Fifteen Valdosta State University Mass Media Area students recently returned from an experiential learning opportunity in Ireland, where they traveled throughout Dublin, Waterford, and other cities experiencing a different culture and receiving hands-on experience in media production.
Over the course of 10 fast-paced days, the students produced four "webisodes" that they will enter into competitions during the 2014-2015 academic year, a series of short slideshows and panoramic pictures, and a promotional video that will be used to promote study abroad around the VSU campus.
Marie M. Elliott, assistant professor said that the study abroad was an opportunity her students had asked for the previous year. Her only real hurdle was finding a media course that would allow the interested students to participate in a study abroad experience and give them credit within their own major.
Elliott decided to revitalize the course, part of an ongoing effort to further enhance her program's recruitment and retention numbers, shorten the length of time that it takes for students to earn a degree, and set VSU graduates apart from all others in a job search.
Following the completion of a curriculum audit started more than a year ago, MDIA 4963 will officially become a study abroad course offered to all interested Mass Media Area students.
Frank Barnas, professor, was awarded curriculum development funds to assess the requirements of revamping the course and will share his findings with VSU's Academic Affairs office.
The Mass Media Area's study abroad experience, which will now be offered every summer, is in line with the university's strategic plan. It helps prepare students as leaders in a global society, includes students in discipline-based inquiry and disseminates their research, increases applied learning opportunities in diverse learning environments, increases activity and involvement of students internationally, promotes a diversity-rich student-centered environment, evaluates course delivery methods and shortens time to degree, and promotes professional development and collaboration at VSU and beyond.