Thursday, February 6, 2014

Majors no More? The Future of Creative Communications

The idea of Red River College's Creative Communications program losing its majors (Journalism, Public Relations, Advertising, Media Production) has been around for a long time. Four years ago CreComm bloggers were talking about it, and four years from now future students will still be talking about it.

Opinions vary when it comes to this topic.

Some instructors and students support the idea for reasons like, 'the majors relate to each other so much already anyways', 'it could give students an advantage over past graduates who focused only on one field', and 'students wouldn't need to worry about limiting their portfolio and could get a more rounded education'.

Some instructors and students don't support the idea for reasons like 'there's barely enough time to cover just one major in second year, let alone four', 'you lose specialization and the title of having majored in journalism or advertising', 'and 'there is a limited amount of equipment and space available for certain majors.'

Here is my personal opinion.

I would like to see Creative Communications lose the majors, but I don't think it can unless a few things change.

First, let me explain my choice. I am so happy to have chosen PR as my major and would make that choice a hundred times again, but as I look back on what others in my graduating class have done this year, I'm a little jealous of some of the things they did in their majors. Designing posters, key-framing animated videos, writing articles and interviewing politicians, creating apps and making personal websites, things that would look really good in a portfolio along with the event plans, strategies, and media kits we create in PR.

I knew that it would be valuable to have experience as a journalist when I enter the PR field, which is why I became the Sports and Lifestyle editor for the college newspaper. As section editor I'm constantly reading other students' articles, writing my own articles, and receiving news releases from local organizations. It has been a great experience for a PR major like myself, because instead of just writing news releases and pitch emails in class, I'm receiving ones that have been written by industry professionals. But try as I might, I still won't learn everything the Journalism majors will just as the Sports and Lifestyle editor.

It would have been nice to minor in one of the other majors, but it would have been even better to major in all of them! : )

But like I said, things would need to change in order for that to happen in real life.

First, change the program length from two years to four years. Colleges are slowly beginning to award degrees for specific programs, and in a few years I think RRC will be able to award a three or four-year degree in Creative Communications. If this happened students would have more time to major in another field and add to their portfolio.

The number of students in the Creative Communications program could potentially double (75 students x 4 years instead of 75 students x 2 years) causing a few issues regarding space and equipment. But I think these issues could be avoided. CreComm wouldn't need to take in 75 students per year. They could limit it to 50. And more and more students have their own DSLR cameras and Mac computers and laptops (I myself have a DSRL and Mac at home), so in a few years lack of equipment would be less of an issue.

I'm sure there are other issues or ways the college could implement a change like this, and if you think of one leave a comment below. I'd love to discuss this topic more.

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