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Park FAQs

TABLE OF CONTENTS

FIRST YEAR CLASSES/REGISTRATION

How will I know what classes I should register for?

You will register for your first semester online over the summer, and you'll be sent specific instructions about how to do this. You'll be pre-registered for 23 classes within your major so you don't have to worry about picking or getting into the classes you need! You'll be able to choose 12 classes to satisfy your general education (ICC) requirements, including a first year seminar.

First Semester classes by major:

Integrated Marketing Communications:

  • GCOM 13000 S’Park (1 credit)
  • STCM 10300 Intro to Strategic Communications (3 credits)
  • TVR 12100 Intro to Mass Media (3 credits)
  • ICSM Ithaca Seminar (4 credits)
  • 1–2 Integrative Core Curriculum courses

Click here to view a sample 4-year plan for IMC majors

 

Communication Management & Design:

  • GCOM 13000 S’Park (1 credit)
  • STCM 10300 Intro to Strategic Communications (3 credits)
  • STCM 11100 Presentation & Graphic Design (3 credits)
  • ICSM Ithaca Seminar (4 credits)
  • 1–2 Integrative Core Curriculum courses

Click here to view a sample 4-year plan for CMD-Comm. Design Concentration

Click here to view a sample 4-year plan for CMD-Corp. Comm. Concentration

 

Television-Radio:

  • GCOM 13000 S’Park (1 credit)
  • TVR 12400 Intro to Media Industries (4 credits)
  • Choose one: TVR 11500 Introduction to Field Production, TVR 10700 Introduction to Television Studio Production, TVR 10500 Introduction to Audio
  • GCOM 12500 Safety Training (0.5 credits)
  • ICSM Ithaca Seminar (4 credits)
  • 1 Integrative Core Curriculum course

Click here to view a sample 4-year plan for TVR majors

 

Documentary Studies:

  • GCOM 13000 S’Park (1 credit)
  • DOCU 10100 (1 credit)
  • JOUR 11100 Intro to Journalism (4 credits)
  • CNPH 11100 Cinema Production 1 (4 credits)
  • GCOM 12500 Safety Training (0.5 credits)
  • ICSM Ithaca Seminar
  • 1 Integrative Core Curriculum course

Click here to view a sample 4-year plan for Doc Studies majors

 

Journalism:

  • GCOM 13000 S’Park (1 credit)
  • JOUR 11100 Intro to Journalism (4 credits)
  • Language course (must complete to 20200 level) (3 credits)
  • ICSM Ithaca Seminar (4 credits)
  • 1 Integrative Core Curriculum course

Click here to view a sample 4-year plan for Journalism majors

 

Cinema & Photography:

  • GCOM 13000 S’Park (1 credit)
  • CNPH 14100 Intro to Photography OR CNPH 11100 Cinema Production 1 (4 credits)
  • CNPH 10100 Film Aesthetics & Analysis (3 credits)
  • GCOM 12500 Safety Training (0.5 credits)
  • ICMS Ithaca Seminar (4 credits)
  • 1 Integrative Core Curriculum course

Click here to view a sample 4-year plan for CNPH-Cinema Prod. Concentration
Click here to view a sample 4-year plan for CNPH-Still Photo. Concentration

 

Writing for Film, TV, & Emerging Media:

  • GCOM 13000 S’Park (1 credit)
  • CNPH 10100 Film Aesthetics & Analysis OR TVR 12200 Media Aesthetics & Analysis (3 credits)
  • MASS 13400 Writing for Screen Media (3 credits)
  • GCOM 12500 Safety Training (0.5 credits)
  • ICSM Ithaca Seminar (4 credits)
  • 1-2 Integrative Core Curriculum courses

Click here to view a sample 4-year plan for Writing for Film, TV, & EM majors

 

Film, Photography, & Visual Arts:

  • GCOM 13000 S’Park (1 credit)
  • CNPH 14100 Intro to Photography OR CNPH 11100 Cinema Production 1 (4 credits)
  • CNPH 10100 Film Aesthetics & Analysis (3 credits)
  • GCOM 12500 Safety Training (0.5 credits)
  • ICSM Ithaca Seminar (4 credits)
  • 1 Integrative Core Curriculum course

