Media arts needs more classes or less students

Media arts needs more classes or less students

Media arts needs more classes or less students
October 02
18:36 2017

The UNT media arts program is popular, to say the least.

Chair of the department Eugene Martin says there are currently 1400 media arts majors, up 20 percent from last year. This makes it difficult for these students to get into the classes they need.

Media arts is under the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. Under this college, media arts students have to acquire 12 hours or proficiency of a language, and nine hours of laboratory sciences.

Fitting these college requirements into their schedules is one obstacle for students getting into major-specific courses. It is also worth mentioning these requirements seem far removed from the topic of media arts.

If media arts were allowed to split off from the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and become a college of its own, it would develop specific degree requirements for the College of Media Arts that would make this less of an issue.

Formerly called “RTVF,” media arts includes radio, television, and film majors. It currently shares the Radio, Television, and Performing Arts building with the dance and theatre department.

This shared space and subsequent lack of classrooms makes adding more course sections to fit everyone impossible. Frances Perkins, a media arts lecturer, said space and funds for expansion are a rare commodity for any department on campus.

“It’d be great if we could build a whole building with sound stages and all that stuff, but we’re talking about millions of dollars,” Perkins said.

Media arts students like junior Sarah Brill are affected by this.

“The more advanced classes, there’s only 10 or 20 spots,” Brill said. “I’m a little bit worried about being able to get into certain classes.”

So UNT is lacking in room and money. What else can be done?

The answer may lie in readjusting policies for program enrollment. There are a few things already at work in the program that attempt to weed out some of the population. The major requires students to keep a 2.75 GPA and to complete three “pre-major” courses before they are considered “major status.”

“We’re really invested in delivering the highest quality that we can,” Martin said. “We don’t want to water anything down.”

With this in mind, how about taking more steps to accept the highest quality students into the program? Considering the increasing popularity of the major, more needs to be done to ensure students are able to register for classes they need.

Implementing a major enrollment capacity or being more selective in allowing students into the major would help alleviate some of the program’s growing pains. Requiring prospective students to provide a reel of their work or a portfolio would also help, granted it would make the major more exclusive.

But after all, that is kind of the point. I Nothing worth having comes easy, right?

Featured illustration by Max Raign

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Rachel Herzer

Rachel Herzer

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  1. Soc
    Soc October 04, 11:26


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