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Professor Ratings & Grade Distribution Data for Frederick Fico

Frederick Fico
Professor (2008 – 2014)
Michigan State (MSU)
Journalism
Rate Professor
 
3.7273***+
Overall rating
Rated by 11 students
3.07
Avg GPA
across 4 classes
Fall 2015 Schedule
No classes for this semester.
All Classes
ADV 900
JRN 200
JRN 300
JRN 490
JRN 815
JRN 817
JRN 890
JRN 900

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Student Ratings 1 - 11 of 11

 
JRN 200
Writing and Reporting News I
4****
Pros: Prepares you well for the world of journalism, cares that you do well, communication is easy and he responds to e-mails almost immediately
Cons: Extremely tough grader, you will not 4.0.
From everything I've heard, Fico is the hardest JRN 200 professor at MSU. However, because of this, he pushes you to do your best and you will learn a lot from him. By the end of the semester, I wasn't making any AP style errors and came out a much better writer and reporter. Don't think that he'll cut you any slack just because he likes you, though.
Professor rated by: Journalism Student on May 2, 2011
Helpful Rating?
YES
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JRN 300
Writing & Reporting News II(W)
4****
I'm adding to this post because the 3 posts before mine weren't all that helpful to me when I was trying to decide whether to take this class with Fico or not. The posts before mine are definitely right about him!



He is a good journalism instructor. He is experienced, willing to help and speak with you whenever you need to, and he is really focused on pushing you to be the best news reporter you can be.



And that's exactly what's so frustrating about having him for an instructor -- he pushes WAY too hard, and you can NEVER satisfy him no matter how hard you try. He harps on everything. If you changed your old ways to do what he wants or suggests, then he'll find something wrong with what you've done anyway or suggest 10 other things you ought to do or improve on. You're going to feel like he expects you to be a full-time professional news reporter with years of expertise on your beat. He makes so many demands - many of which you don't really have control over -- and has so many requirements, that it's probably easier and far less aggravating to write for the LSJ or the State News than it is to write for him.



He's not all bad. There's some days when you're fine with him and then there are days when you just want to strangle him. I recommend taking this class with someone else if you can, instead of taking it with him, and having your blood pressure rise to an unhealthy level from having him for an instructor.



You might put 200% of effort into this class, and end up with a mere 3.0 or 3.5, at best. Save yourself the agony and choose someone else for your JRN 300 instuctor.



There are 10 articles due in this class almost every week, no final exam, frequent quizzes on AP style, computing millage and proprtions, and police vocabulary for example. After the first half of the semester, it gets a little more laid back cuz guest speakers are invited to class and you have the option of attending class or not. His lectures are boring and you'll find yourself fighting to stay awake even if you got a decent night's sleep.
Professor rated by: Student on April 6, 2005
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JRN 300
Writing & Reporting News II(W)
4****
Fico really cares about how well his students do in the class. Perhaps, he cares a little too much. He doesn't always realize that people in the class aren't trying to be reporters or anything, that maybe they're design or photo or something else instead and got stuck with the class as a pre req.



He really tries to push getting your stuff published. He FORCES you to stay on track, there is no choice if you don't want to fail because he will make you find out information about your city or township as a quiz grade. You don't get the info, you get a 0 for your quiz.



The class is incredibly stressful and time consuming in the beginning, especially because he piles 1 or 2 quizzes a week on top of the stories that are already due for that week. It eases up, I swear, just try to hold your ground though as much as you can
Professor rated by: Student on May 15, 2005
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JRN 200
Writing and Reporting News I
4****
So we got stuck with the professor who is typically the toughest 300 prof...in our 200 class. He has incredibly high standards and pushes you to meet them. The highest grade he gave was a 3.0 (and he gave only three of them). He did offer quite a bit of extra credit; however, on top of two quizzes a week plus whatever story or test was going on, it was nearly impossible to put in the extra effort.



This class stressed me out more than almost any class I've ever taken, and I normally do well under pressure. If you value your 4.0 GPA or don't want to gauge your eyes out with a pencil on a daily basis, don't take this class. But if you're genuinely interested in learning, Fred Fico does his job. The experience and knowledge I gained was - dare I say it - worth it.
Professor rated by: Student on February 3, 2007
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JRN 200
Writing and Reporting News I
4****
Professor Fico has great intentions. He truly wants his students to succeed in journalism.



However, his teaching style is old fashioned and strict. There are no cell phones allowed in class and he becomes distressed if he catches you on the internet.



I walked out of Professor Fico's class truly knowledgeable in journalism. If you are looking to improve your skills as a journalist, take one of his courses. You will learn a lot.



If you are looking to keep a high GPA, do not take his courses. I received a 2.5, and I'm almost positive that was the highest grade he gave out in my class.
Professor rated by: Journalism Student on March 28, 2013
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JRN 200
Writing and Reporting News I
5*****
I took Fico in 2003. I'm in TV news now, although on the technical side. If you want to maintain a 4.0, don't take Fico. If you are serious about learning to WRITE, this is the best teacher to have. You might not get a 4.0, but you may land a job later with your skills. I disagree with the previous poster about future photogs. not wanting to face this challenge. In this job market, the more skills you have, the better chance you have of staying in the business.
Professor rated by: Student on June 10, 2007
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JRN 300
Writing & Reporting News II(W)
4****
I wanted to shoot this guy in the face sometimes but you can't deny he pushes pushes pushes you to do your best. He'll give you a zero on a huge story for a miniscule mistake and then invite you to his office for coffee to talk about it. He doesn't let you get away with anything, and at the end of the course, you'll be a changed man (or woman), believe me. Either that or you'll have dropped. A dream for over-achievers (maybe), a nightmare for everyone else
Professor rated by: Student on August 29, 2007
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JRN 300
Writing & Reporting News II(W)
3***
JRN 300 is tough as it is, and he self-admittedly tries to make it tougher. If you are a journalism student who is seriously focusing on the writing/reporting aspect of the field, then you will learn a lot. However, if you are some poor soul who fell into this class as a prerequisite to pursuing a career in design or photojournalism.....God help you!
Professor rated by: Student on April 7, 2005
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JRN 300
Writing & Reporting News II(W)
3***
He's a jerk. The "weasel in sheep's clothing analysis is pretty accurate. He goes out of his way to gain students trust, then does a 180 when they ask him questions he doesn't want to answer. He also encourages everyone to speak up in class only to later ask his "favorite" students who they think will ask the stupid question today.
Professor rated by: Student on September 11, 2004
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JRN 200
Writing and Reporting News I
4****
At the end of the day, Fico is a GREAT teacher. No matter what you get in the end, you feel good because you've learned so much from him and he challenges you.



However, like someone else said, if you are looking for a 4.0, do not take him because a 4.0 is almost impossible. A 70% is a 0. One fact error is a 0....Enough said.
Professor rated by: Student on December 17, 2010
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JRN 200
Writing and Reporting News I
2**
The course isn't difficult - Fico is simply a really difficult grader and a lot of time needs to be put aside for writing the out-of-class stories
Professor rated by: Biological Science Student on December 19, 2012
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