Below is the transcript to the most recent online M.A. in Communication Virtual Open House. To view the original recording, go here.
[00:00:07.04] ANN GOROWSKI: Hello. Good evening, everyone. Thank you for joining us. My name is Ann Gorowski. I am a Senior Program Manager for the online Master of Arts and Communications programs here at Queens.
[00:00:17.72] ZACH BERGLING: My name is Zach Bergling, Executive Program Manager here with Queens University at Charlotte as well.
[00:00:23.64] Tonight we'll share some ideas, some details about the online Masters in communication, and show how this program here at Queens can benefit your career and provide an excellent learning experience.
[00:00:34.69] Then we'll tell you more about our innovative online learning platform. And then finally, we'll go over the admission requirements before opening up to questions and answers.
[00:00:48.08] ANN GOROWSKI: Before we get started, here's a brief background on Queens University of Charlotte. The MA in Communications is offered through the Knight School of Communication.
[00:00:59.04] Queens is a private co-ed university founded in 1857 in Charlotte, North Carolina. We are ranked number 18 among regional universities in the south by US News, and have regional accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
[00:01:15.06] The Knight School Communication is the only school in the country to bear the Knight name, thanks to a grant from the Knight Foundation that supports Queen's initiative to drive digital and media literacy in the Charlotte community. This means you'll be learning from faculty who are up-to-date on the latest trends and practices in the field.
[00:01:37.98] The program is very unique from other communication programs in that it strikes the balance between theory and practice to enhance your critical thinking skills, while enabling you to apply what you learn using the latest tools and media in your chosen industry.
[00:01:53.80] The Knight School of Communication recognize that the field of communication is rapidly evolving, and redesigned the Masters in Communication curriculum in 2012. The new curriculum focuses on training students to be sophisticated information analysts with the ability to engage audiences across communication platforms.
[00:02:13.38] Throughout the program, you will be able to apply real life examples from your job to your course assignments. Many students say that they're even able to take what they learn and apply it to work the very next day.
[00:02:27.05] ZACH BERGLING: Thanks, Ann. Now, let's look a little bit more at the curriculum here. As you can see we have a total of 12 courses, 36 credit hours. You can complete the program in as little as two years, but some students take as long as four years, depending on your personal situation.
[00:02:39.74] The last course listed, Launching Passion into Practice is our capstone experience. Let's go ahead and talk a little bit more about that.
[00:02:48.61] The ability of the program to individualize students' careers in industries go beyond the day-to-day. The curriculum culminates with the capstone experience, the final project, in which students translate a personal passion into practice. You'll have an opportunity to select your topic or issue of your own choice and develop a comprehensive project around that specific assignment that will be ready for implementation upon graduation.
[00:03:13.04] The capstone project can take on a variety of forms, depending on your own personal topic, choice of interest, or your industry, resulting in a custom learning experience tailored to your specific goals.
[00:03:24.32] For example, previous capstones have included a strategic communication plan for a nonprofit organization, a study on social media exploring Twitter as the third place for community conversation, and also an investigation into how to drive social change through organizational conversations.
[00:03:42.42] So no matter what your area of interest within the communication field, you'll have the opportunity to enhance your expertise as it applies to your own career through our unique capstone experience.
[00:03:55.63] ANN GOROWSKI: We've even had students of this program who have completed the capstone offer of testimonials. So on this slide, as well as the next, you can actually read over those.
[00:04:05.47] Once completing this program, how could your career be enhanced? Through this program you'll gain strategic communication skills, to cost effective content, branding and visuals. You'll also gain critical thinking skills to tailor your messaging strategy to different audiences.
[00:04:23.74] You'll also gain enhanced digital and media literacy to adapt your message for various media formats. And you'll have instant real world applicability to achieve your personal and professional goals.
[00:04:39.84] Students from a wide variety of backgrounds can benefit from this program as well. Many of our graduate hold positions in marketing, public relations, corporate communication, leadership development, organization development, training and consulting, human resources, and media production. Students often report that they can apply these skills that they're learning and course materials the very next day at work.
[00:05:05.14] Plus, through the capstone experience and real world focus assignments, the program offers you a chance to apply what you're learning to your specific industry. And this slide actually shows the median salaries for various positions within the communication field for those that actually hold a master's degree.
