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Starting this summer, the UCF journalism and radio-television majors will become a single journalism or "news" program with two different tracks.

"All the faculty were involved in this — both radio-television and journalism," said Tim Brown, UCF radio-television area coordinator. "This was everybody coming together."

After much conversation, the changes will be in effect this summer. Students applying to the journalism program for summer 2015 will choose between two tracks: print-digital or electronic journalism. Students currently in the majors will finish according to their catalog year and will not be affected by the changes.

While the programs are not merging together, Brown said, there is an effort to collaborate and bridge the gap between the tracks.

"The newer curriculum allows for different electives, different experiences," Brown said. "We've built in a lot of different things that we're really excited for."

Brown said all news students will be required to take a basic reporting class and basic videography class.

"We're trying to establish that cooperation and collaboration between the two 'sides' a lot earlier," he explained. "Yes, we want some specialization — but we want journalists."

The new curriculum will allow students on the print-digital track to take a mid-level electronic reporting class, and students on the electronic track will have the opportunity to take copy editing, metro reporting and advanced photojournalism.

Along with feedback from students, a combination of factors inspired the changes, including properly preparing students for the news industry, and providing growth and stability for the program itself.

Brown said there is a possibility for the Nicholson School of Communication to relocate to the future downtown UCF campus, allowing students to take advantage of exploring media partners in the area.

"The planning and certification is all done, but the implementation begins," he said.

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Nada Hassanein is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @nhassanein_ or email her at NadaH@CentralFloridaFuture.com.

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