PAR degree = Excellent career prospects


If you want to be a working journalist, then PAR is a perfect match for you. The program enjoys an excellent placement record, averaging close to 100 percent for each graduating class.

Members of the last three graduating classes, for example, are now working as reporters/producers for newspapers and broadcasters in Springfield, Chicago, other Illinois cities, D.C., Delaware, Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin.

As of the beginning of 2020, our alumni were working as editors, columnists and reporters at the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, the Houston Chronicle,  The Arizona Republic, (Minneapolis) Star Tribune,, the Tampa Bay Times, The Indianapolis Star, The Baltimore Sun, The Dallas Morning News and other major metropolitan newspapers, as well as with The Associated Press, Reuters, Bloomberg News, Newsweek, POLITICO and The Hill.

Broadcast alums are currently executives, producers, and reporters with television and radio outlets in the Chicago, St. Louis, Washington, Boston, Atlanta, Phoenix, Denver, Orlando, Raleigh-Durham, San Diego, Nashville and other markets throughout the U.S., as well as with Al Jazeera and National Public Radio.

The impressive placement results aren’t surprising, considering what graduates bring to the table.

PAR students start their professional careers fresh from full-time jobs, cleverly disguised as internships, covering the complexities of Illinois government for the state’s leading media outlets. They have the clips and the resume tapes to show what they did in the demanding environment of the Statehouse.

HannahIn addition to finely honed reporting and writing skills, PAR grads also acquire in-depth knowledge of the most critical public affairs issues of the day, including marijuana legalization, gun control, abortion regulation, school finance, health care and taxation.

In short, students leaving the PAR program are prepared to step into the most demanding beats a newsroom has to offer, and the media managers who do the hiring know it. That’s why managing editors and news directors with openings on their news staffs call us looking for alums who might be available; in fact, frequently the callers are PAR grads themselves.

Have more questions? Fill out this form or contact PAR director Jason Piscia at or (217) 206-7494.