a haven for mathphobias. Perception of the Department Chair Regarding Math Education A department chair holds some influence over a program. Gmelch, Parkay and Forrest (1999) noted that chairs are seen as serving a vital administration role. Adduci, Woods and Webb (1990) described the many responsibilities en tailed by this position, including budgeting, curriculum development and leadership. Since chairs often hold some authority over a curriculum, their opinion on the importance of math education in journalism programs was a necessary component in this study. Findings suggest that department chairs are aw are of the need for math education in the journalism curriculum, despite problems with its implementation. Math education in the journalism curriculum was most commonly describe d by chairs as important (52.9%). On the job, math skills were described as important by 63.9% of respondents for journalists to possess basic math skills. Furthermore, most respondent s described mathematical errors in published reporting as common. Most chairs recognized that the math skill s of the average journalism student were lackingas 70.2% rated their students math sk ills as poor or fair. It was surprising, however, that despite this low ra ting, most chairs rated student s responded neu tral (44.6%) and prepared (35.5%) when asked how prepared thei r students were for the math skills required on the job. Such logic seems contradictorycan stude nts with fair math skills be prepared for these skills required in the workplace? However, this could be attributed to chairs want to shed a positive light on the competency of their program. It could also reflect a lack of awareness regarding program deficiencies. Another possibi lity could be that em ployers do not commonly expect journalists to possess math skills, and thus chairs suspect that students are ready to handle 48 PAGE 49 49 the skills required for the job. In either case, this subject is wo rthy of the attention of future researchers. ACEJMC Accredited vs. Nonaccredited Institutions As the ACEJMC accredited institutions in the survey sample are required to oblige by certain standards, differentiating them from th e rest of the populati on, it was interesting to investigate whether accreditati on correlated with different res ponses. A oneway analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed that the mean scores for overall importance of math education in journalism curriculums were statistically significant (p = .037) between accredited ( x = 3.97) and nonaccredited ( x = 3.61) programs. The fact that chairs of accredited programs rated math as more important could be a reflection of the ACEJMC accreditation standards, which mandate that students should be able to apply basic num erical and statistical concepts (AEJMC, 2008, 2). Three other ACEJMC standardsto understand concepts and apply theories in the use and presentation of images and information, to conduct research and evaluate information by methods appropriate to the communications professi ons in which they work, and to apply tools and technologies appropriate for the communica tions professions in which they work also involve math components (AEJMC, 2008, 2). Thus, programs accredited by the ACEJMC are forced to consider the implementation of math in the journalism program, and this may have increased their percep tion of the overall importance of math educationas implementation affects accreditation. However, as discussed prev iously, some chairs have found these same accreditation standards to be a limiting factor in their programs, as they require a balance of different standards within a limited amount of credit hours. PAGE 50 CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSION Solmon (1981), among other researchers, suggest ed that college preparation is important for the skills demanded in the workplace. Alt hough numerous researchers, including Hewitt (1996), Trombly (2004) and Livingst on (2005), have demonstrated the dire need for math skills in the newsroom, others, such as Maier (2003) an d Rosentiel (2005) have shown that journalists largely do not possess these skills. Therefore, th is study provided a necessary and muchneeded first step of the investigation of math skills being taught to jour nalism students at the collegiate level. This research indicated that few programs of fer a course on math specifically for the journalism major. Instead, most rely on general education requirements and segments of core journalism courses, such as edi ting and reporting, to provide their students with the math skills needed to be a journalist. However, this study sh ows that minimal math general education credit hours are required. The extent to which programs incorporate math education into major journalism courses is not known at this time. Chairs of journalism programs, whom have some influence over the curriculum, largely recognize the prevalence of math errors in published reporting, the overall importance of math education in journalism programs and the need for journalists to possess basic math skills. However, they also state that their students have deficiencies in math skills. This research shows that constraints such as lack of room in the curriculum partiall y prevent this problem from being solved. This research also points to the lim itations of AEJCMC accrediting standards as a possible reason for this constrai nt. Other