T h e D M C g iv e s s tu d e nt s a c c e s s to in d u s tr y -le a d in g e q u ip m e nt
maybe they’re doing social media for a nonprofit, or an ad agency who is doing video pieces for a local school,” Boyle says. “We want to show the intersection between what you’re learning about in class and real-life experience. You’ll have a client, you’ll develop something for them, propose it, and then make it happen.” In the spring of 2018, students in the Media Writing course developed social media marketing proposals for different clients, including the Communication and Media department itself. When creating the new major, Boyle and his colleagues hosted focus groups with area professionals to find out what would help students get jobs and be successful. “Sometimes you can be kind of insulated from the rest of the world,” he muses, “but you may not be doing as much good as you think. We took their ideas and advice and made it part of the new major.” All students in the major will also complete a required internship. “It’s so important today to have some experience as part of your resume,” Boyle rhap-
S om e tim e s y ou c a n b e k ind o f ins ula te d from the re s t o f the w orld ... b ut y ou ma y not b e d o ing a s m uc h g o o d a s y ou think . W e to ok the ir id e a s a nd a d v ic e a nd ma d e it p a r t o f the ne w ma jor sodizes. “When we talked to our focus group professionals, they liked it when students have experience.” One of the department’s goals is to make the major more accessible. “Right now, the minor can be almost entirely completed online, with five out of the six classes available online. A lot of students are working, so they need flexibility in how they take classes. There are
non-traditional students who want to sharpen skills or maybe switch careers, and this option makes it more accessible.” Students use software such as Zoom to give interviews and presentations and complete interactive assignments. Discussion platforms are another way to engage remotely. “You don’t want online learning to be isolating,” he notes, “you want it to be interactive.” So far, the major is an unqualified success. “Two years in and we have over 300 majors and almost 150 minors,” says Boyle. “We’ve known for a long time that we have lots of students who are interested in these areas. We want to help them do what they want to do.” Members of the community can watch new episodes of WCU Weekly every Monday at 8pm during the semester on the WCU Weekly YouTube channel. Episodes also air around campus through digital signage and on FIOS weekdays at 5pm.
FEBRUARY 2020 THEWCPRESS.COM
Voice of the Borough