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MTSU renames mass comm college to reflect industry, societal changes

MTSU’s College of Mass Communications is updating its name to better reflect the 24-hour media cycle and the growing demand for content that informs, engages and entertains.

Effective with the new 2015-16 academic year, which kicks off Aug. 24 with the first day of fall classes, the college will become the MTSU College of Media and Entertainment.

MTSU students work on deadline inside the Center for Innovation in Media in this file photo from the university's College of Mass Communication, soon to be known as the College for Media and Entertainment. (MTSU file photo)

MTSU students work on deadline inside the Center for Innovation in Media in this file photo from the university’s College of Mass Communication, soon to be known as the College for Media and Entertainment. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

“It’s a clear and contemporary name that reflects the way media work today,” said Ken Paulson, dean of the college since July 2013. “The media world isn’t driven by mass communication anymore; it’s now all about targeted audiences, tailored content and strategic audience-building.

“Though traditional media have been buffeted by digital technology, there’s more media being consumed around the world today than at any other time in history. The four channels on a TV 50 years ago have been replaced by tens of thousands of content providers.”

Paulson said that the college, first established as a department in 1972, then elevated to school and finally college status by 1989, has always focused on preparing students to perform every facet of communicating news and information within their specialties: journalism, electronic media and the recording industry.

This name change, he said, reflects the college’s goal of giving students skills across multiple media to ready them for their futures as well as providing a solid, broad-based education.

Ken Paulson

Ken Paulson

“The rebooted College of Media and Entertainment will strive to give students the skills and insights they’ll need to engage, inform and entertain audiences on multiple platforms,” he said. “That means learning to communicate effectively through words, audio and video.

M and E logo for web“It also means coming to grips with change. The most important traits we can instill in our students are a receptivity to change and a comfort level with technology. Colleges need to be as contemporary as possible, incorporating the latest technology, encouraging innovation and fostering an entrepreneurial spirit.”

The fifth largest communication program in the nation, the MTSU College of Media and Entertainment offers degree concentrations in 14 major areas — ranging from the recording industry to journalism to filmmaking and animation— and is accredited by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

The college also is home to three unique and nationally recognized operations:

  • the John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies, which supports a variety of activities related to free speech, free press rights and other topics of concern for contemporary journalism.
  • the Center for Popular Music, devoted to the study and scholarship of popular music in America and one of only 16 Centers of Excellence across the Tennessee Board of Regents system.
  • the Center for Innovation in Media, which unites student-run media and MTSU’s National Public Radio affiliate, WMOT 89.5 FM, in a single site to facilitate convergence.

For more information about MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment and its departments and majors, visit www.mtsu.edu/media.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

Marc Parrish, standing at right, director of technical systems for MTSU's College of Mass Communication, leads a tour group of prospective students and their parents through the $1.8 million Mobile Production Lab during a 2015 True Blue Experience Day. The college is being renamed as the College of Media and Entertainment. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

Marc Parrish, standing at right, director of technical systems for MTSU’s College of Mass Communication, leads a tour group of prospective students and their parents through the $1.8 million Mobile Production Lab during a 2015 True Blue Experience Day. The college is being renamed as the College of Media and Entertainment. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

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