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Open to students enrolled at the University of Oklahoma

JMC 3011-003 – Practicum at KGOU Radio, 1 credit, requires a minimum of 3 hours per week during business hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Usually students schedule a three hour shift and other times during their available hours as desired to fulfill their work assignments, which are generally in news, operations/production, operations/community events calendars, and public relations/event administration and advertising. Enrollment is with permission of instructor. (1 credit hour)

Course Description. Practicum is a practical skills class in which students will learn skills required for each of the selected positions, outlined below, that are necessary for operation of a professional public radio station. This class is designed to provide students with the opportunity to receive training in duties that are commonly performed in a real-world environment at an NPR member station and that will assist them in obtaining employment in journalism or related fields and post-graduate course work. This includes news gathering, writing, audio production, announcing and broadcast, digital and social media content distribution methods.

In addition, students will learn effective time management, deadline responsibility, collaboration, following strict guidelines, taking direction and criticism from management and professional staff, punctuality, accountability, effective verbal and written communications and other skills necessary to function in a professional workplace.

Course Goals. The goal of Practicum is to prepare students for work in a professional environment by providing real-world journalism experience in a public radio setting. Students are expected to complete required tasks in a timely manner, consistent with the standards and operations of a professional public service broadcast station.

Learning Outcomes. In addition to the duties relevant to each Practicum position, the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications requires that graduates of accredited programs be aware of certain core values and competencies and be able to:

  • apply the principles and laws of freedom of speech and press, in a global context, and for the country in which the institution that invites ACEJMC is located;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the multicultural history and role of professionals and institutions in shaping communications;
  • demonstrate culturally proficient communication that empowers those traditionally disenfranchised in society, especially as grounded in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and ability, domestically and globally, across communication and media contexts;
  • present images and information effectively and creatively, using appropriate tools and technologies;
  • write correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the communications professions, audiences and purposes they serve;
  • demonstrate an understanding of professional ethical principles and work ethically in pursuit of truth, accuracy, fairness and diversity;
  • apply critical thinking skills in conducting research and evaluating information by methods appropriate to the communications professions in which they work;
  • effectively and correctly apply basic numerical and statistical concepts;
  • critically evaluate their own work and that of others for accuracy and fairness, clarity, appropriate style and grammatical correctness;
  • apply tools and technologies appropriate for the communications professions in which they work.

Text and materials. Sound Reporting by Jonathan Kern is required.

Teaching philosophy. Students will learn how to perform tasks consistent with station needs and relevant standards through an interactive process to learn professional skills, responsibility and accountability. Generally, students will be expected to perform up to accepted professional standards for persons who would be considered “entry level” for employment at KGOU. Students are expected to participate in discussions, ask questions, pay attention, take direction, manage time and meet deadlines, produce required quantity and quality of work, exhibit respectful communication skills and adhere to standards required by a professional public radio station in a major broadcast market. We want each student to feel welcomed and encouraged to learn in a productive and engaging environment.

Expectations/Professionalism. On all projects, students should strive for nothing less than a professional presentation, ear appeal, punctuality, professional courtesies, originality, and creativity, consistent with our practices as an NPR member station. If students have questions about what any of that means, we encourage them to ask. Students need to come to class prepared, ready to work and to ask questions. Regular attendance and punctuality are critical to success in this class. Students must communicate with instructors and turn in work on time. Due to the nature of our work and station needs, there may be strict deadlines for completion of work. Appropriate attire is recommended, especially when meeting a member of the public while on assignment.

Learning Activities and Assessment. Practicum is designed to provide students with an opportunity to learn and practice skills essential to performing job duties in a professional radio work environment. This requires knowledge, understanding and application of core values and competencies required for persons holding positions in a public radio station and other journalism organizations. To be successful, students must commit to demonstrating ACEEJMC CVC concepts including principles of the 1st Amendment, journalism history and its role in society, journalism ethics, diversity, news gathering, research and evaluation, clear concise writing, presentation, application of tools and technology, critical thinking, creativity and independence.

Class Enrollment. Permission of the instructor is required to enroll in the class after completion of certain courses required by Gaylord College. Seats are limited, so to be considered for the class students must submit a personal resume and indication of preference(s) for the available Practicum positions (described below). Selections will be based on skills, training, academic achievement, student interests, goals, and availability in scheduling to achieve the most meaningful exposure to practical real-world skills for the student, consistent with the needs determined by KGOU and station staff capacity.

Practicum Positions. Students will work in one of the following areas. Duties may be adjusted from time to time, depending on the needs of KGOU:


  • Write, voice and edit on-air announcements
  • Record and edit audio (skills needed to produce podcasts)
  • Assist Program Director and do research for KGOU music shows
  • Research, write and produce Community Events Calendar items

Operations/Community Events Calendars:

  • Research, write, voice and produce Community Event Calendars (metro and rural service areas) for digital and broadcast

News and Public Affairs:

  • Research and write news stories for digital and broadcast
  • Photography for digital (online) news stories
  • Produce audio and video stories for digital, social media
  • Produce community news for regional locations

Public Relations/Donor Relations, Event Administration and Promotion:

  • Event planning for KGOU and StateImpact Oklahoma
  • Writing, photography for KGOU newsletters, social media and promotions
  • Producing short audio or video for social media
  • Advertising design and placement
  • Fundraising (advancement) assistance and community outreach

Course Schedule. The class normally meets at KGOU Radio – Room 313 Copeland Hall. However, when necessary, meetings may be conducted virtually. During the first class, students will identify their relevant skills and interests and available times in the schedule, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., to establish their 3-6 hour weekly schedule.

  1. Time spent in the assigned class period for the first few weeks of the semester will count toward the accumulation of hours.
  2. Students should maintain their established schedule each week of the semester and should treat Practicum as a real job and come ready to work at the appointed times. If students are sick, they should call, text or email their instructor to let them know as far in advance as possible.
  3. Changes in regular work hours are possible with advance permission from the instructor.
  4. Students are expected to maintain a time sheet (updated weekly) to record their hours worked.

KGOU is located in Rm. 313 of Copeland Hall and has easy access for enrolled students. Contact the General Manager at manager@kgou.org, or at (405) 325-2222 to set up an appointment to discuss internship opportunities.