Click here to view a sample 4-year plan for Film, Photo, & Visual Arts majors

 

Sports Media:

  • GCOM 13000 S’Park (1 credit)
  • JOUR 11100 Intro to Journalism (4 credits)
  • SPME 11100 Intro to Sports Media (3 credits)
  • GCOM 12500 Safety Training (0.5 credits)
  • ICSM Ithaca Seminar (4 credits)
  • 1 Integrative Core Curriculum course

Click here to view a sample 4-year plan for Sports Media majors

 

Emerging Media:

  • GCOM 13000 S’Park (1 credit)
  • EMED 12000 Intro to Emerging Media (4 credits)
  • COMP 17100 Principles of Computer Science (3 credits)
  • ICSM Ithaca Seminar (4 credits)
  • 1 Integrative Core Curriculum course

Click here to view a sample 4-year plan for Emerging Media majors

What is S’Park?

S’Park is a 1-credit course for all first-year Park students that accelerates your transition from high school to functioning as informed, confident, culturally competent, and connected young communications professionals and scholars. 

Learn more about S'Park here.

Who will advise me?

All first-year students in Park will be advised by our first-year faculty advisor. In your second semester, you'll be assigned an advisor specific to your major. Also available for advising are your Park Peer Advisors, students who work in the Deans' Suite who are prepared to help with registration, planning, tutoring, and general advice within Park.  

ACADEMICS

Are classes taught by full time faculty?

Yes, our full-time faculty teach over 90% of our courses, including those for first-year students. The Park School of Communications has 65 full-time faculty, and only about 20 faculty on one-year or part-time contracts. We intentionally seek regional professionals to teach some of our applied courses so that students can gain their unique insights. All of our faculty are highly involved in actually doing what they teachwhether that's making films, publishing research and books, writing scripts, organizing festivals, or providing consulting or advisory services to business or professional organizations.

Do you own the rights to your films, videos, scripts, etc?

Yes. Park School students own the rights to the media projects, scripts, apps, research papers, and anything else they produce as course assignments. Media or stories that are produced through our student media such as ICTV, WICB-FM or The Ithacan are copyrighted by Ithaca College so that we have the rights to distribute the work, but students can use their work in their own portfolios.

What are typical class sizes?

Production courses are typically 1417 students.

Lecture/theory/writing courses are typically 2230 students. Some courses have a common large group meeting time for all the various sections where films can be screened properly in a large auditorium, or others where there are guest presentations or master lectures, but those courses also have one or two small discussion group meetings each week.

Is it possible to double major within the Park School?

You are not able to double major with two degrees offered in the Park School, but you might satisfy your interest by combining your major with minors in the Park School and participating in our co-curricular/student media organizations.

Some students do pursue double majors, with one of the majors being outside the Park Schoolsuch as a double major in Journalism and Politics or a double major in Documentary Studies & Production and Environmental Studies.

You can find information about the requirements of all these programs on the Park School Majors and Minors section of the IC catalog:

https://catalog.ithaca.edu/undergrad/schools/park-school-communications/#majorsandminorstext  

How easy is it to be involved as a first-year student in the Park student media or other productions?
Very easy! We have seven award-winning student media organizations that function like their professional equivalentsICTV broadcast and streaming television, two radio stations, a digital and print newspaper, a promotionsevent agency, and a film/TV production house, and over 800 students are involved. Any student from any major in any year is encouraged to join. In the beginning of each semester, there are recruiting nights where you can learn about and sign up for opportunities. The advisors and student leaders of these organizations provide the training necessary to do the kinds of work you'll need to start contributingfor instance, they train DJs for radio shifts, they provide editorial assistance and workshops for The Ithacan writers, and ICTV offers training on studio and control room equipment.

Additionally, students often work on each other's film, video, and advertising projectswe have an online "callboard" to match up producers looking for help with potential crew members, actors, or musicians.

Are tutors provided for students with learning disabilities?

