Some University of New Mexico journalism students are scrambling to meet with their academic advisors after a crucial course in the journalism degree plan was cancelled prior to the semester start.

Video Journalism, CJ 360, was cut from the course schedule due to low enrollment.

David Weiss, Communications and Journalism department chair, said only four students had registered for the course prior to its cancellation.



Weiss said in order for the College of Arts and Sciences to keep a course scheduled there must be a minimum of at least 15 students to register for the class. However, sometimes exceptions can be made if enrollment is close to that amount.

“This was obviously not the case here,” Weiss said.

The course is a requirement for students pursuing a concentration in Multimedia Journalism.

Students who are scheduled to graduate at the end of this semester have the option to take CJ 464, Multimedia Production, to receive credit for this class in substitution for the credits students would have earned in CJ 360. It takes place during the second eight weeks of this semester.

However, students who are not graduating in May will have to wait until Fall 2019 or Spring 2020 to take a scheduled CJ 360 course.

The low enrollment for the Video Journalism course this semester could be a result of the drop in enrollment in both the Communication and Journalism department and the University as a whole.

Overall, undergraduate enrollment at UNM has dropped almost 15 percent in the past five years, according to the Fall 2018 UNM Official Enrollment Report. Just from 2017 to 2018, the rate fell nearly 18 percent.

“Enrollment decline was not the major factor in this case,” Weiss said.

He said the major factor that ultimately lead to the class’ demise was simply a scheduling issue. It was initially offered as a first half semester course instead of a typical full semester course. Also, the class time was changed in December after many students could no longer fit the class into their schedules.

In the future, the Communications and Journalism department plans to offer this course for the full semester from the beginning of the scheduling process to avoid cancellation again.

Makayla Grijalva is the multimedia editor for the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted by email at multimedia@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @MakaylaEliboria.