[00:05:32.55] ZACH BERGLING: So why Queen's? Why should you earn this degree at Queen? As mentioned, the Knight School of Communication is poised to be the leader in digital and media literacy.
[00:05:42.32] So you'll know you'll be learning from an institution committed to staying current in the field of communication. Our faculty have won numerous awards, published books in a variety of disciplines, and are frequently called upon by the media to serve as subject matter experts in their areas of research.
[00:05:56.46] For example, our program director Dr. Zachary White was recently quoted by Forbes on topic of working caregiver communication challenges. Plus, you'll be getting the quality of a Queen's education.
[00:06:08.43] Queen's offers a very personal approach to the educations that this carries over into the online programs. Professors and staff know your name and are accessible to help you with your own success.
[00:06:20.67] All this is available to you as convenient online format. The courses are asynchronous, so there are no specific times when you must log on to class. Our program is designed to offer working professionals the opportunity to balance personal, professional, and academic life needs.
[00:06:36.68] For some of you this may be your first experience with distance education. And you may have questions and/or hesitations about what it's like to study online. Here at Queen's we design our program to offer the same quality of education offered on campus in a flexible format. We offer extensive support to our online students and a unique learning platform that enables you to stay engaged with your coursework and interact with your instructors, and follow students regularly.
[00:07:00.78] Let's go ahead and have a closer look at the learning platform called My Courses.
[00:07:09.31] Students will access course lectures and assignments via virtual classroom called My Courses with various interactive features to help you optimize your learning, stay engaged, and feel like part of the Queen's community.
[00:07:20.94] This is the homepage for My Courses. It provides quick access to upcoming assignments, course announcements and your calendar-- very important. The latest lectures and even videos from your professors, if they post them, are accessible from this homepage. You can stop, record, post. It's very, very flexible.
[00:07:38.59] As you can see, the instructor's contact information is in the upper right-hand corner. There's a course wall where you can post quick updates to your classmates and faculty, can ask questions, conversations, and you can even see who's online with you at the same time.
[00:07:55.87] ANN GOROWSKI: Here's a closer look at some other features. It's easy to stay in touch with your peers throughout the program and engage in conversations about assigned reading using the discussion forms and integrated Skype video and chat features.
[00:08:14.91] And one of the really cool features about My Courses that works so well with this communications program is the built-in electronic portfolio tool. So you can actually create a digital resume and collect your best coursework and your accomplishments throughout the program in one place to showcase to your employers online.
[00:08:32.90] And on top of these great features, My Courses is fully accessible on a tablet or mobile device so you can really access your homework from just about anywhere.
[00:08:46.77] ZACH BERGLING: So before we move into the fun question and answer session, let's briefly go over the application requirements. So along, obviously, with the completed application form, applicants must provide transcripts from undergraduate studies, a personal statement on your goals for pursuing the program, a resume, and two letters of recommendation.
[00:09:04.56] Obviously, Program Managers are here to help you through this whole process. So definitely want to take part in reaching out to your Program Managers on a regular weekly basis to make sure we're accomplishing these goals in a timely manner.
[00:09:15.87] Also, as long as you have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above, no GRE is required. However, there are case by case exceptions, so this is definitely something that you would want to discuss with your Program Manager during the application process.
[00:09:32.98] Ah-ha, questions and answers.
[00:09:36.19] ANN GOROWSKI: Yup. So at this time we're going to go ahead and have a question and answer session On the right-hand of your screen where you see the question box, feel free to type in questions that you might have. We'll give you a minute or two to do so, and then we'll go ahead and address all of those questions.
[00:09:50.88] If by chance we do run out of time, we will reach out to you to make sure that your questions do get answered. But go ahead and take a minute or two to type in your question.
[00:11:03.40] ZACH BERGLING: There's some great questions out there. Thanks for posting them. Ann?
[00:11:07.19] ANN GOROWSKI: So let's go ahead and get started. All right. Zach, so here's a great question for you. What are some of the backgrounds of other students in the Master of Arts and Communications program?
[00:11:17.49] ZACH BERGLING: That's a great question. Geez, where do I start?
[00:11:20.75] Students and the Master's communications program come from a variety of different educational and professional backgrounds I'd say. We have graduates from higher education, corporate communication, public relations, marketing, advertising, web development, journalism, public relations, human resources, sports marketing, governments, NGOs.
