New Media expands program offerings

Northwestern State University’s Department of New Media, Journalism and Communication Arts is expanding its curriculum to give students more options to learn skills that today’s employers are looking for in media professionals. The department underwent significant curriculum changes last year, revamping two concentrations and adding a new one in Sports Media, according to Dr. Brian Gabrial, department head. A new 18-credit certificate in Strategic Communication also launched.

“Last fall, the department undertook these changes as a response to the current media environment, which requires all communication to possess a trove of skills to be employable,” Gabrial said. “These changes were in response to what employers were telling us what they wanted in hiring prospective employees. The Sports Media concentration came about because of student interest.”

In addition to writing, presentation and research skills, today’s graduates must know how to shoot photographs and video, collect audio and be effective social media entrepreneurs, Gabrial said. The new certificate in Strategic Communication is for undergraduates and includes the fundamental, professional skills writing courses as well as public relations and marketing courses.

“With the new concentrations as well as the new certificate, we expect to see many more students applying as majors and minors,” Gabrial said. “We live in a media saturated world, so effective communication skills are critically essential for any undergraduate.”

Northwestern State’s Department of New Media, Journalism and Communication Arts prepares students for careers as TV anchors, radio hosts, bloggers, photojournalists, graphic designers, social media managers, speech writers, public relations specialists, reporters and scores of other professions. Graduates also find success as educators, attorneys, entrepreneurs, administrators, business executives and other professions in which effective communication skills is essential. Available concentrations include Strategic Communications, Sports Media and Journalism, Broadcast and Digital Media Production.

Gabrial said the curriculum expansion initiatives were pushed forward by his predecessor, Dr. Paula Furr, who retired in May.

For more information contact Gabrial at (318) 357-5366


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