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January 31, 2014

THE BIG SWITCH

How are classes changing at CSU?

By John Cuturic

In the past year, almost every department at Cleveland State University has had to revise its curriculum from the ground up.

This semester, the Cleveland Stater will take an in-depth look at the ways that some of the departments at Cleveland State are changing to fit the 3-credit model. In our first issue, we're going to take a look at the School of Communication.

According to Director George Ray, last fall the School submitted revised degree tracks for all its majors.

Ray said that the Journalism and Promotional Communication track and the general Communication track have been approved. Film and Digital Media and Communication Management are still waiting for news.

Professor Gary Pettey, director of JPC, said that professors had to readjust the entire JPC program to keep getting students the same information.

"Last summer, we cut one credit from every class," Pettey said. "That's 25 percent of the class material."

In JPC, the new curriculum will combine PR and advertising into one sequence, called Promotional Communication. Pettey said that most companies are no longer ad agencies or PR agencies — instead, modern companies combine the two.

One of the most notable changes is in the class COM 425, currently Editing and Graphics. In the past, students in this class have put together the School of Communication newsletter, Multichannels, or another School of Communication publication like Compass.
Now students will make Multichannels in COM 447, a capstone for the new Promotional Communication track.

The department has also added a number of new classes — most notably COM 335, Multimedia Presentations, which aims to teach JPC students how to use multimedia. Students will learn how to capture video and take pictures with cell phones, and edit their presentations on the computer.

"Even some of the classes with a similar name and number have been changed," Pettey said.

He said that the School hopes to open up lab space for Promotional Communication students — to make a lab similar to the Cleveland Stater office which Journalism students use now.

Pettey said that JPC students caught in the shift from 4 credits to 3 credits should come and meet with him to plan for graduation. Pettey's email address, to make an appointment, is g.pettey@csuohio.edu.

In the Communication Management track, Ray said, the classes will mostly stay the same as before. However, the professors have submitted a proposal to reduce the track's required credit hours from 40 to 36--not to 39, as many departments are choosing.

Professor Jill Rudd, advisor for the general Communication and Communication Management tracks, said that that general communication hasn't changed much. But like Pettey, she said that Communication students caught in the middle of the change should make certain to see an advisor.

According to Evan Lieberman, the director of Film and Digital Media, FDM will be phasing out the media studies track and combining Digital Media with Film, and that will be called Film, Television and Interactive Media.

"We wanted to reflect the convergence that's happening within the field," Lieberman said. "The field is no longer separated the way it once was. It's much more integrated, much more complex."

Lieberman said that he is excited about the new curriculum. The Film, Television and Interactive Media track will be 45 credit hours.

"We're going bigger," Lieberman said, "but it's going to be a much better major. I'm very, very enthusiastic about these changes."

CSU Faculty: if you want to talk about the ways your department is changing, email the reporter at j.cuturic@csuohio.edu.