If I had a nickel every time a student asked where they should study journalism in college, I’d have a profitable business to fund my “summers off.” But I can count on one hand the number of times I gave sound, confident advice about college choices that led students to a journalism adviser’s proudest moment: a degree and job in media, or at least using the skills only journalism can teach.
As journalists and media advisers, we care about getting it right, especially when it comes to giving our students advice about future careers. The unfortunate truth of the matter is the “right” answer often changes based on who’s doing the asking, how much money their parents have and their adeptness at predicting the future.
So here’s the rub. Students are turning to qualified experts they trust—that’s us—looking for simple answers to complicated questions the world tells them will determine the course of their lives forever. No sweat, right?
Regrettably, our omniscience is sometimes limited to the First Amendment and where punctuation should fall in a sentence.
University journalism programs across the nation, much less Texas, scramble every year to balance changing industry standards, the growing demands of the higher education machine and the soaring costs of staying competitive in their markets.
The fast-moving and unpredictable dynamic of college choices mean journalism advisers must do their homework before dishing out cookie-cutter advice to every student, every year without considering each person’s needs and long-term goals.
To help you and your students sift through options, here’s a list of the top J-schools in Texas, some Division I state schools, others smaller, private institutions, each with their own set of pros and cons. And more importantly, here’s a list of questions to ask yourself (or your students) to help them pick a winner.
University of Texas – Austin
Texas Tech University – Lubbock
University of North Texas – Denton
Southern Methodist University – Dallas
Stephen F. Austin – Nacogdoches
Abilene Christian University – Abilene
Angelo State University – San Angelo
Midwestern State University – Wichita Falls