Leading the way in scholastic journalism & media education since 1924


Why should I seek certification?

Certification will demonstrate that you are qualified to teach journalism and validate the credibility of your program to administrators, parents, fellow teachers, students and others. It will recognize your commitment to journalistic training and provide tangible evidence of your qualifications to remain in journalism education. It recognizes journalism teaching and advising as an academic field worthy of professional status. For business/ commercial JEA members associated with a scholastic journalism enterprise, it will demonstrate a high level of professionalism and commitment to the students and advisers they serve. JEA will notify administrators and local media of your certification. A certificate and pin will testify to your qualification. Your listing in the directory also will be an automatic reference for available positions in and opportunities to serve scholastic journalism.

Does this mean journalism teachers and advisers must earn this certification?

No. Designed to recognize teachers with the background and experience necessary to do a good job, this program is entirely voluntary. JEA encourages all journalism educators to be well prepared.

What if I don’t have many college credits in journalism?

You may qualify for certification under Option B or Option C, in which a test substitutes for credits.

How does this program differ from state certification?

State certification, which does not exist in many states, is usually mandatory and based entirely on college credits. Through the test, this program will recognize teachers who have gained knowledge through experience and self-study or from attending convention sessions or non-credit workshops. It also offers national certification whether or not a state program exists. The Master Journalism Educator program recognizes the teacher of unusual ability and expertise, a recognition that state certification cannot provide.

How will it improve journalism education nationwide?

JEA hopes colleges and universities will offer courses and workshops to help teachers meet these requirements. JEA also hopes colleges and universities will realize classes taught by CJEs and MJEs are bona fide English classes and should be accepted as such when determining college admissions.

What does it cost to become a Certified Journalism Educator?

Application fee is $60 for JEA members. Nonmembers must join JEA before they apply. Fees cover only a portion of administration, judging, mailing and costs of pins and certificates. Other expenses for developing criteria and tests will be covered by JEA. School districts are encouraged to pay the fees for their applicants.

What are the qualifications for CJE?

Applicants must complete an application and (1) provide evidence of a valid state teaching certificate, unless one is not required in special instances, and (2) provide evidence of journalistic training from one of two options:

Option A: Copies of transcripts showing a college major or minor in journalism or mass communications, with a course in publications advising or 18 semester (27 quarter) credits of journalism, including course work in news writing and reporting, communications law, and publications advising. Credit may be from undergraduate or graduate courses, workshops, independent (correspondence) study or technology classes.

Option B: Provide evidence of at least three years, minimum, journalism teaching or advising and pass a written examination administered by JEA.

Option C: Provide evidence of at least three years of scholastic journalism-related employment, a letter of recommendation from a CJE or MJE, a resume and list of courses/sessions taught and pass a written examination administered by JEA.

If I choose Option B or Option C, what kind of test will be given?

The 2.5-hour, written test requires short responses to 78 questions (50 multiple choice, 20 short answer and eight demonstration) covering 11 of JEA’s Standards for Journalism Educators. CLICK HERE to view a downloadable study guide.

Can I take the certification on computer?

Yes, candidates taking CJE and MJE exams should bring their own laptops to the testing sites at national conventions in the fall and spring and to JEA Advisers Institute in July. Candidates use their laptops to word process their responses. A safe system has been developed to make sure the exams and responses are secure and reliable.

After CJE status, what’s the next step?

CJEs may apply for Master Journalism Educator status, which recognizes journalism teachers with outstanding abilities and expertise in the field.

What are the qualifications for MJE?

Applicants must complete an application and

  1. Have earned CJE status.
  2. Verify five years of journalism teaching or advising experience.
  3. Submit a letter of endorsement from a supervisor or principal who has directly observed the journalism educator while teaching or advising.
  4. Show evidence of participation in scholastic journalism professional growth activities at local, state, regional or national levels.
  5. Pass the Master Journalism Educator examination (a 2 1/2-hour essay test of the educator’s knowledge and ability to advise others about journalism).
  6. Submit a pre-approved project, paper or teaching unit.

What is the fee for MJE status?

Application fee is $85 for JEA members. Nonmembers must join JEA before they apply. This fee is higher than that for CJE because more extensive judging is necessary. School districts are encouraged to pay the fee.

What is the application deadline, and when will I receive my award?

Applications for MJE or CJE using Options B or C should be received by Feb. 1 to take the test at the spring convention or Sept. 1 to take the test at the fall convention. Test results will be sent about eight weeks after the convention, and applicants will be notified about selection as soon as all application procedures are complete. Successful applicants will be announced at the next convention.

CJE certificates or MJE plaques are presented at JEA conventions or mailed to those who cannot attend.

How will tests be judged?

All test judging will be anonymous. JEA headquarters will assign a number to each test, which will go to a Review Board of judges, who will independently grade the test. A composite score will be given.

How long will certification be current?

The CJE and MJE will be valid for five years and may be renewed by showing evidence of continued professional growth. The renewal fee is $10. If certification is not renewed at the end of five years, it will be considered void.


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