Tutors are available in some curricular areas. For a more specific answer on how students with learning disabilities are supported, you should review the Student Accessibility Services website.

What are the differences between the different film and video degrees?

The B.S. in Television-Radio offers the broadest curriculum in the creation and distribution of media contentyou can concentrate in areas such as TV studio production, audio production, field production and post-production, or in areas that are not "hands-on" in physical production such as content development/producing, international communications, or media research. 

Both the B.S. in Cinema & Photography and the  B.F.A. in Film, Photography, & Visual Arts start out with the same introductory film and photo courses, and  both focus on the theory, aesthetics, and skills that go into producing visual media. In the B.S., you choose to concentrate your upper-level classes in either film or photography while in the B.F.A., you take four years of classes in both film and photo, along with courses in our art department to highly develop your visual creation skills. Don't worry if you can't decide between these twothe first three semesters are identical.

Those interested in the non-fiction genre may find our B.A. in Documentary Studies & Production major most interestingcombining elements of film and journalism. The B.S. in Sports Media combines courses in TV-Radio, journalism, and public relations along with specific courses that relate to media that serve sports industries. If you're interested in how new technologies impact the creation and consumption of content, the B.S. in Emerging Media allows you to take courses in media writing and production, animation, software programming, virtual and augmented reality, user interface design, and app development.

I'm interested in digital and social media. Is the B.S. in Emerging Media the only major that involves these kinds of technologies?

Noevery degree in the Park School incorporates the latest technologies in that area of professional practice and study. The B.S. degrees in Communication Management and Design and in Integrated Marketing Communications have courses in social media and website development, while the B.A. in Journalism has a course specifically on mobile/social media journalism. But if you want to want to understand and lead the social, political and economic role of technology in society, the B.S. in Emerging Media is perfect for you. This degree incorporates software design and programming language courses from IC's department of Computer Science with courses in the Park School in user interface design, media analysis, and media production. Graduates go on to careers in companies like Twitter and Marvel Entertainment as software engineers and media asset producers, they are digital media managers at ad agencies, and they pursue employment as online learning designers and developers of virtual and augmented reality applications in corporations and higher education.

What's the difference between the B.S. in Communication Management & Design and the B.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications?

These degrees both relate to the application of communications media and strategies to accomplish the goals of an organization or business. CMD prepares students to the "voice" of an organizationto plan events, to design graphics and presentations, to train employees and volunteers, to create websites and digital media, and to manage crisis and executive communication. IMC focuses on promotional communication and brandingspecifically advertising, public relations, and marketing. IMC majors take a number of courses in the business school, including marketing and accounting. Both majors start out with the same classes, and many students major in one of these degrees and minor in the other.

Can I concentrate in broadcast or print journalism?

In today's news landscape, there are very few outlets that don't use multiple platforms to distribute content, so our approach has always been to teach you to investigate, report, and create content that can live in print, on websites, social/mobile media, or broadcast. You will be able to choose electives that focus in specific areas and choose to apply your skills on ICTV, WICB-FM, VIC radio, or The Ithacan. For students who want to produce long-form film or television investigative content, the B.A. in Documentary Studies and Production combines courses in journalism with courses in film and television production.

When do students begin making their own films and videos?

In their first semester! In all of our degree programs, students get hands-on skills in introductory production courseswhether that is film, audio, video, presentation and promotional graphics, or software/app programming. Students produce their own films and videos (unlike many film schools where the professors choose a few films to be made each semester and assign students to crew positions). Of course, students do collaborate with others whom they choose to be on their crewsmany senior thesis projects have crews of more than 20 people, and often first-year students are among them.  

 

EQUIPMENT and FACILITIES

What are the recommended personal computer and other devices and software for incoming students based on their major?

You’ll find information about computer/equipment needs here:

What kind of equipment do you have available to students? 