[00:11:43.14] There are a lot of different career paths. I encourage each and every one of you to speak with your Program Manager specifically in regards to that if you have any other further questions. But you have a variety of different fields.
[00:11:55.31] ANN GOROWSKI: Great, great. So with that, there's another question that came through that kind of piggybacks off of that one. And it's how can students from different backgrounds benefit from this specific communications program?
[00:12:07.46] ZACH BERGLING: Who can't better improve their own communication skills? Whether you're an NGO, a nonprofit, a government sector, there's individuals there that you are learning to reduce resistance, gain commitment, and communicate change within your organization.
[00:12:21.27] So I would say anybody from a psychology background, to a communication background, to an education background, et cetera, can obviously benefit from being a more effective communicator with effective rhetoric, and able just to build that connection a little bit better.
[00:12:36.71] ANN GOROWSKI: Fantastic. And to go along with that too, with the fact that a lot of your assignments and projects are going to be based around your specific industry regardless of what field you're in, you will be able to tailor many of your assignments to your specific industry, so you can really start to see the real life applicability of how you can take what you're learning in class and apply to your specific field.
[00:12:59.91] ZACH BERGLING: Perfect, Ann. I couldn't have said it better myself. The assignments are very generalized in nature, but you would, as a student, make them very specific to your own industry.
[00:13:09.41] ANN GOROWSKI: Perfect. All right. Let's see what else we have out there. OK, here's one. What makes the program at Queen's University of Charlotte really stand out?
[00:13:18.81] ZACH BERGLING: Well, there's a lot. I would have to start off with the generous funding that we've received from the Knight Foundation. That would probably be the first one to start us off as a differentiation.
[00:13:28.37] That gives us the ability to have a very small class size. Obviously, we only have 2,000 students enrolled in the University, so we definitely encourage a smaller class size to help us focus on personal attention, and also mentoring within our program.
[00:13:40.76] Obviously, the Foundation has provided us a very high level of technology and interaction with multimedia different learning platforms as well. I could go on.
[00:13:50.70] The experience and competency of the faculty and staff, obviously, is going to be paramount to a lot of these. Dedicated student services coordinators from those that help manage you all the way from acceptance till graduation.
[00:14:05.12] Personal PMs, such as Ann Gorowski and myself, Zach Bergling, along with Patricia [? Spediz, ?] 24-hour help desk support, and obviously, you as a student.
[00:14:14.45] You are going to be one of your best resources, you and your peers, and you're going to be learning a third of what you learn not only from the professors and the books you pick up, but also from your exchange of information with your peers within your own coursework. Which obviously, us PMs here, Program Managers are meant to really help encourage a very strong, solid classroom environment.
[00:14:34.21] ANN GOROWSKI: Fantastic. Great. Thank you, Zach. And here's another question for you. How many courses am I expected to take at the same time, and how long does it take to complete the program?
[00:14:47.91] ZACH BERGLING: Well, most students will just do one class every eight weeks. And I see we have some other questions coming in as well, so I'll try to get to those as easily as possible here.
[00:14:57.84] So most students will be taking just one class every eight weeks. If you do that concurrently, you will graduate in two years, in just 24 months. And that's only, again, just taking one class every eight weeks.
[00:15:10.38] I do see here that there are some other questions that have come online. What I would really encourage you to do is just to reach out to your Program Manager specifically. Just engage with them on those very personal questions.
[00:15:21.93] Obviously, again, my name is Zach Bergling, Program Manager, here along with Ann Gorowski. I will be here for approximately about another hour just to answer any other questions and concerns that may have come out.
[00:15:32.93] I do really appreciate your time and candor tonight. [AUDIO OUT] tomorrow, and in class.
[00:15:50.23] ANN GOROWSKI: All right. So how do you apply for this program if you are interested, and how do you get those additional questions answered? Like Zach said, he will be here for a little while tonight, so feel free to give him a call, or he can actually reach out to you as well to make sure that those additional questions we have. And there are a few, just so we can make sure we get those answered.
[00:16:08.66] As you can see, our contact information is on the screen. You can either apply through the online.queens.edu, or you can contact us directly. Our phone number is at the bottom of the screen. We'd love to answer the additional questions you have. And to talk about the next steps in our application process.
[00:16:27.78] Thank you again. We definitely look forward to hearing from you. And have yourselves a great rest of the night.
[00:16:32.70] ZACH BERGLING: Thanks again, folks. Have a great one.