By Tara Rothrock
Over the summer, a collaborative effort through the Communication Studies department and Social Media program resulted in the latter avoiding being placed into moratorium.
Although the social media program was initially unanimously voted (by those in attendance) into moratorium, this decision met resistance and ultimately was reversed.
The decision was made to make changes within the program to increase its sustainability. The Communications department re-voted to keep the program and support it as adjustments and improvements occur.
As a result of the new commitment to the Social Media program, a new checksheet was created through the collaborative efforts of Dr. Massie with ancillary support from Dr. Cripe. After receiving support from the other departments included in the interdisciplinary program, the checksheet was forwarded through the curriculum process.
Both Dr. Cripe and Dr. Massie believe this new checksheet will greatly benefit Social Media majors. The sheet requires fewer credit hours and includes more free electives, making it easier for students to finish their credits and customize their personal educational experience.
In an interview, Dr. Massie explained that all courses that were on the previous checksheets will be included on the newly developed one. He also mentioned that the old sheet only had eight electives while the new version has 11, allowing for more flexibility in a student’s education pathway.
When Dr. Massie was asked about how the new checksheet will impact the students’ experience, he replied, “For the majority of situations, it will benefit the student to switch to the new checksheet.” When questioned about the concerns of changing checksheets, he said, “Students won’t lose credits they have taken because they are all included in the new version.”
Dr. Massie and Dr. Cripe worked together to make this new checksheet as flexible as possible. “There is nothing on the old checksheet that doesn’t count somewhere,” said Dr. Cripe.
They are also working on offering unique courses that have previously not been available to students. One such course that will be offered in Spring 2023 is SMS 322 – User Experience Design & Research, taught by Dr. Pruchniewska.
The new checksheet became effective on Jan. 23. Students are able to complete a form provided by their advisor that will allow them to switch to the new checksheet if they wish. However, students will also have the ability to remain on the old sheet if it benefits them to do so.