PPECS (Park Portable Equipment Center & Services) has hundreds of film and video cameras, with all the accompanying gear needed to support student course projects (lights, tripods, sound, etc.). PPECS is staffed by several professional staff and 40+ student employees and open seven days/week (over 80 hours). Our film students get to create projects on celluloid (analog) systems as well as digital cameras and editing software, and we have top-of-the line professional-level gear for advanced students, such as a RED 8K WEAPON camera, a RED RAVEN, and a number of URSA 4K cameras along with a suite of professional lenses, sliders, and dollies. Here's a look at our studios and classroom spaces and a partial list of our media production gear.

Are first-year students allowed to check equipment out? (including for personal projects)

Students have access to the equipment they need to produce course projects, starting day one. They are not able to use it for personal projects outside their courses. Students interested in developing ideas for their own films or other media outside of their classes can work with The Studio, one of our co-curricular organizations where the advisor and student execs mentor students to hone their pitches. They conduct "Pitch it to Produce it" events where students present their ideas to alumni and other professionals, such as producers at regional public TV stations. We then provide funding and equipment for successful pitches to create content that has the potential for outside distribution. 

INTERNSHIPS/ALUMNI/CAREERS

How early and how often can you do internships? Do you have to pay for them?

Because Park students will take at least four courses in their major during their first year, some may start getting internships that following summer. We encourage our students to pursue several internships over their time here so that they can learn what kinds of environments and tasks they most enjoy. Each degree program has a limit of how many internship credits you can take towards your graduation requirements, but many students do internships but don't take them for credit. 

If you want earn internship credit during the summer, you do pay for those credits. Internships during the academic year do not incur a fee, as long as you're staying within your 18 credits per semester that you get for your full-time tuition. 

Are internships required?

Only in the B.S. in Sports Media and in the B.F.A. in Writing for Film, Television, and Emerging Media.

What kinds of internship opportunities are there?

We have a professional development coordinator right in Park who nurtures contacts with potential internship providers and who works with students to develop their skills to find internships in their home towns, in Ithaca, and in other locations. We have many well-established connections at TV networks and stations, ad and PR agencies, film studios, talent agencies, production and post-production houses, and companies that have in-house communications functions. Our Office of Career Services has an online system called Handshake that captures internship and job opportunities that are easily searchable, and our professional development coordinator sends out internship leads via social media on a regular basis (usually daily!). With over 13,000 enthusiastic alumni, we have lots of leads!

Read about our internship and career connections and support here.

Over 200 Park students each year spend a semester at the Ithaca College Los Angeles Center (ICLA) in their Junior or Senior year. That semester is planned as an internship/study experience where students work at one or more internships during the day and take two or three courses in the late afternoon/evening. 

Where are some of the graduates of the communications program working now?

Because we've graduated over 13,000 alumni over our 60 years of communications education, we have graduates working in all aspects of the communications field. Some are quite notable public figures like Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger (TVR '73) and ABC Network News anchor David Muir (Journalism '95), but we have graduates in literally every corner of the global media business. Our Alumni page lists a number of highly successful graduates, as well as a sample of the first jobs that our 2019 alumni got within weeks of graduating.

While some media jobs tend to be only in major cities such as Los Angeles or NYC, there are communications jobs everywhere. Today, every company is a media companythey all have websites, social media accounts, and they organize events, train, and communicate with their employees, and seek customers or donors through campaigns. There are in-house jobs in these companies as well as jobs at production houses, ad/PR agencies, and website development companies even in small towns.  Many people in media these days are entrepreneurs or freelancers and live wherever they wantthey run YouTube channels, do freelance photography or videography or news reporting on assignment, or they work as communications consultants and coaches to executives.

What percentage of students get jobs in their field after graduation? What separates those who are successful at this from those who are not?

Honestly, no college has the accurate answer to that question because not all alumni respond to surveys, and people also change jobs frequently in their first year or so. In the Park School, we know that students who have been engaged in both their courses and in applying those skills in experiential learning such as internships and working in our student media are quite successful in not only getting "a" jobbut in getting their dream job. Of students with that profile, about 80% are working in their field within four months of searching (some students intend to travel or pursue other interests for a few months before looking for jobs). 

No matter what college you choose and how good their connections are, employers look for students who can "hit the ground running," who know about and thrive in environments like theirs, and who can show examples of their work and their work ethic. Your ability to demonstrate your initiative and your talent through work outside your classes is important. 