constraints found in th is study included conflicts with the institutions math department as well as th e influence of student resistance toward math. 50 PAGE 51 When journalists report on issues involvi ng math, including, as Livingston (2005) suggests, health care, medical and scientific re search and budgets, it is important that they comprehend the numbers they work with. An incr ease in math education for journalism students could result in higher journalistic numeracy, which could in turn result in fewer math errors in journalism. This study suggests th at the state of math educati on in journalism programs should be improved in order to achieve this goal. A few suggestions can be made to improve math education in co llegiate journalism programs. Foremost, the transfer of learning theory points to bridging, through the implementation of a math course specifically within the context of journalism, as a technique to facilitate the transfer of math education to jo urnalism studies. Courses such as that implemented in Indiana Universitys School of Journalism could serve as an excellent mode l for future efforts. However, this research suggest s that in many cases, lack of room in the curriculum is a constraint to the addition of such a course. A possible solution to this problem could be exemplified in the case of Indiana University, where the math department controlled the course, leaving the budget of the journa lism program untouched (Voakes, 2005). However, this also diluted the journalistic focus of the course, wh ich is why the Indiana School of Journalism Convergence Forum (2005) recommended that fu ture courses are taught under the journalism department. Since this study suggests that a l ack of room in the curriculum is a major constraint to the addition of a new course, a better, moreeasily implemented solution could be to increase the impact of math in core journalism courses, such as reporting and editing. Although 71.7% of respondents indicated that they already implement some math education in major journalism courses, the 70.2% of respondents that rated their institutions average journalism student as 51 PAGE 52 having poor or fair math skills suggest that more math should be added the curriculum. To aid in the addition of a math focus to these cour ses, instructors could benefit from the resources texts such as Livingston and Voakes (2005) Working with numbers and statistics: A handbook for journalists, as well as Wickhams (2002) Math skills for journalists. The Indiana University School of Journalisms Convergence Forum, which offers free tools and tip sheets on the types of statistics and mathematical models needed in journalism and how to implement them into courses without repelling students, could also be of aid (Indiana University School of Journalism Convergence Forum, 2005). Such resources co uld help educators implement important math concepts into journalism education, including margin of error; sampling; probability; correlation; measures of central tendency (mean, median, mode); standard deviation; averages, percentiles, ranges; measurements and conversions; simple and compound interest; graphical and pictorial re presentation of data; basic knowledge of arithmetic. It is a journalists responsibi lity to understand stories invol ving math and to put numbers into context in order to accura tely report information. However, students with poor or fair math skills, as alluded to in this study, may not be able to correctly convey such information to the public. Through higher quality math education for journalism students, journalistic numeracy would increase. It is clear through this research that the quality of math education in journalism programs is a subject worthy of much further attention. 52 PAGE 53 Limitations Some of the major limitations of this study ar e inherent in any su rvey research. Since surveys rely on selfreporting, bias such as mi sinterpreting the questi on, purposeful dishonesty, and accidental reporting of misinformati on can occur, causing errors in data. Another limitation of this study could be the low response rate (35.4 %), although multiple studies have suggested that such a rate is common for online survey research. Still, a larger sample would ensure more accurate results. The survey pool in this study was limited due to many incorrect or no longer functional email a ddresses on the contact lists used, which may have affected the response rate. Considerations for Future Research Future research could examine journalism de partments perception of skills required on the job to determine if there is a g ap between instruction and practice. Further research could also consider the effect of ACEJMC accreditation on the implementation of math education in journalism programs, which wa s alluded to in this study but not the main focus. It would be useful to investigate indepth wh ether ACEJMC accreditation inspires more math education, due to numeracy requirements, or prevents its implementation due to credit restrictions. Interviews with the ACEJMC could be pa rticularly effective in this research. It could also be useful to expand on the various methods used to educate journalism students in math that were described in this study, including high sc hool education, general education requirements, the incor poration of math into core journalism courses and math courses specifically for journalists. Sin ce this study