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Our Signature 1st Year Experience

S'Park: Igniting Your Future in Communications, is a 1 credit course that accelerates students' transition from high school to functioning as informed, confident, culturally competent, and connected young communications professionals and scholars.

Students learn about the issues, possibilities, and big ideas that are driving today's communications landscape.

Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, interacting with S'Park students

Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, interacting with S'Park students

Alumni - from Disney CEO, Bob Iger, to a young alum who graduated only a few months ago - visit S'Park in person or via videoconference, offering advice and opportunities to network and speak confidently about issues in the communications field.  Taught by Dean Diane Gayeski and other members of the faculty, the course ensures that students are aware of the resources and opportunities here in the Park School.  It also "sparks" their enthusiasm for big ideas and challenges in the field and and opens their eyes to areas of expertise and careers that they may never have imagined.

Outcomes of the Course

  • Students develop a tentative 4-year plan for their courses as well as possible internships, and study either abroad or at our Los Angeles or NYC centers.
  • Alumni and guest professors broaden students' knowledge about potential career opportunities, recount what it's like to actually work in various careers in the industry, and inform students about opportunities to expand their learning through our student media, research opportunities, and courses they may never have considered.
  • Students begin to build their network by creating a LinkedIn page and Twitter account, shadowing professionals, and learning to track current events and issues in the field.
  • We cover essential skills and concepts related to protecting your physical safety and intellectual property, and complying with relevant laws and policies that students and professionals encounter as they work in the media.
  • We discuss critical issues in the field -- such as  diversity, "fake news", emerging technologies, changes in the economic underpinnings of journalism, TV and film -- while building a culture of "Media for Social Responsibility".