It's also very important to make connections with your professors and with the many alumni and guests who are brought to campus. We won't force you to go to speaker or networking events or to go to your professors' office hours, but you're missing out on a great resource if you don't develop these personal relationships. Our most successful graduates have people who really know their talents and passions far before they are looking for a job.

We also understand and affirm that some students decide at a point within college that they want to do something quite different than their majorand that's perfectly OK, too. We always have some alumni who want to go to law school, who decide that teaching or social work is their calling, who want to extend their undergraduate education into a related graduate degree such as health communications or instructional technology, or who are called into positions in their family business. An IC and Park School education prepares students for a broad and complex lifeit's not vocational education. Our goal is to make students successful in whatever path they choose.

Finally, in some areas, particularly entertainment media like film or photography, people don't get jobsthey are freelancers or "independents." This is true of the most successful film directors and cinematographers and photographers who are not an employee of a studio but rather who work "gig to gig" on projects. Our students are exposed to these various ways of working from their first week in the Park School in the S'Park classand throughout their four years, they have opportunities to speak with many professionals so they understand the career and work patterns in many different aspects of the field.

COMMUNITY/STUDENT LIFE

Does Ithaca get isolated and depressing during the winter months?

Only if you let it! There is always lots to do in the winterboth inside and outon the IC campus, in the Ithaca community, or at the Cornell University campus on the next hill in Ithaca. We recommend that you invest in good boots and warm socks, and learn to dress in layers. Winters are just part of the experience of being an IC student.

The students who are happiest in the Park Schooland who don't even notice the weatherare those who get involved in something outside of their classesin athletics, clubs, or in one or more of our student media. We don't have social fraternities or sororities at ICbut these clubs and activities are the way you'll find "your people" and you'll be kept really busy!

Since Ithaca is a smaller town, do you find that most students spend their free time on campus or out in the town of Ithaca, or do they go home on weekends?

IC has an amazing assortment of on-campus programs from right in your dorm to the Campus Center and from A&E Center concerts, films, and national comedy acts to athletic events. Cornell University is on the next hill, and their campus is also full of events. 

Ithaca is a town that is rich in a diversity of opportunitieslive music of all kinds, theater, art gallery openings, a locally run art film house with four screens, silent discos, karaoke, and excursions into the area's natural beauty at Cayuga Lake and the many parks and waterfalls. We have more restaurants per capita than New York City!

We really encourage community service, and from your first year, you'll be given lots of opportunities to volunteer with local non-profits.  Many students are actively involved in faith-based groups on and off-campus, and with other affinity groups such as LGBTQIA+ and POC.

We are not a commuter campus. Most students live more than two hours away, so they don't tend to go home except for holidays and special occasions, so the campus is lively throughout the weekends.

If you have not been to Ithaca, watch these videos:

Do you need a car?

No. Ithaca's public transit bus system has a number of pick-ups throughout the day at different locations on campusincluding right at the door of the Park School. It's about a five-minute trip downtown, and there are routes that go to our local grocery stores, the Cornell campus, and the regional mall. If you need to get a big haul of supplies at the local Walmart or want to lug 300 pounds of film gear to a shooting location, you'll always find a friend with a car!

What if I want some big-city life?

It's not difficult to get to NYC from Ithacathere are several bus companies that make runs daily to NYC and it's about a 4.5 hour direct trip. Many of our clubs and student professional societies (like NYS Film and Television Alliance and the Public Relations Student Society of America and the Society for Professional Journalists) often go to conferences in major regional citiesespecially New York City, and there are sometimes class trips as well. Syracuse is about 75 minutes away, Rochester about two hours away, and Toronto is about five hours away. 

Can I get to meet students outside of the Park School?

Sure. You'll be taking about half of your classes outside Parktypically in our School of Humanities and Sciencesbut there are courses open to you in all of our schools. There are over 100 clubs, and the dorms have a lot of events, especially for first-year students, that give you lots of opportunities to get to know other people.

Take a one minute tour of campus!