shows that journalism students, for the most part, are expected to complete minimal math general e ducation requirements, fu ture research could examine why this is. Further research could al so expand on the connectio n between the Transfer 53 PAGE 54 54 of Learning theory and courses desi gned specifically to teach math skills to journalists, as was alluded to in this study. Furthermore, the extent that math content is in corporated into major journalism courses, such as editing and reporting, could be examined. Future research could also examine what t ype of math skills are most beneficial to journalists, such as the math skills required on the job. For this pur pose, researchers could examine the math required on entrylevel journalism job tests, such as the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund editing test. Other research could examine the type of math skills needed for journalists through a content analysis of prominent texts focusing on math for journalists, or an analysis of what types of math appear most frequently in the news. These suggestions could provide deeper insight into the state of math education in journalism programs than was within the scope of the current study. PAGE 55 APPENDIX A MODEL SYLLABUS FOR A COURSE ON MATH FOR JOURNALISTS The following syllabus, from the Indiana Univ ersity School of Journalism Convergence Forum (2005), offers an example of a course designed to teach students math specifically within the context of journalism. The course was deve loped by a journalism instructor, Paul Voakes, and a math instructor, Charles Livingston, both of the Indiana University School of Journalism, and was first implemented in 1999. In 2005, the cour se was being taught by graduate students in Indiana Universitys math department. 55 PAGE 56 MODEL SYLLABUS FOR A COURSE ON MATH FOR JOURNALISTS (Indiana University School of J ournalism Convergence Forum, 2005) SYLLABUS K305: Statistical and Mathematical Methods for Journalism Indiana University Overview Welcome to Statistics and Mathematics for Journalism! This course has been developed with a grant from the National Science Foundation as part of a multiyear, campuswide project to expand and enhance mathematics instruction across the university curriculum. This course is dedicated to the proposition that a truly prepared, competent and professional communicator is one with basic skills in math and statistics. A large part of your professional responsibility will be to gather information independently and to present it accurately in a meaningful context. Without skills in math or stat s, journalists constantly have to rely on the calculations and interpretations of their sources, and they constantly hope and pray that the numbers they use in their writing are appropriate and correct. That situation presents a picture of neither independence nor accuracy. However, journalists armed with some logic, some technique and some interpretive skills can analyze research, ask appropriate questions and understand the data well enough to tell readers and viewers clearly what the numbers mean. How is this section different from other sections of K300? This course will deal with statistical and mathematical techniques that are most relevant to journalism, and the assignments and readings will be more directly related to the experiences of journalists. The topics in statistics will include probability, the normal distribution, estimation, hypothesistesting, sampling methods, and survey and experiment design. We will also cover descriptive statistics, with a focus on the graphical presentation of data. Mathematical topics will include a review of the more basic arithmetic procedures commonly encountered in reporting. The course will include written assignments involving the interpretation and explanation of data, in addition to the computations more commonly assigned in statistics courses. We will also learn how to crunch, interpret and graphically display data by using Microsoft Excel. By the end of the semester, we want each of you to be able to do the following: 1) Understand the basic logic and concepts of statistics and the mathematical challenges journalists most often encounter; 2) Interpret the results of statistical analysis in ways that make sense to viewers and readers; 3) Perform basic statistical and mathematical procedures on a calculator and with Microsoft Excel; and, 4) Use the Web to find, download and manipulate relevant data sets. The prerequisite for this course is M118 (Finite Mathematics) or its equivalent. While we wont spend much time reviewing the work of M118, we will operate on the assumption that everyone 56 PAGE 57 is able to recall that courses basic concept s and techniques. If you havent taken M118 and havent talked to me already, please see me immediately. Readings There is one required textbook: Brase, Charles Henry, and Corrinne Pellillo Brase Understanding Basic Statistics: Concepts and Methods 6th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. 