Journalism students gain mentoring experience through service-learning project

Nov 15, 2012 | Liberal Arts

Louisiana Tech students in a sophomore-level journalism class this fall got the opportunity not only to learn how to be better editors, but to also put those skills into practice by mentoring high school students.
In Journalism 220: Copy Editing, students are taught to be effective editors in the workplace, and they created short how-to videos explaining journalistic writing and editing for students at Farmerville High School.
“Students in this class learn to be editors,” said Judith Roberts, instructor of the course. “Through this project, they actually were able to create something that was beneficial not only for themselves but for the Farmerville students, too.”
Roberts said the idea for the class came when she and Carie Hogan, publications chair at FHS, began talking about Hogan’s digital media class and a new journalism class.
“Their students needed help with the fundamentals of journalistic writing and editing,” Roberts said. “My students were able to use the editorial leadership skills they learned in this class to create presentations that the Farmerville students can use to learn these basics.”
Topics that the students covered included how to use Associated Press style writing, how to work with editors and reporters, write headlines, write using clear grammar and good style, generate story ideas, and organize a story.
“Our kids lack the basic foundation in that,” Hogan said. “The videos coming from college students will relate to our students. The information is coming from people closer to their age. We want them to go to college and get that college experience. If they have an interest in this, they can continue it.”
Hogan said she hopes the FHS digital media and journalism classes will continue next year.
“We want to continue this partnership and develop these classes,” she said.
Hannah Schilling, a journalism major from Bossier City who was a student in the class, said the class helped her as an editor on the student-run newspaper, The Tech Talk. Schilling will serve as managing editor on the paper in the winter quarter.
“I thought it was cool that when I was helping others how to be an editor that I was helping myself be an editor,” Schilling said.