JEA Certification Requirements

Effective July 1, 2021

Certified Journalism Educator

New applicants

Cost: $60

Eligibility: Current JEA member

Application requirements: complete application questions

Test: Score a 75% or higher on the CJE exam including at least 75% on the law and ethics section within one year of application. Test scores are kept for one year. 

Test retakes: If an applicant does not pass the first attempt of the test, the applicant may retake the test once for free if it is done within one year of the original application date. Applicants who score at least 75% or higher on the exam, but who do not score at least 75% on the law and ethics section, may retake that one section within one year of the original application. Any retake after one year of the original application will require the applicant to reapply and submit a $25 reapplication fee. 

*Applicants who do not take the test within one year of the application will need to restart the application process.

Renewal - every five years 

Cost: $10 (free to retired members)

Application requirements: three professional growth activities (see list below)

*Members who let their certification lapse beyond six months will have to retake the exam.

Master Journalism Educator

New applicants

Cost: $85

Eligibility: Current CJE status and at least five years of teaching/advising experience 

Application requirements: resume, letter of recommendation, three professional growth activities, proposal for MJE project and integrity statement.

Project: Successful completion of approved project within one year of the application. Applicants who do not complete the project within one year of application will need to reapply. The reapplication fee is $25 if the application is submitted within two years of the original application. After two years, applicants will need to restart the application process, which includes retaking the test and submitting a new project proposal. 

Test: Score a 75% or higher on the MJE exam, including at least 75% on the law and ethics question, within one year of application. Applicants who do not complete the test within one year of application will need to reapply. Test scores are kept for two years. 

Test retakes: If an applicant does not pass the first attempt of the test, the applicant may retake the test once for free if it is done within one year of the original application date. Applicants who score at least 75% or higher on the exam but do not score at least 75% on the law and ethics section may retake that one section within one year of the original application. Any retake after one year of the original application will require the applicant to reapply and submit a $25 reapplication fee. 

*Applicants who do not take the test within one year of the application will need to restart the application process.

Renewal - every five years

Cost: $10 (free to retired members)

Application requirements: five professional growth activities (see list below)

*members who let their certification lapse beyond six months will have to retake the exam


*Application fees are nonrefundable. Applicants should make sure they meet requirements before submitting the application.


Professional growth activities

CJE renewal and new MJE applicants will choose three activities (at least one from each group).

MJE renewal will choose five activities (at least two from each group).

The application requires the applicant to provide date(s) of participation, the sponsoring organization, a detailed description of the activity and an explanation of how the activities impacted his or her teaching effectiveness.

Group I

A. Holding elected or appointed offices in national, regional or state professional journalism education organizations. Each office counts once for the renewal period. 

B. Serving on committees of national, regional or state professional journalism education associations. Each committee counts once for the renewal period. 

C. Creating curriculum or staff organization resources for use by advisers and staffers at the local, state or national level. Applicants must provide links to resources and lesson plans. Resource creation counts once for the renewal period. 

D. Publishing an article or articles in a scholastic journalism publication, e.g., Communication: Journalism Education Today or hosting and/or speaking on a scholastic journalism podcast. Applicants must provide a link to the published work.

Group II

E. Presenting or volunteering at conventions or workshops of national, regional, state or local professional journalism education associations. Applicants must provide a description of the role they played, which could include presenting sessions or assisting in another capacity. Conference participation counts once for the renewal period.

F. Completing journalism courses or workshops at college or universities. 

G. Attend JEA Advisers Institute. Attendance counts once for the renewal period.

H. Judging or critiquing journalism contests at the national, regional, state or local level. Judging and critiquing counts once for the renewal period.

I. Contributing to collaborative projects that benefit advisers and staffs.

J. Completing Adobe Certification or YouScience Certifications in Digital Photography or Television Broadcasting. Each certification counts one time and cannot be repeated for future renewals. Upload a completion certificate.

K. Completing JEA Critique Training. Critique Training counts one time and cannot be repeated on future renewals. 

L. Participating in other activities that have contributed significantly to continued professional growth.

M. Serving as a JEA Mentor (MJE renewal only).

Examples of professional growth activity logs for renewal applications

Group I example

Activity D

JEA Digital Media 2017-2019.

As a member of the JEA Digital Media committee I contributed content to the website a few times each year. This offered me a chance to be reflective on my practice, but also to share my experiences and my program's experiences. In the link in the former question, you will see the list of all the articles I wrote in that time period, many of which focused on social media and elevating one's practice. This helped me realize that sharing knowledge is more important than storing it, especially if I am engaging with it in new and unique ways. I also was part of a team, the DM committee, which really had me wanting to uplift membership to a better place and not let the group down by not contributing.

Shared with permission from Patrick Johnson, MJE.


Group II example

Activity F

University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication coursework 2020-2021.

I left the classroom and am currently getting my doctorate in journalism and mass communication to help the profession differently: through research and teaching at the collegiate level. I am currently doing work in journalism ethics with a focus on student journalists. I'm hoping to capitalize on the coursework I am in to create stronger ethical frameworks moving forward, and that this work can improve our teaching practices with our students.

I am also working on a national research team that is researching issues of media literacy and equity. As part of this project, we are launching a website this summer for teachers to use to enhance the impact of their media literacy practices. Being back in the classroom as a student has been a learning experience to say the least. After being out for ten years, I've learned a lot about what matters in education now that I experienced it as a teacher. My doctoral coursework in journalism helps me to think deeper and more critically about issues in the journalism industry and what that can mean for journalism education in the future.

Shared with permission from Patrick Johnson, MJE.

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