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The Associate of Arts in Journalism allows students to complete a series of general education and journalism courses before transferring to a bachelor’s program. The courses in the AA in Journalism give students the groundwork for becoming successful transfer students in the field.


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The AA in Journalism degree at East Central College is a program designed to provide students with the core curriculum of journalistic basics, issues of diversity in the media, and journalistic writing. Students are also expected to develop their skills in the hands-on Applied Journalism courses, which produce the school newspaper, the Cornerstone .


Graduates of this program should be able to demonstrate journalistic skill and integrity, and implement ECC’s Common Learning Objectives:


  • Be ethically and socially responsible
  • Be able to communicate effectively in a written and verbal manner
  • Be able to think critically and creatively to solve problems and advance solutions


Activities in Journalism

Students at ECC have the opportunity to work on the school newspaper, the Cornerstone , which has print and online editions. Journalism students, especially, are encouraged and expected to participate in these ventures—interviewing, reporting, photographing and designing—for at least a semester. The ECC Student Media Club allows students to work on a freelance basis, and participate in ECC student activities and student government. Students may also travel to various journalism and media conventions throughout their tenure at ECC. ECC’s Journalism Department also regularly partners with the Words and Motion Film and Speaker series to explore issues surrounding media.

The Career

According to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, “ The central purpose of journalism is to provide citizens with accurate and reliable information they need to function in a free society. This encompasses myriad roles--helping define community, creating common language and common knowledge, identifying a community's goals, heroes and villains, and pushing people beyond complacency. This purpose also involves other requirements, such as being entertaining, serving as watchdog and offering voice to the voiceless.” Journalists work in a myriad of fields, and a degree in Journalism can offer possibilities far beyond the traditional newsroom. Journalism students today are going on to work in online media, print, radio, television and public relations. With its core skills in research, writing and laws and ethics, in addition to record-keeping and technology skills, a Journalism degree provides a strong foundation for many career paths.

Employment Opportunities

Journalists are employed in many fields (for reference the University of Missouri – Columbia’s Missouri School of Journalism offers 30 interest areas for undergraduate students). Some of these occupations include Copywriter, Radio Reporter, Television Reporter, Newspaper Reporter, Editor, Producer, Media Planner, Designer, Photojournalist, Sports Reporter, Art Director, Entrepreneur, Public Relations Specialist, Watchdog Journalist, Magazine Writer, Multimedia Producer

Transfer Options

The Associate of Arts in Journalism degree is designed for those students seeking to pursue a Bachelor of Arts. Many of the credits earned with this degree are accepted as transfer credit by four-year universities. The foundational journalism courses, in addition to the general education coursework, had specifically been articulated with the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri – Columbia. Students who are seeking to transfer are advised to contact their specific four-year institution regarding the transferability of the credits and coursework offered through East Central College.

Admission Requirements

Students must have completed:

  • High school diploma or the equivalent (documentation sent to the registration office)
  • Application for Admission
  • A placement test as specific by the college (some coursework requires minimum placement results)





English, Foreign Language

& Philosophy



Division Chair


John Hardecke

English, Foreign Language & Philosophy Chair

636-584-6656  Off: AC215




Leigh Kolb


636-584-6643   Off: AC214


Cornerstone Online Newspaper

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