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Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

University changes broadcast capstone and major among other scheduling issues

As course registration opened this past week for the spring semester, students are facing some issues with core classes changing for their major. 

Two years ago, the traditional broadcast production and media management capstone was approved to be replaced by a media entrepreneurship course. The new course has slowly been implemented into students’ schedules, but some students are saying they were not made aware of the change.

The broadcast program will also no longer be called broadcast production and media management. Now it will just be considered a bachelor of arts in broadcasting.  

School of Communication Chair Chris Rolinson says that students still have an abundance of management training available online, including LinkedIn learning, that they can access during their time at Point Park to prepare for the transition to a management role.  


“That was the point of the original capstone, to learn media management, and so now it’s shifted to a Media Entrepreneurship,” Rolinson said. “Just by virtue of how the economy has been and where the media business is at, people have been doing more independent things like freelancing, so we are trying with that Media Entrepreneurship to give graduating seniors a bit of business skills.” 


With the changing landscape of the media industry, it’s important that students are considering more options than just the traditional job, says Rolinson.  


“I think that in this environment, having the skills to build it is a heck of a lot better than relying on an institution to give you that opportunity,” Rolinson said.  


According to Rolinson, the media entrepreneurship course is on par with the old capstone. The outcomes are different because of the focus; the old one looks at things from top-down and this looks at things from the bottom-up.  


Gavin Anderson, a senior broadcast production and media management major, says that the Center for Student Success signed off on Media Entrepreneurship to be his capstone after he contacted all three of his academic advisors.


“It was stressful not knowing what my capstone would be when I scheduled because I expected the old capstone to be offered,” Anderson said. “I’m happy they found a way for me to still graduate this spring.”  


The media entrepreneurship course is only being offered on Tuesday from six to nine. Anderson, who produces U-View’s Late Night Snews and works on other shows, said it was hard to work his course schedule around U-View’s. 


“I know that many people in broadcast and journalism majors have at least three six to nine courses next semester, which directly conflicts with the U-View shows that we film and produce,” Anderson said. “Some shows are going to send out availability polls to reschedule.”


Rolinson said that he is always up for feedback and that, though changes cannot be made to the spring schedule, he will bring up the scheduling issue to the course instructor. 


Alexa Shaulis, a senior broadcast production and media management major who graduates this semester, took the original broadcast capstone last spring. 


“I do find that having the original capstone be cut from my peers is extremely disheartening,” Shaulis said. “It would have been better to have the school be more transparent about offering it. When I took my capstone, I thought it was useful in the world of broadcasting and the back-end of things. Since broadcasting is so specialized, I don’t know if Media Entrepreneurship can live up to the original capstone.”


On top of this change, many students are experiencing general issues with course registration and the service PointWeb.


Alex Zahniser, junior broadcast production and media management major and screenwriting minor, finds scheduling to be difficult. 


“It’s annoying trying to form your schedule because there are multiple sheets for what you still need to take and what courses are available to you, and it would be much easier if everything was just in one place,” Zahniser said. “I remember when I was a freshman we had a scheduling system that laid out everything for us and it was so much easier to use. I think they should have kept the system from before.”


There are other difficulties that students have. Will Torrance, a senior screenwriting major, has seen the many changes the school has made to how students schedule their classes.


“I hate how the way they have us schedule classes keeps changing,” Torrence said. “It went from showing us what we’re required to take and putting it on an actual schedule, to just picking off a list.”


Molly McClelland, assistant vice president of Academic Affairs and academic advisor for School of Communication students, said in an email to students many of the challenges that students may have been facing might have been due to registering on the wrong day, as registration days are based on completed credits and that there may be business, administration or library account holds. 


“I want to begin by extending my sincerest thanks to those of you I have worked with thus far,” McClelland said in the email. “I hope that each of you has enjoyed the experience as much as I have and that you have left feeling confident in your plan for next semester…To your faculty, I can’t say enough about the character and patience that have been shown by your students. They are well-prepared!”


If you are having issues regarding scheduling, you can visit the Center for Student Success on the fifth floor of West Penn.

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