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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

School lowers math requirement

Journalism, the only major that required a B or better in math for acceptance into the program, is lowering their math requirement.

The decision, made on Nov. 30, was passed by a vote from the journalism faculty and states that students who get a C in math will no longer be denied acceptance into the journalism major.

“We realized we were the only major on campus that required a B or better in math to get in,” said David Cuillier, director of the School of Journalism. “Even the math majors didn’t have to do that.”

Cuiller said that, Although the grade requirement has dropped, this does not change the importance of knowing basic calculations.

“It’s highly doubtful that most journalists are going to use algebra or trigonometry on the job — that’s just not going to happen,” he said. “But they are going to need to know how to calculate percent change or analyze polling results, election results. So, that’s something we can teach in our classes and that’s what we hope will prepare the best journalists.”

Basic mathematical skills are taught in classes such as Principles of Journalism as well as Advanced Reporting. The journalism school will also continue to find ways to standardize this math incorporation so it is infused throughout the curriculum, Cuillier added.

Jay Rochlin, an assistant journalism professor of practice, said he acknowledges the importance of math in journalism, but believes a C is an adequate grade for students to receive in a math course.

“I think math is a critical part of journalism and understanding how numbers work is a critical part of journalism,” he said. “When people read budgets they have to know how they work, when people talk about percentage changes and understanding statistics especially.”

For some students, this grade requirement change will allow them a little more breathing room when it comes to math.

“I think it’s more reasonable for students, because it (the requirement) was tough,” said Meaghan Fee, a journalism junior. “I actually had to GRO (Grade Replacement Opportunity) my class and take it again, because personally, I’m not that great at math.”

The grade requirement change did not signify a drop off in journalism students’ math grades, but was based more on a comparison of the math requirements for other majors.

“We realized (the requirement) was a little out of the ordinary,” Cuillier said. “To be the only major on campus that required that much rigor for math seemed difficult to justify and looking around the country, you don’t find that in many university journalism programs.”

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