What's a complete idiot doing at college?
@kentonlarsen: "Is it time for Creative Communications to get rid of majors?"
I tweeted the question earlier this week because the idea of choosing a specialty in the second year of a two-year program seems somewhat counterintuitive (disclaimer: to me!) in a world in which a "communications professional" is someone who does everything.
In CreComm, second-year students choose between Advertising, PR, Journalism, and Media Production streams.
We added Media Production about seven years ago, but the other three majors have been the other three majors for as long as anyone can remember, which means that they don't necessarily reflect the modern-day realities and demands of a job in communications.
Major minor part of diploma
Weird but true: our students' major doesn't even appear on their diploma or marks transcript, though you could tell what it is by looking at the course breakdown, I suppose.
I majored in journalism and worked in advertising and PR ("communications") for most of my professional career. Not a single employer ever asked me to announce my major in mixed company or whisper it to them privately, come to think of it.
"To major or not to major" has come up at faculty and curriculum meetings before, as has the suggestion that Ad and PR could be hooked up as one major and Media Production and Journalism as another. Or a major and a minor. Or an optional third year - like the Graphic Design program now offers.
There are pros and cons to all of these approaches, and any change would need to be tabled by our Curriculum Committee and sent by carrier pigeon to a panel of experts on a secret island where Marlon Brando plays a piano as a creepy little person looks on.
The tweeps weigh in
Sounds like a lot of work, and I usually make the greatest progress when I do things myself, so I brought the question to my tweeps. Many, many CreComm students and grads weighed in.
Here's what they said:
- No!!! I love PR and am not totally in love with everything else. I like it the way it is. Too much craziness w/4 dif majors.
- Oy Vey, I might have to start picketing about NO MORE JOURNALISM classes....aaaahhhhhh.
- I would frankly support that wholeheartedly. The major took me away from the thing I most wanted to experience and learn.
- Most journos end up in PR eventually. Media literacy is important so ad is good. Broadcast is going to be necessary for all.
- I would be more supportive of two majors as J and Media Production are similar as are Ad and PR. I'd cry if I had streeters!
- Works for me. I enjoyed the J stuff, but can always use help on technical side.
- At least, more overlap -- some major-specific, the rest open 2 all, some required 4 all. agree on broadcast.
- In that case can I come back and do every other major?!
- If you could choose a major AND minor, that would really be something. Mostly I just wanted to work more with video.
- Probably not me - my major was cave drawings.
- I'd rather it be Ad and Media Production. We have a ton of almost ad majors in MP!
- I like the idea, but wouldn't go with J as one of the options. Needs to be broader than that.
- Could it even be two separate *programs*, CreComm and Media Production (which would include more multimedia content)?
- I certainly agree w/ the double major idea-granted, broadcast was highly intensive. Count me in for a focus group if need be!
- Heartily support twinned majors: in my experience, esp. here at APTN, having some J skills along with BPro is *very* key.
- Yes, however you should be able to double major: take another major's requisite classes instead of electives.
The debate rages. What do you think? Comment below!