1999. We will often refer you to the class Web site, for additional readings, assignments and a guide to useful data on the Web. In addition, we will occasionally assign readings from the following books and Web sites. The books will be placed on reserve in the Journalism Library: http://more.abcnews.go.com/sections/science /whoscounting_index/whoscounting_index.html (Whos Counting, on the ABC News site) http://www.dartmouth.edu/~chance/chanc e_news/current_news/current.html (Chance News, the newsy part of Dartmouths Chance course on probability and general math) Paulos, John Allen. A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper. Almer, Ennis C. Statistical Tricks and Traps. Course Activity Class itself Although you will not be graded for your attendance per se it will become obvious quickly that attendance is a key to success in K300. As with many other courses, statistics doesnt make a lot of sense if you pop in only from time to time. However, if you keep up with readings, homework and attendance, youll probably find the topics easy to understand and maybe even enjoyable. Class on Monday and Wednesday will consist of a combination of lecture, discussion and exercises. On Fridays we will meet in a computer lab to crunch numbers in Excel. Weekly homework Each week you will be responsible for an assignment that will likely include some or all of these components: 1. Math/Stats problems: This is the math assignment youve known since 2nd grade: completion of a few selected problems from the end of a chapter, or problems weve invented in a handout. 2. Excel exercises: Often at the conclusion of a Friday lab you will be given an Excelbased problem or two to reinforce the concepts covered earlier. 3. Writing Stories : Yes, even in math class well be writing! Just as every good reporter must be able to gather and interpret data accurately, every good writer must be able to explain clearly what the data mean. At times your assignment will not end with the calculation of a statistical result, or the reading of a table of results, but with your writing of a short news story (or section of an imagined larger story) that explains to readers or viewers the meaning of the numerical result. 57 PAGE 58 Quizzes Just to make sure that everyone is keeping up with the concepts and procedures, we will have several short (one or two questions) quizzes nearly every time the class meets. We will usually go over the solutions immediately as a way of reviewing material before moving on. We will drop your two lowest quiz grades, so please dont ask to make up a quiz if you miss a day. Journals You will be expected to read the news each day not only for its general content, but now also for its math content and to evaluate the journalists use of math. To help us assess your assessment of the math youre reading in the news, you will be expected to keep a journal. This is your collection (in notebook form) of articles youve read that involved math or statistics, and your brief commentaries on these articles. The journals will be collected without prior notice, so you must bring your journal to class every day and be prepared to have it graded. Details will follow in a handout on Wednesday. Projects You will be expected to develop (and write the first several paragraphs for) two feature stories based on your own discovery of some current and interesting data. The choice of stories will be entirely up to you, but I must approve your story idea before you can proceed with the project. You will find, manipulate and analyze the data, and present a graphic illustration as well as a written story. The first project will be due [insert date], the second [insert date]. Exams There will be two exams during the semester and a final exam at the end. They will cover both the statistics topics weve covered in the text and the mathematics (nontext) and logic material presented in class. The final will be cumulative; that is, it will cover the material from day one. Grading Every exam and major assignment will be returned to you with two grades: a raw numerical score, and a lettergrade resulting from a curving of the class scores. Your final course grade will be determined by these proportions: Quizzes and homework 20% Journal 10% Two exams @15% each 30% First project 5% Second project 10% Final exam 25% Deadlines and other policies Written assignments outside class are due at the beginning of class. 58 PAGE 59 Deadlines are important in any field of endeavor, but especially important for journalists and other communicators. Assignments can be turned in late ONLY with the prior approval of one of us. An excuse is valid only if it is discuss ed with me BEFORE the assignment is due, and only if I agree that it's a valid excuse. Any work turned in late without an approved excuse will receive zero points. Please keep in touch with us. Call or email one of us if you have deadline concerns or any other questions or problems. Take advantage of t he "or by appointment" phrase in our office hours. Academic honesty Honesty is vitally important in any journalism or math course. Please consult the "Policy on Academic Misconduct" at http://campuslife.indiana.edu/code/index1.html especially the sections on cheating and plagiarism. It is extr emely important to do your own work. Even in collaborative work, sharing of words and ideas is permissible only with your team partner(s). Submitting someone else's work as your own is blatant academic dishonesty. The penalty for academic misconduct will range from the lowering of the grade for that assignment to the automatic designation of "F" for the course, depending on the severity of the misconduct. Course outline (B&B refers to Brase & Brase, the course textbook; the numerals refer to chapter and section numbers.) Date Topic Readings/Assignments due Jan. 10 Introductions; First