Strategic Communication Students Get A New DCP

When Ashlee Browning began to think through her schedule for Fall 2017 a lot of confusion and difficult decisions had to be made.

Browning, a soon-to-be junior at Liberty, is working toward a double cognate in Strategic Communication.

Like many other students, Browning had heard that a new Degree Completion Plan was rolling out but she had to register for classes before it was released.

“[Registering for classes] was frustrating. And it was even more frustrating finding out afterward that I registered for courses that aren’t even on the new DCP,” Browning said.

Browning first heard about the new DCP a few months back from her current resident assistant, Peyton Elswick, who is also a Strategic Communication student.

Elswick told Browning that all the Digital Media courses would be removed from the DCP in the fall, which is what enticed her to consider redeclaring.

“The DIGI classes were removed but they were replaced by a Strategic Communication class where we will do our own training in digital media,” said Stuart Schwartz, the director of Strategic Communication. “[The new class] will teach people how to do video and visual stuff for a variety of [media-] television, radio and online.”

The new class is Digital Promotion Technology and Applications.

Schwartz said the new class will focus on short form videos, meaning less than five minutes. He also said that this is one of the main reasons for the change, the other Digital Media classes focused more on long films and movie making.

Because the final DCPs were not released beforehand, Browning, along with many other students, had to look at the differences between her current DCP and a draft of the new one to see just how it would affect her if she switched.

Academic Adviser Jillian Riordan said that the DCPs are changed each year, but in the past it was less drastic. The advisory board continues to make changes to the DCPs so that the programs stay up to date with the communication world.

Students who have already declared a major are still on track to graduate with their original DCP. The change to the DCP will only affect future students and current students who choose to redeclare.

“We certainly believe these new DCPs are more reflective of the current [digital media and communication workforce],” said Bruce Kirk, the department chair of Digital Media and Communication Arts. “However, because a lot of students are well down the road on their old DCPs, there’s no reason to change those unless they choose to advance to the news DCP and if they do that, then they’ll want to sit down with their adviser and see what the pros and cons are.”

The school believes the changes to the DCP will improve the communication program by narrowing the courses needed and allowing more freedom when it comes to electives.

“We want to be relevant and current on everything we are doing. The fields that most of our students are in are changing exponentially,” Kirk said.

There are between 25 and 31 hours of free electives on the new strategic communication DCP.

“This new DCP benefits students because now if they want to do a minor, they have more free electives that allow them to do so,” Riordan said.

Transfer students were kept in mind when the new DCP was being created.

“For transfer students [the new DCP] is huge because they usually come in with a lot of general education courses that don’t go directly to anything on the DCP,” Riordan said. “But, with the new DCP, there are a lot more free electives. So, now transfer students can put those courses as free electives and get out in a more reasonable time than they were previously able to.”

The general education side of the DCP is also being altered, although, it is done so by the registrar. The changes made to the left side of the DCP will also affect students in other majors who redeclare, not just the Strategic Communication students.

On the new DCP, Philosophy 201, Psychology 150, Creation Studies, Communications 101 and an extra math, natural science or technology credit were removed. Also, Biblical Worldview 101 and 102 were combined into one class.

Students who switch DCPs can use courses they’ve already taken as free electives if necessary, so that no classes go to waste.

Riordan said that juniors and seniors or students who have already taken a lot of courses from the old DCPs probably should not switch because it will be hectic trying to finish everything in a timely manner.

“[Students who redeclare] will have to take these inquiry and research courses, so for students who have already taken [a lot of gen eds], I wouldn’t suggest that they switch,” Riordan said.

Over the next few months, many students, like Browning, will be looking over both the old and new DCPs and making a decision about which path is best for them.

“[My] decision isn’t final,” Browning said. “I would like to talk to my adviser first to see if it’s a good choice, but I do think it will be beneficial for me If I do switch.”

When Ashlee Browning began to think through her schedule for Fall 2017 a lot of confusion and difficult decisions had to be made.

Browning, a soon-to-be junior at Liberty, is working toward a double cognate in Strategic Communication.

Like many other students, Browning had heard that a new Degree Completion Plan was rolling out but she had to register for classes before it was released.

“[Registering for classes] was frustrating. And it was even more frustrating finding out afterward that I registered for courses that aren’t even on the new DCP,” Browning said.

Browning first heard about the new DCP a few months back from her current resident assistant, Peyton Elswick, who is also a Strategic Communication student.

Elswick told Browning that all the Digital Media courses would be removed from the DCP in the fall, which is what enticed her to consider redeclaring.

“The DIGI classes were removed but they were replaced by a Strategic Communication class where we will do our own training in digital media,” said Stuart Schwartz, the director of Strategic Communication. “[The new class] will teach people how to do video and visual stuff for a variety of [media-] television, radio and online.”

The new class is Digital Promotion Technology and Applications.

Schwartz said the new class will focus on short form videos, meaning less than five minutes. He also said that this is one of the main reasons for the change, the other Digital Media classes focused more on long films and movie making.

Because the final DCPs were not released beforehand, Browning, along with many other students, had to look at the differences between her current DCP and a draft of the new one to see just how it would affect her if she switched.

Academic Adviser Jillian Riordan said that the DCPs are changed each year, but in the past it was less drastic. The advisory board continues to make changes to the DCPs so that the programs stay up to date with the communication world.

Students who have already declared a major are still on track to graduate with their original DCP. The change to the DCP will only affect future students and current students who choose to redeclare.

“We certainly believe these new DCPs are more reflective of the current [digital media and communication workforce],” said Bruce Kirk, the department chair of Digital Media and Communication Arts. “However, because a lot of students are well down the road on their old DCPs, there’s no reason to change those unless they choose to advance to the news DCP and if they do that, then they’ll want to sit down with their adviser and see what the pros and cons are.”

The school believes the changes to the DCP will improve the communication program by narrowing the courses needed and allowing more freedom when it comes to electives.

“We want to be relevant and current on everything we are doing. The fields that most of our students are in are changing exponentially,” Kirk said.

There are between 25 and 31 hours of free electives on the new strategic communication DCP.

“This new DCP benefits students because now if they want to do a minor, they have more free electives that allow them to do so,” Riordan said.

Transfer students were kept in mind when the new DCP was being created.

“For transfer students [the new DCP] is huge because they usually come in with a lot of general education courses that don’t go directly to anything on the DCP,” Riordan said. “But, with the new DCP, there are a lot more free electives. So, now transfer students can put those courses as free electives and get out in a more reasonable time than they were previously able to.”

The general education side of the DCP is also being altered, although, it is done so by the registrar. The changes made to the left side of the DCP will also affect students in other majors who redeclare, not just the Strategic Communication students.

On the new DCP, Philosophy 201, Psychology 150, Creation Studies, Communications 101 and an extra math, natural science or technology credit were removed. Also, Biblical Worldview 101 and 102 were combined into one class.

Students who switch DCPs can use courses they’ve already taken as free electives if necessary, so that no classes go to waste.

Riordan said that juniors and seniors or students who have already taken a lot of courses from the old DCPs probably should not switch because it will be hectic trying to finish everything in a timely manner.

“[Students who redeclare] will have to take these inquiry and research courses, so for students who have already taken [a lot of gen eds], I wouldn’t suggest that they switch,” Riordan said.

Over the next few months, many students, like Browning, will be looking over both the old and new DCPs and making a decision about which path is best for them.

“[My] decision isn’t final,” Browning said. “I would like to talk to my adviser first to see if it’s a good choice, but I do think it will be beneficial for me If I do switch.”