After leaving Brooks, I had to find a school that would allow me to pursue a degree in photojournalism while receiving the type of education that I desired. I ultimately chose San Jose State University after corresponding with the Photojournalism Professor, Dennis Dunleavy, through email.
In corresponding with Professor Dunleavy, I got a better sense of what SJSU was all about. I learned of their history as an active NPPA Student Chapter (previously supervised by Jim McNay, now head of the Visual Journalism program at Brooks), the coursework involved in earning a degree (which includes a great deal of journalism and mass comm classes), the types of speakers that come to speak at SJSU, and the type of community atmosphere that is fostered among all students within the photojournalism program. Professor Dunleavy also extended an invitation to a Photoshop workshop that was held before the start of the school semester.
I have been attending SJSU since the beginning of the Spring 2005 semester, on January 25, 2005. So far, it has met every expectation that I had. As mentioned previously, I take classes in Mass Communications and Journalism. These classes last 16 weeks as opposed to 8 weeks, and allow for a greater amount of material to be covered. I have been forced to read the news daily, subscribing to countless RSS feeds and leaving CNN on in the background. Professor Dunleavy as well as the more senior photojournalism students have all continuously offered their support to not only myself, but all of the newer students. Though the photojournalism classes are not as intensive technically (photography classes are available for those who need to learn more about operating a camera, lighting, etc), students build more lasting relationships with the instructors.
While SJSU may be lacking in the latest technological equipment, it very successfully accomplishes what all colleges strive for; the sharing of ideas and building of friendships. Discussions range from current events such as Terri Schiavo, to blogging, to file sharing, etc. And now that I am a SJSU student, I feel that I too must add to the conversation.