The Park Difference
With its commitment to nurturing the creative, sustainable, progressive, and enlightened practice of communications in all its forms, the Park School is a leader in preparing students not just to get a job -- but to create the future of communications.
This is a great time to get into communications! The communications industry is one of the hottest sectors of economic and artistic growth on an international level - never before has so much content been produced and consumed. The dramatic changes in technology and economic models for media and the enormous impact that media has on society demand rigorous analysis, ethical decision-making and creative invention.
Many of the traditional jobs in the field are being eliminated or altered, while new opportunities are emerging. Journalists now need to be able to create news on all platforms: print, video, audio podcasts, social media, infographics, and blogs. Films, music, and TV shows that could only be produced in big studios a decade ago are now being created and distributed on mobile phones. Today you can make a living as social media strategist, a media analytics specialist, a multimedia arts festival coordinator, a writer or animator for online multi-player immersive games, a sports blogger/podcaster, an independent photographer selling microstock images online, or a freelance corporate experiential event planner – occupations that we didn’t even have words for a few years ago.
You’ll need to prepare yourself to work in careers that have not yet been invented – and hopefully to be one of those futurists and leaders who creates ethical and imaginative new programming and platforms. Yet, you'll want to leave with the skills and connections that will land you an immediate job or a spot in a top graduate program.
A broader and deeper range of communications courses -- all under “one roof” -- than any other college.
Whether you're interested in photography, cinematography, television, screenwriting, sports media, audio production, instructional technology, multi-platform journalism, emerging media, documentary production, corporate communications, event planning, strategic advertising and public relations -- or all of the above -- the Park School offers you the seamless blend of theoretical and performance-based learning that is the hallmark of excellence in communications education. You'll be admitted directly into your major and will start taking both production and theoretical courses from day one. But you'll be rubbing elbows with students in other majors and will be encouraged to work on their projects, join student media organizations that stretch your skills and concepts beyond what you're studying, and you'll gain a birds-eye view of the entire media landscape, putting you far ahead of the competition that is narrowly trained in just one discipline.
But the Ithaca experience is not just about job preparation: courses within the Park School and the other four schools on campus will give you the kind of well-rounded education that is the foundation for a fulfilling personal life. Taking advantage of a world-class music conservatory, a business school focused on sustainability and entrepreneurship, nationally-recognized theater and science programs, leadership opportunities in campus clubs and residence life, and classes and team opportunities in health and sports, our students cultivate their cultural competencies, passions, wellness, and perspectives on the world.
Innovation is in our DNA
We actually have figured out how to prepare our students for a world that doesn't yet exist. Our faculty and alumni have been among the first to create and research new media genres and online platforms, new economic models for entertainment and journalism, and new strategies for promoting products and social initiatives. We were the first college with a cable TV channel over 50 years ago, the first to offer professional workshops in interactive media in 1980, and the first to sponsor a contest for short films produced entirely on cell phones. Contemporary courses, immediate hands-on media experience, international travel opportunities, the opportunity to create your own shows and films, community service and consulting projects, internships, and events where you can pitch ideas to producers and thought leaders in communications all combine to give you the immediate skills and intellectual flexibility to build a career for a lifetime.
Our professors are effective and dedicated teachers whose first priority is students. You can take advantage of opportunities to work with them outside of the classroom on their research, their media projects, and in service to the community both locally and internationally.. Because of their diverse backgrounds and passionate engagement in their respective fields, you'll be inspired to explore aspects of the dynamic communications field that you may never have considered. They regularly publish books and research articles, speak at conferences, serve on industry panels, have their films accepted into international festivals, and serve as consultants to industry and government.
We also have dedicated first-year advisors,faculty advisors in your major, a professional development coordinator just for the Park School who helps you with career strategies, jobs, and internships, and Professionals-in-Residence who give master classes and hold office hours to personally mentor you. Our retention and graduation rates are among the highest for schools of our rigor, and YOUR success is OUR success.
We also bring you to the world, with opportunities to spend a semester in our Los Angeles center, to study in our London or New York City programs, or to take a short study tour with a faculty member in places like Korea, Cuba, Italy, and Ireland.
Put learning into practice
Opportunities to create your own media, build leadership skills, and explore your talents and passions happen in our co-curricular media organizations. Two radio stations, our cable and online ICTV channel, award-winning student newspaper, an entrepreneurial film studio, a professional media production unit, and an in-house design/'promotion agency provide experiential learning, available to students from their very first semester. Each organization is mentored by a full-time advisor and has budgets not only to develop programming but also to travel to conferences and festivals where students regularly pick up national awards.
Students also present their research at conferences worldwide and can apply for grants to help them with the expenses of complex media productions or to conduct study trips abroad. All of this is for undergraduate students-- not graduate students as is the case with many communications schools at big universities.
Connections that last a lifetime
Of course, a top-notch education will take you only so far if you can't break into the professional world. Our alumni are not only high achievers, but they're extraordinarily accessible. You'll find them in every corner of the media industry, and they'll help you network with other professionals in their field, offer career advice, give lectures and workshops on campus, and maybe even help you land that first job. Among our alumni are Disney CEO Bob Iger, ABC anchor David Muir, iHeart Media Chief Marketing Officer Gayle Troberman, Founding Partner of Anomaly (the firm famous for the Budweiser Super Bowl commercials) Jason DeLand, TV screenwriter for Nashville and Life Unexpected Liz Tegelaar, and Executive VP of Madison Square Garden, Sharon Otterman. We frequently bring them back to campus and students begin Skyping with them in their first-semester class called S'Park.
Our students leave here with a well-rounded education - comparable to many graduate programs - and also confident, connected and ready to transform the communications industry. We treat them like talented young professionals - not "kids" - and give them the resources they need to find and use their voices. These attributes have put us on the industry's lists of top journalism, media, and film schools and sustain our reputation as a place that incubates graduates who have the skills, attitudes, ethical framework, conceptual platforms, and well-earned confidence to succeed.