Gathering of Data Jan. 12 Discuss Mondays data; Descriptive, Inferential Statistics; Writing with Numbers B&B 1.1; Handout Jan. 14 Excel Lab: Intro to Excel Jan. 17 (No class: Martin Luther King Day) Jan. 19 Charts and Graphs B&B 2.2 Jan. 21 Excel Lab: Graphing Jan. 24 Percentages and Percentage Change (Handout) Jan. 26 Histograms, Frequency Distributions B&B 2.3 Jan. 28 Excel Lab: Frequencies, Histograms Jan. 31 Measures of Central Tendency: Mode, Median, Mean; Adjusting for Inflation B&B 3.1; Handout Feb. 2 Quartiles, Percentiles, Boxes and Whiskers B&B 3.4 Feb. 4 FIRST EXAM Feb. 7 Measures of Variation: B&B 3.2 Feb. 9 The Standard Deviation; Reporting with Rates Handout; 59 PAGE 60 60 Project 1 proposal due Feb. 11 Excel Lab: Averages, Percentiles, Ranges Feb. 14 Probability Theory B&B 4.1 Feb. 16 Random Variables and Probability Distributions B&B 5.1 Feb. 18 Excel Lab: Dressing up the Data Feb. 21 Binomial Probabilities; Reporting on Interest and Compounding. B&B 5.2; Handout Feb. 23 The Normal Distribution, in pictures B&B 6.1 Feb. 25 Excel Lab: Binomial Distribution Feb. 28 Zscores and raw scores B&B 6.2; Project 1 due March 1 Areas under the normal curve; Writing with Numbers II B&B 6.3, Handout March 3 Excel Lab: Exploring the Normal Distribution March 6 Sampling Distributions B&B 7.1 March 8 Central Limit Theorem B&B 7.2 March 10 Excel Lab: Random Selection, Central Limit Theorem March 1319 SPRING BREAK! March 20 Estimating the mean; confidence intervals B&B 8.1 March 22 Estimating proportions with confidence intervals B&B 8.3 March 24 SECOND EXAM March 27 Estimating differences in means, proportions B&B 8.5 March 29 Choosing a sample size; Reading and Reporting on Budgets B&B 8.4; Handout; Project 2 proposal due March 31 Excel Lab: Confidence Intervals April 3 Hypothesistesting; pvalues B&B 9.1, 9.3 April 5 Linear Regression B&B 10.1, 10.2 April 7 Excel Lab: Finding a trend line April 10 The Correlation Coefficient B&B 10.3 (pp. 596605) April 12 Analyzing r and r 2 (AE) B&B 10.3 (pp, 605608) April 14 Excel Lab: Regression and correlations April 17 Analyzing Contingency Tables B&B 11.1; Project 2 due April 19 Survey Design and Confounding Factors (Handout) April 21 Excel Lab: Building a contingency table April 24 Designing Experiments (Handout) April 26 Statistical Fallacies (Handout) April 28 No lab: Final Exam review May 15 Finals Week PAGE 61 APPENDIX B SCHOOLS DERIVED FROM COMBINAT ION OF AEJMC AND DOW JONES DIRECTORIES 1. Auburn University 2. University of Alabama 3. University of Alaska Anchorage 4. University of Alaska Fairbanks 5. Arizona State University 6. University of Arizona 7. Arkansas State University 8. University of Arkansas 9. California State University, Chico 10. California State University, Fullerton 11. California State University, Northridge 12. San Francisco State University 13. San Jose State University 14. University of California, Berkley 15. University of Southern California 16. Colorado State University 17. University of Colorado 18. University of Connecticut 19. American University 20. Howard University 21. Florida A&M University 22. Florida International University 23. University of Miami 24. University of South Florida 25. University of South FloridaSt. Petersburg 26. Savannah State University 27. University of Georgia 28. Eastern Illinois University 29. Northwestern University 30. Southern Illinois University Carbondale 31. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville 32. University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign 33. Ball State University 34. Indiana University 35. University of Southern Indiana 36. Drake University 37. Iowa State University of Science and Technology 38. University of Iowa 61 PAGE 62 39. Kansas State University 40. University of Kansas 41. Murray State University 42. Western Kentucky University 43. University of Kentucky 44. Grambling State University 45. Louisiana State University 46. Nicholls State University 47. Northwestern State University 48. Southern University 49. University of Louisiana at Lafayette 50. University of Maryland 51. Central Michigan University 52. Michigan State University 53. St. Cloud State University 54. University of Minnesota 55. Jackson State University 56. University of Mississippi 57. University of Southern Mississippi 58. Southeast Missouri State University 59. University of MissouriColumbia 60. University of Montana 61. University of Nevada, Reno 62. New Mexico State University 63. Hofstra University 64. Iona College 65. New York University 66. Syracuse University 67. Elon University 68. North Carolina A&T State University 69. University of North Ca rolina at Chapel Hill 70. Bowling Green State University 71. Kent State University 72. Ohio University 73. Oklahoma State University 74. University of Oklahoma 75. University of Oregon 76. Pennsylvania State University 77. Temple University 78. University of South Carolina 79. Winthrop University 80. South Dakota State University 81. University of South Dakota 62 PAGE 63 82. East Tennessee State University 83. Middle Tennessee State University 84. University of Memphis 85. University of Tennessee 86. University of Tenne ssee at Chattanooga 87. University of Tennessee at Martin 88. Abilene Christian University 89. Baylor University 90. Texas Christian University 91. Texas State University 92. Texas Tech University 93. University of North Texas 94. University of Texas 95. Brigham Young