Students get professional practice with CJ491

CJ faculty member Maureen Schriner brings a guest blog post to you this week. Dr. Schriner teaches the CJ491 special topics course in the CJ department.

Students in any major in the Communication and Journalism Department can enroll in a course that gives them professional experience working with a client to produce and publish branded content. For the past three semesters, the course has been taught as a special topics CJ491 course. In Fall 2016, the course will be listed as CJ477 Professional Practicum.

CJ491 is a collaboration with the UW-Eau Claire Integrated Marketing and Communication staff, and is taught by Maureen Schriner, PhD, assistant professor in the Integrated Strategic Communication program in the CJ Department. Students learn about the Power of AND branding campaign, launched by the university in 2014, and produce stories for the university to publish on or the university’s social media accounts, such as

Stories written in CJ491 often end up posted on the university website, like the one written above.
Stories written in CJ491 are often posted on the university website, like the one written above.

The Power of AND campaign tells the stories of transformational experiences students have pursuing multiple passions while attending UW-Eau Claire, and through those stories, persuades prospective students who are also seeking a Power of AND experience to choose to enroll here. In addition, the Power of AND brand involves sharing the everyday lives of students on campus, so prospective students can see themselves finding a place to fit in on campus.

With guidance from Dr. Schriner, students in CJ491 pitch story ideas to the university marketing staff and then produce the stories, focusing on prospective students as the targeted audience, and providing authentic student experiences that capture the Power of AND brand. The staff from Integrated Marketing and Communication have come to the class to talk about the university’s branding efforts, they review and refine story ideas, and edit student stories for publication. Every student who has taken the course to date has had the opportunity to be published, and some students have had multiple bylined articles published. A sampling of stories by CJ491 students published by the university:

Exploring hidden gems on campus
Graduate in four years? Plan ahead with MyPlanner
How will you pass on your family legacy? Hockey basics for new fans
A student reflects on UW-Eau Claire affordability

The professional practicum is a great example of the Power of AND, in giving students the experience of working with a real-world client, and leveraging the resources of students to expand the university’s outreach in communicating to prospective students.

If you have any questions on the course and what it offers, as always, feel free to comment below!


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