Dual enrollment credit for Beginning Journalism shows promise

In an effort to enhance the Media Arts CTE pathway, and in response to declining enrollment in journalism classes, PAUSD will offer Foothill College dual enrollment credit for Beginning Journalism in the 2023-2024 school year.

The Campanile commends PAUSD for providing this much-needed spark for the district’s long-established journalism programs.

At Paly, journalism is one of the school’s most popular extracurricular activities, with 182 students currently on publication staffs. Paly’s diverse journalism program also features at least 12 student-led publications and dates back to 1895.

However, enrollement has been in decline since before the pandemic, when 225 students were on publications in the 2019-2020 school year. Overall decreases in PAUSD enrollment have also contributed to this drop in journalism students.

This school year, Paly offered new freshman-level opportunities in photojournalism and broadcasting so students could join publications as incoming sophomores.

However, that adjustment may have diminished the appeal of the existing Beginning Journalism course, which had traditionally been the only prerequisite course for joining publications.

The Campanile believes offering the Beginning Journalism course for dual enrollment credit and the GPA boost that comes with it is a necessary step for sustaining student interest in journalism.

In a school environment that often drives students to pursue high GPAs, this college-level offering with weighted grades is an undeniable incentive for students. And because the Beginning Journalism curriculum aligns so well with the Foothill version of the course, the Paly and Gunn journalism programs are able to provide students from both high schools a high-level journalism education.

More importantly, The Campanile supports incentivizing enrollment in Beginning Journalism because of the broader benefits a journalism education offers to students.

Journalism provides an opportunity for students to develop a plethora of writing and communication skills that are critical to every profession. And in the organized structure of a publication, students will learn collaboration and leadership skills they can’t find in other places.

Furthermore, journalism exposes students to a different form of writing, one that centers around concision. And while English classes prioritize literary analysis, journalism emphasizes channeling individual perspectives, writing for real audiences and becoming more involved in the community.

Ultimately, The Campanile thinks every student should experience the benefits of journalism and working on a publication, and we applaud the efforts of the district’s journalism teachers and CTE and Foothill officials for supporting student journalism through offering this dual enrollment opportunity.