In 2014, the late Dr. Lisa Rollins was instrumental in obtaining approval for the very first online student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). Never before had any institution of higher learning been allowed to have a chapter in the online environment. While SPJ and Ashford understood that this was new territory, they worked together to embark upon this new venture and it has proven to be an exceptional journey for students at Ashford University.
SPJ@Ashford is a student-led organization dedicated to the mission of the SPJ and works with the Journalism and Mass Communication program to ensure that every student who is a part of the organization reaps the benefits. Each year, student officers and members of SPJ work together to create quarterly webinars, programs and other events beneficial in helping them connect with their peers and professionals in the industry. Members of SPJ@Ashford are afforded all of the benefits of other members of the SPJ. Membership in SPJ@Ashford is open to all Ashford University students.
The SPJ Blog is the place where student work in the areas of Diversity in Journalism, Freedom of Information Act, and Ethics in Journalism are showcased. These submissions come by way of JRN 301 where students write blogs based on these categories. In the near future, SPJ will be inviting original submissions to be included in special series. These publications provide students with the opportunity to have forward-facing blogs that can be accessed by anyone who visits the SPJ@Ashford website.
SPJ@Ashford is committed to enhancing each students’ matriculation through the Journalism and Mass Communication program by providing opportunities to bring what they learn in the classroom into the real world.