MCOM 180:
Independent Study

Options and Procedures To Follow For Academic Credit

MCOM 180: Independent Study
A unique, self-motivated, proactive student learning opportunity.
No regular class meetings. Supervision by JMC School faculty members required.

Spring Semester 2018   

Option #1: Traditional Approach.
Develop a special topic or idea in your media major that interests you,
then work in close supervision with a JMC School faculty member in your major
to produce a paper, project, production or portfolio by semester's end.
Work out the details with the faculty member at the beginning of the semester.
Once approved and add code will be issued for MCOM 180. Use it immediately
to register for one, two or three units of academic credit
no later than the Feb. 13, 2018 deadline to add classes at SJSU.

No late adds after that date - JMC School Policy.


Option #2:
TV Production Assistant for academic credit.

No previous experience required.
Training provided by Juan Serna, the JMC School Television Studio Engineer and Manager.
Students help set up and tear down productions, run TV studio cameras, floor manage during tapings,
and sometimes fill-in as control room technology assistants.
Students can sign up for one, two or three units of academic credit.
All MUST have flexible schedules, and be available to work
TV studio taping sessions during the semester.
 Some productions, like Update News, are pre-scheduled weekly.
Others are recorded to meet timely needs or unexpected assignments in the JMC School.

Students with proven experience with video editing using Adobe Premiere, Photoshop and
any animation production skills.

See Journalism School TV Studio Productions Coordinator, Prof. Bob Rucker
for more insights on this production assistant position. His office is
Dwight Bentel Hall, room 125.



Deadline to register for MCOM 180 is Feb. 13, 2018,
the last day to add a class at SJSU during Spring Semester.


More information below on the

   Printable Handout

Available every semester for 1, 2 or 3 units - Unique procedure requirements before registration.
Student must follow ALL steps listed below.  

Deadline: Must register by the LAST DAY TO ADD classes every semester. No exceptions.

See Prof. Bob Rucker in Dwight Bentel Hall, room 125.

Advertising, Journalism and Public Relations Undergraduate
and Graduate Students:

All MCOM 180 students must enroll at the beginning of 
each semester
: No advance enrollment or late adds.

Calls or emails requesting add codes are not accepted
because every student MUST get their unique MCOM 180 effort
approved first by a JMC School faculty member in their major
before registration.


While the university and JMC School faculty determine most of the units all students
must take for graduation and a media degree, students also have academic credit
opportunities where they lead the learning process, discover important media career
information, and address personal interests or questions for academic credit.

Students direct the unique educational experience in their media major
through critical thinking, organizing their thoughts, and developing a specific
learning experience strategy or plan.

During their research student identify media and other experts who can provide
pertinent insights and information, and possibly serve as
professional mentors for their future.


 When MCOM 180 is completed, students have new insights and answers about
their media careers and areas of curiosity or interest that will help them be better
prepared to enter the professional media market after graduation.

Students must demonstrate their talents and professional abilities
by critically thinking about a specific media topic or timely issue,
then individually conduct research,make contact
with media experts and explore these efforts in some depth.
 A final paper, project, video or presentation must be produced
on the experience by semester's end for JMC faculty evaluation.






1. Identify a unique topic in your media major or media professional field that
you are curious about or want to learn more about.

Do this quickly at the start of the semester and
before the Add Class Deadline. In Spring 2017, the deadline is FEB. 14th.

2. Meet with a JMC School faculty member in your major and
discuss in detail the MCOM 180 media self-study.

3. Work out the specifics of this unique opportunity with your the
JMC School faculty member in your major. Develop a timeline to follow

The assignment must be explicitly discussed, and the effort must justify the
number of units of credit you are requesting.
Your JMC School faculty member must
agree with your proposed effort and to sign-off on it.
Otherwise no credit will be given.

4. Complete the specific MCOM 180 ( 1, 2 or 3 unit ) application form.
They are available in the JMC School main office, DBH 105
and on the JMC School website. ( Right side box. )

5. Fill out the appropriate form with the JMC School faculty member,
 make sure you both sign the form, and specify
the exact number of units of credit for your MCOM 180.

This must be done before the Add Deadline to get credit.

6. Return the fully completed and signed form to to DBH 105
BEFORE the SJSU Last Day to Add Classes.

The JMC Office staff will provide the add code
to register for MCOM 180 on MySJSU.

7. Use that add code immediately and register for MCOM 180.

Make sure you do not get dropped from your classes during the semester.

Late add requests are NOT accepted in the JMC School.

8. During the semester complete MCOM 180 assignment you worked out
 with your JMC School faculty member in your major. Follow your timeline.

9. Throughout the semester meet with and update your JMC faculty major
adviser on your progress. Ask for advice or any suggestions needed.
Discuss and work out roadblocks you encounter. 
Don't disappear. Don't procrastinate.
That would jeopardize getting credit.

Faculty updates should be provided by the student periodically.

10. By the end-of-semester deadline, (the date established by you and
your JMC School faculty member at the outset of the semester,)
turn in your MCOM 180 independent
study effort...
(ie. paper, project, presentation).
No late submissions.

After your JMC School faculty member in your major reviews
your completed effort, the faculty member will contact the JMC School
Coordinator for MCOM 180 and report the grade to be posted.

Spring 2017: Prof. Bob Rucker is the JMC School Coordinator.

The only authorized grades for MCOM 180 are:

CR which means CREDIT
NC which means NO CREDIT.



Do not count on being given additional time
to complete your MCOM 180 approved assignment.
The faculty member is authorized to give a grade of
'No Credit' for unfinished efforts.


Don't be shy in this process. Be assertive, and always respectful.

Don't PROCRASTINATE...Don't Work Against Yourself!
Never tell yourself media industry experts won't talk to you.
That's your bias. ASK...TRY... MAKE THE EFFORT.

Most professionals find time to help you with your research.
They were once students too you know.

Many students are amazed at how cooperative
media experts are with these self-study efforts.

They want you to know what really goes on in their
profession, and help you understand and plan
ahead before entering the job market..

Always be considerate and patient with their busy work schedules.

Don't expect them to respond to calls or email inquiries only.
That's your bias again...What's easiest for you.
Give them some options for a possible follow-up by you.

Many professionals like to be asked for assistance in a
direct way. So use the telephone and ask for an appointment
for a discussion about your research.
Some may invite you to their workplace for the meeting.

Always be considerate and respectful of their time.

Be organized and ready for this conversation always.
You may not get another chance.

Take detailed notes, be personable, ask good questions,
 and try to leave a good impression.


Ask if you could keep in touch, or if the expert would
consider being a media career mentor.

This is a great way to add to you network of media contacts
and develop a new professional adviser relationship.



 Hopefully by the end of your MCOM 180 experience you will have learned
more about some important aspect of your media major that
will help you as you prepare to enter the media job market.

Happy Exploring.  Enjoy!




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