Journalism, Media & Professional Writing

Humanities & Social Sciences

Degree awarded: Associate in Arts

Program Narrative

Northampton's Journalism, Media & Professional Writing Program provides the foundation for a career in the dynamic, digital world of the news media and professional communications in the 21st century. The major prepares students to transfer into a four-year degree program. The program emphasizes practical skills in reporting and writing for print and the web for students with no experience and provides those with some experience an opportunity to enhance their skills.

Students taking the journalism concentration in this major focus on reporting news of interest, relevance and usefulness to the college community, especially its students. This approach stresses "learning by doing," which means students will work in the field covering issues, trends and events at the school, as well as those outside the school that affect the NCC community.

Students taking the business writing concentration will focus on news reporting and writing for publication, but with additional emphasis on skills specific to business communication in a multicultural society.

Graduates with reporting and writing skills and a baccalaureate degree can expect to begin their careers at regional newspapers, web publications or other news outlets, as well as public relations firms, corporate communications offices, or other employers who rely on communications specialists.

Program Features

Students in the journalism concentration are required to participate in the flagship of the program, The Commuter, the student news operation published online and in print. Students in the business writing concentration are welcome to participate on The Commuter.

Students report on the community, both at the College and in the surrounding area. This practical hands-on approach gives students exposure to situations similar to those that professional journalists encounter every day.

Courses in this program are offered primarily during the day. Contact the Admissions Office at 610.861.5500 for more information.

Program outcomes

Graduates of the program will:

Journalism concentration:

  • Be critically aware of the roles, legal rights and ethical responsibilities of journalists in a multicultural society.
  • Demonstrate responsible news judgment that serves the needs of a multicultural audience.
  • Demonstrate ability to edit copy for appropriate, correct English and Associated Press (AP) style.
  • Demonstrate ability to write interesting headlines and captions fitting an article or photograph.
  • Demonstrate ability to gather material and create news content for print and the web.
  • Be able to use various narrative techniques in creating news content for print and the web.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the basic operation of desktop and web publishing tools.
  • Be able to use social media, search engine optimization and content aggregation to reach and build an intended audience.

Business Writing concentration:

  • Demonstrate ability to use journalistic style to plan and produce copy for a public relations campaign.
  • Be critically aware of the roles, legal rights and ethical responsibilities of journalists in a multicultural society.
  • Demonstrate responsible news judgment that serves the needs of a multicultural audience.
  • Demonstrate ability to edit copy for appropriate, correct English and Associated Press (AP) style.
  • Demonstrate ability to write interesting headlines and captions fitting an article or photograph.
  • Demonstrate ability to gather material and create news content for print and the web.
  • Be able to use various narrative techniques in creating news content for print and the web.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the basic operation of desktop and web publishing tools.
  • Be able to use social media, search engine optimization and content aggregation to reach and build an intended audience.

Journalism, Media & Professional Writing: Journalism Concentration

Associate in Arts Degree


Course Code
Course Title Credits
  First Semester  
CMTH102 Speech Communication 3
ENGL101 English I 3
JOUR101 Journalism and Society 3
JOUR102 News Editing 3
JOUR104 Media Publication 4
    16
  Second Semester
CMTH104 Mass Media and Society 3
ENGL151L English II  (Literature) 3
HIST163 American History II 3
JOUR103 Newswriting 3
JOUR110 Journalism Practicum 1
POLS251 State and Local Government 3
    16
  Third Semester  
JOUR110 Journalism Practicum 1
JOUR201G Feature Writing 3
SOCA103G Principles of Sociology 3
MATH __ Mathematics Elective (QL) 3
_______ Arts and Humanities Elective (AH) 3
_______ Mathematics or Science Elective (QL/SCI) 3/4
    16/17
Fourth Semester
CMTH180 Multimedia Production 3
GEOG101 World Geography 3
JOUR110 Journalism Practicum 1
JOUR202 Social Media for Writers 3
_____ Science Elective (SCI) 4
    14
  Total Credits 62/63
  • Computer competencies are included in various courses in this program. Thus, completing the program automatically satisfies the computing requirement for this program.

Journalism, Media & Professional Writing: Business Writing Concentration

Associate in Arts Degree

Course Code Course Title Credits
  First Semester  
BUSA101 Introduction to Business 3
CMTH102 Speech Communication 3
ENGL101 English I 3
JOUR102 News Editing 3
JOUR104 Media Publication 4
    16
  Second Semester
CMTH104 Mass Media and Society 3
ENGL151 R or T English II  (Report or Technical Writing) 3
JOUR103 Newswriting 3
POLS251 State and Local Government 3
PSYC103 Introduction to Psychology 3
    15
  Third Semester  
BUSA221G Business Communications 3
ECON201 Macroeconomics 3
MATH150 Introduction to Statistics 3
_______ Arts and Humanities Elective (AH) 3
_______ Mathematics or Science Elective (QL/SCI) 3/4
    15/16
Fourth Semester
CMTH180 Multimedia Production 3
GEOG101 World Geography 3
JOUR202 Social Media for Writers 3
JOUR203G Public Relations 3
_____ Science Elective (SCI) 4
    16
  Total Credits 62/63
  • Computer competencies are included in various courses in this program. Thus, completing the program automatically satisfies the computing requirement for this program.
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