I get a lot of flack for being a communication major. Not only is it perceived as being one of the easier subjects to major in, but there also is not a lot of job growth in my chosen field of journalism — not if the industry keeps going in the direction that it is currently.
The new changes to the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication curriculum are set to assist students in building professional portfolios in order to make their job search easier, as well as adapting to the new digital era. Essentially, the new classes and faculty the college plans on adding will be teaching us how to work with, sell to and write for our own and future generations.
I attended the question and answer forum held on April 2 by the Director of Student Services Sandra Brabb in order to learn more.
With the change in focus also comes major changes in curriculum. Certification now requires com 105, unless you have already taken com 245, com 101 and com 138.
Com 138 is a six-week course which ends in a grammar exam. Passing this exam is required in order to certify, and the class is at 7:45 a.m. during the Fall 2012 semester. There is no longer a minimum GPA, and com 295 is now a post-certification class.
However, this does not mean you can stop caring about your GPA, because the higher it is the more likely you are to get certified, and falling below a 2.0 means definite rejection. Once certified, students get to move on into the awesome new fields of study provided.
The most obvious change is the new majors. The previous six communication majors have been mixed and mashed together into three. Within each of these three majors there are core requirements, and then specialization for whatever it is you want to do for your future career. For example, a journalism student would major in journalism and media production, take the core classes required for it, then take journalism focused classes rather than the broadcasting classes.
These changes make it possible to study two different areas within the college, a kind of mix-and-match opportunity to get different skills you may or may not need in your future career. I love the idea of being able to take classes on whatever I want within the college regardless of what I am majoring in. I am jumping between three different focuses at the moment, and with the new curriculum, no student is restricted to just one or the other.
I do feel like it is far too easy to certify into the college now due to the lack of com 295 and the elimination of a minimum GPA. In addition to those changes, there is no longer a minor required for graduation, and the additional art, science and foreign language classes are no longer required. Internships can still be done for elective credits, but they too are no longer required.
“We’re trying to make it all very flexible, very easy for students to get done and get out.” said Brabb during the Q&A forum.
Despite the simplicity of entering the college, I love the new direction it is going. According to Brabb, the college is hiring new people and creating new classes to embrace the newer generation and the way we communicate. The addition of new faculty and classes also means that more students will be able to certify. I am excited about this advancement in the curriculum, and cannot wait to certify and get started in what is looking to be a very interesting academic career.
Except for the 7:45 a.m. class and the unfortunately still present math requirement, I am pleased with the new changes and ecstatic that I as a freshman will be able to take advantage of them.
Further information about the changes can be found online, and those with questions can attend one of the three remaining Q&A sessions. The next one is Wednesday at Gannon-Goldsworthy from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.