Texas State University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication held its bi-annual Advisory Board Meeting Thursday afternoon to discuss the future of the College, including a new major to be added to the Mass Communication program with an emphasis on technology.
“Digital Innovation,” or what the proposed new major for Mass Communication students will be is a “really new approach to that hybrid between communication and technology,” said Cindy Royal, associate professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
The Advisory Board meets with the SJMC to give guidance on how the education of SJMC students can be better geared to meet the “real-world” demands of today’s professional communicators as well as donate to support the SJMC programs at Texas State.
One advisory member, Larry Meyer, a public relations specialist for the San Antonio-based company, Rackspace said, “The more that communication students know about HTML, the better off they are.”
“It could make the difference between whether they get the job or not,” said Meyer who also added that, “the basic understanding of knowing how to code has become more and more important.”
Royal told The Board that there are currently Mass Communication courses that focus on the basics of Internet language and also some that are more concentrated. However, this new major is designed to benefit the subset of students who want to be in the communications field but work for a technology based company such as Twitter and Facebook.
In addition to creating the new technology-based SJMC major, Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication John Fleming also mentioned the creation of a “Center for Student Media,” and an increased amount of guest lecturers for students as another way to further improve the College.
“The Advisory Council is critically important because it’s our connection to an extremely fast-paced business climate,” said Public Relations Professor Grace Capwell.
“That’s the way we teach students the right things to be able to land a job right away.”