NCAA Clearinghouse and Journalism

There’s more to having your course approved than a name… but the name of the course needs attention.

It’s a lot more complicated than this because it takes submitting a course to the NCAA, but if your school accepts your journalism/media course as English Language Arts, that helps. If it’s solely production, that’s bad. We also have learned that changing the name to something like Journalistic Writing can help.

From the NCAA High School Review Committee policy and procedures book for 2018-2019:

Course Content and Skills for Journalism

Sufficient for Approval

  • Study of the history of journalism and laws that affect journalism.
  • Students become familiar with genres of journalistic writing (e.g., newspaper journalism, editorials, sports writing, literary, professional and scholarly publications).
  • Study the evolution of journalistic writing in relation to advances in technology.
  • Study of journalism in relation to the reporting of major events, war, political campaigns and issues of social and global impact.
  • Students apply knowledge of journalistic writing to their own writing for publications such as the school newspaper or literary magazine.

Not Alone Sufficient for Approval

  • Students solely produce the school newspaper, yearbook or magazine.
  • Primary activities focus on production skills that include desktop publishing, layout and design, photography, advertising sales, managing deadlines and proofreading/editing during the publication process.

Course Content and Skills for Media Literacy

Sufficient for Approval

  • Evaluate bias as it is expressed through the following:
    o Advertising, television, movies.
    o Newspapers, magazines.
    o News reporting, documentaries.
  • Distinguish between reliable and unreliable sources.
    o Learn how to determine if texts or documentaries are produced by reliable authorities.
  • Relationship between the media and society – influences on one another.
    o May include the study of music from specific eras or performed by specific groups within society, speeches, poetry, film and advertising.
  • Media’s outreach to target specific populations within a society.
  • Study of unique issues such as political campaigns, war propaganda and war protests.
  • Assignments may include the use of technology to produce texts, presentations or documentaries that support the academic purpose and intent of the course.
  • Film editing, study of music, film, and advertising as entertainment.

Not Alone Sufficient for Approval

  • Focus on career-prep skills related to media performance.
  • Creation of public service announcements and commercials.
  • Creation of advertising campaigns.
  • Creation of videos, radio broadcasts, news reports.
  • Development of interview and broadcast performance skills.
  • Focus on career-prep technology skills: Operation of cameras, video and sound equipment.


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NCAA Clearinghouse and Journalism