University 96. University of Utah 97. Hampton University 98. Norfolk State University 99. Virginia Commonwealth University 100. Washington and Lee University 101. University of Washington 102. Marshall University 103. West Virginia University 104. Marquette University 105. University of WisconsinEau Claire 106. University of WisconsinOshkosh 107. University of WisconsinRiver Falls 108. Alabama State University 109. Samford University 110. Spring Hill College 111. Troy University 112. University of Alabama at Birmingham 113. University of North Alabama 114. University of South Alabama 115. Northern Arizona University 116. Arkansas Tech University 117. Harding University 118. Henderson State University 119. John Brown University 120. Ouachita Baptist University 121. University of Arkansas Little Rock 122. University of Central Arkansas 123. Azusa Pacific University 124. California Polytechnic State University 63 PAGE 64 125. California Polytechnic State University, Ponoma 126. California State University, Bakersfield 127. California State University, Fresno 128. California State University, East Bay 129. California State Univ ersity, Long Beach 130. California State University, Sacramento 131. Humboldt State University 132. Pacific Union College 133. Pepperdine University Seaver College 134. Point Loma Nazarene University 135. San Diego State University 136. Santa Clara University 137. Stanford University 138. University of La Verne 139. University of San Francisco 140. University of the Pacific 141. Adams State College 142. Metropolitan State College of Denver 143. University of Denver 144. University of Northern Colorado 145. Colorado State Un iversity, Pueblo 146. Southern Connecticut State University 147. University of Bridgeport 148. University of Hartford 149. University of New Haven 150. Western Connecticut State University 151. Delaware State University 152. University of Delaware 153. George Washington University 154. Florida Southern College 155. Jacksonville University 156. University of Central Florida 157. University of North Florida 158. University of West Florida 159. Berry College 160. Brenau University 161. Clark Atlanta University 162. Fort Valley State University 163. Georgia College and State University 164. Georgia Southern University 165. Georgia State University 166. Morehouse College 64 PAGE 65 167. University of West Georgia 168. University of Hawaii 169. Boise State University 170. Idaho State University 171. University of Idaho 172. Bradley University 173. Columbia College of Chicago 174. Illinois State University 175. Lewis University 176. Loyola University of Chicago 177. Northern Illinois University 178. Roosevelt University 179. University of St. Francis 180. Western Illinois University 181. Indiana Anderson University 182. Butler University 183. DePauw University 184. Franklin college 185. Indiana State University 186. Indiana University Ernie Pyle Hall 187. Purdue University 188. Saint Mary of th e Woods College 189. University of Evansville 190. University of Indianapolis 191. Valparaiso University 192. Grand View College 193. Loras College 194. Morningside College 195. Baker University 196. Benedictine College 197. Fort Hays State University 198. Fort Hays State University Director 199. Pittsburg State University 200. Washburn University 201. Wichita State University 202. Eastern Kentucky University 203. Morehead State University 204. Northern Kentucky University 205. Louisiana College 206. Louisiana State UniversityBaton Rouge 207. Louisiana Tech University 208. Loyola University New Orleans 209. McNeese State University 65 PAGE 66 210. Southeastern Louisiana University 211. University of Louisiana At Monroe 212. Xavier University of Louisiana 213. University of Maine 214. Columbia Union College 215. Hood College 216. Loyola College 217. Towson University 218. American International College 219. Boston University 220. Emerson College 221. Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts 222. Northeastern University 223. Simmons College 224. Suffolk University 225. University of Massachusetts 226. Andrews University 227. Eastern Michigan University 228. Grand Valley State University 229. Madonna University 230. Oakland University 231. University of DetriotMercy 232. Wayne State University 233. Western Michigan University 234. Bemidji State University 235. Minnesota State University, Mankato 236. Minnesota State University, Moorhead 237. Northwestern College 238. University of St. Thomas 239. Winona State University 240. Alcorn State University 241. Mississippi State University 242. Rust College 243. College of the Ozarks 244. CulverStockton College 245. Evangel University 246. Lincoln University 247. Lindenwood University 248. Missouri Southern State University 249. Missouri State University 250. Park University 251. Saint Louis University 252. Stephens College. 66 PAGE 67 253. University of Central Missouri 254. Webster University 255. Creighton University 256. Hastings College 257. Midland Lutheran College 258. Union College 259. University of Nebraska at Kearney 260. University of Nebraska at Omaha 261. Wayne State College 262. University of Nevada, Las Vegas 263. Keene State College 264. College of New Jersey 265. Rider University 266. Rowan University 267. Rutgers, the State Univ ersity of New Jersey 268. Rutgers, the State Univers ity of New Jersey, Newark 269. Seton Hall University 270. William Paterson University of New Jersey 271. Eastern New Mexico University 272. University of New Mexico 273. Baruch College 274. Fordham University 275. Ithaca College 276. Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus 277. Long Island University C.W. Post Center 278. Mercy College 279. Pace University 280. St. Bonaventure University 281. St. John Fisher College 282. St. John's University 283. State University College of Buffalo 284. State University of New York at New Paltz 285. State University of New York College at Westbury 286. State University of New York at Plattsburgh 287. Utica College of Syracuse University 288. Campbell University 289. East Carolina University 290. Johnson C. Smith University 291. University of North Carolina at Asheville 292. University of North Carolina at Pembroke 293. Western Carolina University 294. Wingate University 295. WinstonSalem State University 67 PAGE 68 296. North Dakota State University 297. Ashland University 298. Franciscan University of Steubenville 299. Marietta College 300. Miami University 301. Ohio State University 302. Ohio University 303. Ohio Wesleyan University 304. University of Akron 305. University of Dayton 306. University of Toledo 307. Youngstown State University 308. Cameron University 309. East Central University 310. Northeastern State University 311. Oklahoma Baptist University 312. Oklahoma City University 313. Southern Nazarene University 314. University of Central Oklahoma 315. University of Tulsa 316. Southern Oregon University 317. University of Portland 318. Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania 319. Cabrini College 320. Duquesne University 321. Indiana University of Pennsylvania 322. Lehigh University 323. Lock Haven University 324. Mercyhurst College 325. Point Park College 326. University of Scranton 327. University of Rhode Island 328. Benedict College 329. Austin Peay St ate University 330. Belmont University 331. Southern Adventist University 332. Tennessee State University 333. Tennessee Tech University 334. Angelo State University 335. HardinSimmons University 336. Midwestern State University 337. Prairie View A&M University 338. Sam Houston State University 68 PAGE 69 69 339. Southern Method ist University 340. Stephen F. Austin State University 341. Texas A&M UniversityCommerce 342. Texas A&M UniversityKingsville 343. Texas Southern University 344. Texas Wesleyan University 345. Texas Woman's University 346. Trinity University 347. University of Houston 348. University of Texas at Arlington 349. University of Texas at El Paso 350. University of Texas of the Permain Basin 351. University of Texas at Tyler 352. West Texas A&M University 353. Southern Utah University 354. Utah State University 355. Weber State University 356. Castleton State College 357. St. Michael's College 358. Emory & Henry College 359. James Madison University 360. Liberty University 361. Radford University 362. Regent University 363. University of Richmond 364. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 365. Virginia Wesleyan College 366. Central Washington University 367. Eastern Washington University 368. Gonzaga University 369. Pacific Lutheran University 370. Seattle University 371. Walla Walla College 372. Washington State University 373. Western Washington University 374. Bethany College 375. University of WisconsinMadison 376. University of WisconsinMilwaukee 377. University of WisconsinStevens Point 378. University of WisconsinSuperior 379. University of WisconsinWhitewater 380. University of Wyoming PAGE 70 APPENDIX C COVER LETTER University of Florida College of Journalism & Mass Communications Email Letter To the Chair or highest administrator in the affiliated journalism & communications program: You have been randomly selected to participate in a research project desi gned to assess the state of mathematical competency education in Un ited States journalism programs. I hope you will take the time to complete this questionnaire. As an educator, your input w ould be of great value in this research. I am a graduate student at the University of Floridas College of Journalism & Communications, and this survey is bei ng conducted as part of my thesis. Accompanying this email is a link to a short ques tionnaire that asks a vari ety of questions about journalists math education. If you are willing, please follow this link to complete the questionnaire. The questionnaire should take no more than 15 minutes to complete. Through your participation I hope to understand more about a journa lists math education at the collegiate level. You do not need to put your name or the name of your institution on th e questionnaire. Your participation is completely voluntary. If you have any questions or concerns about comp leting the questionnaire or about participation in this study, you may contact me at any time. Your response would be greatly appreciated. If you choose to follow this link to the questionnair e, the first item you will view is an informed consent document that will provid e all the information reasonably needed to decide whether or not to participate. Sincerely, Christine Cusatis Graduate Student College of Journalism & Mass Communications University of Florida 1225 SW 1st Avenue, Apt 301 Gainesville, FL 32608 cc202@ufl.edu 70 PAGE 71 APPENDIX D SURVEY INSTRUMENT Thank you for your participation in the Assessing the State of Math Education in Journalism Programs survey. This survey is being conducted in order to help understa nd the status of math education in United States journalism programs at the undergraduate collegiate level. Please click the radio button corresponding w ith your answer choice. Your time and candor are greatly appreciated. Questionnaire Please answer the following questio ns honestly and accurately. Please click the letter or number corresponding to your answer choice (see exam ple below). Thank you for your participation. 