Laurier Brantford is hoping to expand its journalism department, according to Journalism Program Director David Haskell.

Currently in place is a proposal to bring Conestoga College’s post-graduate broadcast journalism program to Laurier Brantford, ending an agreement that currently sends third-year broadcast students to Kitchener for one year to complete the program, before having those students return to Brantford for their fourth year.

“This would be a huge benefit to our students, as they wouldn’t have to change houses and cities in the middle of their university career,” said Haskell. “Also, part of the fee currently goes to Conestoga. Bringing it to Laurier would put all the money back into the school, as well as the tuition of post-grad students just taking that program.”

The preparations have been made, and the project is ready to go for as early as the 2010 fall semester, but there needs to be increased student demand. Haskell estimates that the move would cost Conestoga anywhere between $50,000 and $90,000, requiring that there be a minimum of 23 students in order to make the move happen. There are currently only 13.

“Currently, the program gives Laurier Brantford students a jump on their academic career, giving them a college post-grad certificate and a university degree, and that would not change,” Haskell said. “I think that bringing it here would definitely help. Anyone graduating from Laurier Brantford would get to consider taking this as an option, even if not to be a journalist, it could help build writing skills for marketing or public relations and things like that.”

Students waiting to go into the program are not so happy about being left out in the dark on where they will be next year.

“It’s stupid. We need to get a house, and soon,” said Sam Lash, a student entering the program. “Right now it looks like [we] may just rent a house in Kitchener and then commute here if the change goes through.”

Haskell says that to be fair to students, the decision will be made soon.

“If we could get the numbers within the next three to four weeks, we would have enough time to get on this and bring it to Brantford in September,” he said. “The idea has been around since the agreement started, it’s just taken this long to work out the bugs, but as it stands now, Conestoga is ready and willing to bring the program here this September.”

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