Over the years, there has been a drastic change in the consumption of information. With the availability of a new medium of consumption such as mobile phones and other internet platforms, careers in media and communications have been impacted. Students who are looking to start their careers in media and communication must understand the present and future of this sector. Though it is next to impossible to predict the exact changes that will occur, we can certainly predict that the role and importance of media and communication will continue to increase. Consequently, the demand for media and communication professionals will also increase in the foreseeable future.
Founded in 2015, The School of Communication, Media & the Arts (SCMA) started with a goal to create a strong foundation in the history of media and theories of communication. It prepares students for upcoming challenges regardless of the specific medium, communication technology or the associated jobs and careers. The school is contributing to the development of immersive media through the founding of an augmented and virtual reality lab. The utilization of these immersive technologies into its courses is helping students to enhance their skills. For years, SCMA has been offering courses that integrate with the developing technologies of social media, mobile technologies, the Internet, digital media, etc.
Hands-on Applied Learning Opportunities
SCMA is housed in the College of Arts & Sciences and combines the best qualities of a liberal arts education with hands-on applied learning opportunities through real-world projects and professional productions. SCMA was founded after decades of consistent growth within the Department of Communication & Media dating back to the 1960s. SCMA is affiliated with one of the country’s most prestigious universities.
Sacred Heart University
Founded in 1963, Sacred Heart University is the second-largest independent Catholic university in New England, offering more than 80 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs on its main campus in Fairfield, Conn., and satellites in Connecticut, Luxembourg and Ireland. Over 9,000 students attend the University’s six colleges: Arts & Sciences; Health Professions; Dr. Susan L. Davis, R.N., & Richard J. Henley College of Nursing; the AACSB-accredited Jack Welch College of Business & Technology; St. Vincent’s College and the Isabelle Farrington College of Education.
Enhancing Necessary Creative Skills
The University is distinguished by the personal attention it provides to its students. Sacred Heart is recognized for its commitment to academic excellence, award-winning advisement program, cutting-edge technology, championship Division I athletic teams and nationally recognized community service programs. The undergraduate and graduate degree programs at SCMA strive to create lifelong learners, critical thinkers and responsible citizens who also have the creative skills necessary to compete for the best jobs after graduation. Degree programs include public relations, strategic communication, journalism, broadcasting, film, television, sports media, advertising, digital media, studio art, graphic design, immersive media (VR/AR/XR) and theatre arts. SCMA also offers accelerated graduate programs in these areas, including the only master of fine arts degree in film and television offered in the state of Connecticut.
A Distinctive Learning Approach Striking the Future
As students, it is a must that you understand the program, its future impact and the availability of different pathways. All aspiring media students must understand the three most important key points; First, jobs in the future will be strikingly different from the ones that exist now. Second, communication technologies and media will change, but the principles of effective communication, creative storytelling and quality content creation will not. Last, employers want to hire ethical communicators and creative content producers and are less concerned about the specific technical skills that can often be learned on the job.
Keeping these points in mind, SCMA provides a distinctive learning approach. A student of SCMA will be part of a successful model of applied learning that will be followed by a liberal arts tradition with a simultaneous focus on ethical values. SCMA also offers the chance to study on international campuses with a blend of scholarly and professional faculty along with robust internship programs. The courses are integrated with the industry connection and partnerships that allow students to easily be placed in various industries.
A Passionate Learner and Teacher
Among the talented and experienced SCMA faculty is Dr. Andrew Miller, associate professor for SCMA, who has a degree in media. After graduation, he worked for several years as an assistant director in Hollywood on big-budget films like “The Doors” and popular television shows like “Beverly Hills 90210.” Eventually, he came to the realization that his true passion was learning and teaching, so, he pursued a Ph.D. in film and media studies with the goal of becoming a university professor. The combination of industry background in media production and scholarly training was a perfect fit for SCMA’s model of applied learning.
Students are encouraged to apply the concepts they learn in the classroom to real-world examples and in various professional contexts. The SCMA faculty’s varied backgrounds as accomplished scholars and successful industry professionals provide students with the skills necessary to thrive in the 21st-century global media environment. “I’m tempted to say that if I could do it all over again, I would start my Ph.D. sooner, but I think my training in both the industry and the academy has served me well for the day-to-day realities of communication and media programs in the global digital age,” Miller says.
Factors to Keep In Mind
A student who is searching for an appropriate college or university, must understand the requirements first. SCMA is interested in students who understand that technical skills are only useful when they are used by thoughtful and creative communicators, artists and media professionals. Furthermore, it is important to have a well-rounded understanding not only of communication, media, art history and theory but of the broader history of ideas and global cultures. At the same time, students benefit from state-of-the-art facilities and coursework in content creation.
Knowledge and Skills to Compete For the Best Jobs
Many of the students at SCMA are involved in extracurricular initiatives and projects. It allows students to explore their areas of interest. Some that have a particular appeal to SCMA students are the student public relations club (Public Relations Society of America Student Chapter), student sports media club, student film club, student-run campus newspaper, student-produced post; student-run news post show, sports show and TV station and a student-run radio station.
As a result of these extracurricular initiatives and projects, students are prepared for life after college with the knowledge and skills to compete for the best jobs after graduation. The result is that most SCMA students are employed full-time at media and communication companies after graduation. In addition, a significant percentage of the undergraduate alumni enroll in one of the University’s graduate programs to continue to build their portfolios before starting their professional careers.
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