1. How many credit hours worth of mathematical courses are students in the undergraduate journalism program in your colleg e required to complete as part of their general education requirements? Circle one: a. 0 b. 1 c. 4 d. 7 e. other (please list) ____ f. unsure 2. Does your undergraduate journalism program in corporate math content, such as practice fractions, percentages means, medians, modes, ratio s, ranks and rates, into major courses within the program, such as reporting or editing courses, for example? 1 2 Yes No If Yes, please list the names of th e course(s) that incorporate math. _________________________ 71 PAGE 72 3. Does your undergraduate journalism program offer a course focusi ng specifically on math skills within the context of journalism? Circle the number corresponding with your answer: 1 2 Yes No If Yes, is this course required for: Circle the number corresponding with your answer: 1 2 All majors It is an elective If No, are any plans underw ay for such a course? Circle the number corresponding with your answer: 1 2 Yes No 4. If you could generalize your institutions journalism program would it be considered (circle one): a. theoretically based b. practice based c. both d. unsure 5. How important do you feel that math education is overall as part of the curriculum for undergraduate journalism students? Circle the number corresponding with your answer: 1 2 3 4 5 Very Unimportant Unimportant Ne utral Important Very Important 72 PAGE 73 6 How important do you feel it is for student s in the undergraduate journalism program to take a course on math specific to journalism? Circle the number corresponding with your answer: 1 2 3 4 5 Very Unimportant Unimportant Neutral Important Very Important 7. Are there any constraints to the addition of a mathematical focus in your journalism program? Circle the number corresponding with your answer: 1 2 Yes No If Yes, please check all of the following constraints that apply: __ lack of school financial support __ other priorities __ lack of faculty support __ lack of qualified faculty __ lack of room in the curriculum __ other (please list) ___________________________________ R4 Questions: graduate preparation 8. How would you rate (in your opinion) the mathematical skills of the average journalism student at your institution? Circle the number corresponding with your answer: 1 2 3 4 5 Poor Fair Neutral Good Excellent 6 Dont Know 73 PAGE 74 9. How would you rate (in your opinion) the mathematical skills of the average journalism instructor at your institution? Circle the number corresponding with your answer: 1 2 3 4 5 Poor Fair Neutral Good Excellent 6 Dont Know 10. How prepared do you feel the average journa lism student at your institution is for the math skills required on the job? Circle the number corresponding with your answer: 1 2 3 4 5 Very Unprepared Unprepared Neutral Prepared Very Prepared 6 Dont Know 11. How important do you feel it is for journalists to possess basic math skills? Circle the number corresponding with your answer: 1 2 3 4 5 Very Unimportant Unimportant Ne utral Important Very Important 12. How common do you feel that mathematical errors are in published reporting? Circle the number corre sponding with your answer 1 2 3 4 5 Very Rare Rare Neutral Common Very Common 74 PAGE 75 75 13. Is your institution accredite d by the Accrediting Council on E ducation in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC)? Circle the number corresponding with your answer: 1 2 Yes No 14. Do you have any comments regarding math education in journalism programs? PAGE 76 LIST OF REFERENCES Adduci, L. Lynne, WoodsHoust on, M. A., & Webb, A.W. (1990). The department chair: Role ambiguity and role strain. Philadelphia, PA: Resear ch for Better Schools. 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PAGE 82 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Christine Cusatis was born July 9, 1984 in Hazleton, Pennsylvania a nd is the oldest of three children. Although sh e lived in Virginia and North Carolina, she grew up mostly in Jacksonville, Florida, graduating from Bartram Tr ail High School in 2002 with a Florida Bright Futures Scholarship. She briefly attended the Univer sity of North Florida before transferring to the University of Florida to pursue a degree in wildlife ecology. However, her interest in writing lab reports and passion for readi ng and writing led her to soon tr ansfer to the University of Floridas College of Journalism and Communications. While pursing her undergraduate education, Ch ristine worked as a freelance writer, reporting lab tutor, and held an internship at the Independent Fl orida Alligator. She also held parttime jobs to support her education. In 2006, Christine graduated from the University of Florida with a B.A. in journalism and began to pursue a master of arts in mass commun ication with a specializat ion in journalism from the University of Florida. 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