Emerging Opportunities for Innovative Curriculum

Posted on: November 2, 2012

WKAR Street TeamWKAR joined the College of Communication Arts & Sciences 15 months ago. The change and innovation in this short amount of time have been staggering. However, my intent today is not to overview the organizational transformation or the new programming and community outreach. I’ll save that for another blog. Instead, I’d like to use this textual real estate to share the exciting ways that the college and the broadcasting operation are converging to create opportunities for our students.
When WKAR became part of the college, a dual opportunity immediately emerged. CAS could create classes that would embed the students in actual media-related operations and activities. And, WKAR could take enhanced advantage of participating in the overarching goal of MSU, namely to contribute to the educational experiences of its students.
Appropriate faculty and administrators worked through the system to get some courses on the books and we are starting to see how much both students and the stations will be benefitting in the future.
For example, this semester Professor Nora Rifon from the department of Advertising & Public Relations has students from two courses working directly with WKAR. In her undergraduate class, Integrated Campaigns, students are preparing campaign plans for two WKAR produced programs, "Quizbusters" and "Backstage Pass." With the goals of increasing viewership and viewer donations, the students are creating events and social media real time interactive games to stimulate interest in the programs. And, in her graduate course, PBS Sponsorship as Brand Strategy, students are creating sponsorship marketing plans to show corporate sponsors the benefits of sponsoring WKAR programs. 
In the spring semester, there are a variety of courses where students will be directly involved in creating TV and radio content (e.g., JRN 306: Intro to Radio & TV News; TC 442: Short Form Video). PR students will have the opportunity to take Adv 402: PR Topics where the course will center around addressing a specific public relations challenge for the station. Media and Information(TISM) students can even take a course on creating mobile applications for WKAR.
As I noted last week, over 200 journalism students will spend election night in WKAR Studio F providing live coverage from students' perspectives in collaboration with WKAR's professional news team. Be sure to follow them here and on WKAR Channel 23 and 90.5 FM.

The halls are abuzz as WKAR increasingly integrates within the College of Communication Arts & Sciences. Be on the lookout for further updates on the great changes within MSU’s public broadcasting stations.

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