Communications to change admission requirements

By Vasanth Sridharan

The College of Communications is changing their acceptance requirements to allow students who have completed only 30 hours to apply, said Eric K. Meyer, director of academic and administrative affairs for the college.

Currently, the college allows students who have completed 60 to 80 hours to apply for the college. This has generally meant second semester sophomores can apply to get in for their junior year. The change would allow second semester freshmen to apply as well.

Meyer said the change is the first step in moving the college toward a four-year program. The college proposed a change to a four-year system a few years ago but was rejected, he said.

“We’ve been investigating how to (make this change) for some time,” Meyer said. “We have as good data as anyone.”

The change goes into effect for students applying in the spring semester for fall 2007, Meyer said.

One of the reasons for lowering the number of required hours is to attract more high school students to the program, Meyer said.

“We know people who have been accepted to schools which even they would admit are worse than ours because they can get into the college earlier,” Meyer said.

The change would prevent people from being trapped in a major in the college because they would have more time to investigate their options, Meyer said. It also would make it easier for students in the college to get internships after their sophomore year. The college would be able to help them prepare for those first internships better, he said.

The change will not affect class sizes, but will allow for a more spread out curriculum, possibly allowing the college to add more classes to its majors, but only if they can get the teachers to teach them, Meyer said.

Natalie Levine, freshman in LAS, is taking Introduction to journalism this semester and said she is happy about the change.

“I thought it was a good idea,” Levine said. “I was planning on applying (to the College of Communications), so the sooner the better, I guess.”

Meyer said as a two-year program, the college currently has 37 percent of instructional units going to sophomores and freshmen. An instructional unit is a student multiplied by the credit hours the student is taking. He said the percentage is comparable to four-year programs at the University, which makes the shift easier.

“We’re not going to be immediately changing our requirements nor will we be altering course patterns, except for spreading courses out,” Meyer said.

Joel Holland, senior in Communications, said the change does not make too much of a difference. He said people who enter the college usually are taking major requirements before they get into the college.

“(Sophomores) might as well be let into the college early,” Holland said. “Those people already understand the course they want to take.”

Holland said he is not worried about class overcrowding because he, and most of the other juniors and seniors, will have already taken the early major requirements with which the sophomores would be occupied.

Meyer said the upper limit for hours will not change, nor will any of the other requirements.

The College of Communications encompasses news-editorial journalism, broadcast journalism, advertising and media studies.