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Written by Ted Irving   

Several weeks ago I received an email from a representative of Emerson College to attend a high school media instructor workshop.

Not a workshop for training, but a workshop that gave 11 high school media instructors tours of the Emerson film, TV, animation and theatre facilities. This tour occured this past weekend, Friday February 4th - Saturday February 4th. 

And let me tell you...it was awesome. Any high school student desiring to become a filmmaker should seriously consider this liberal arts college. It competes equally with the Dodge College of Chapman, NYU, USC, Columbia College, SCAD and Full Sail.

First of all, let's identify their programs. They cover everything:

Academic Components - Academic Departments

Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders
Department of Communication Studies
Department of Journalism
Department of Marketing Communication
Department of Performing Arts
Department of Visual & Media Arts
Department of Writing, Literature & Publishing
Institute for Liberal Arts & Interdisciplinary Studies
International Study & External Programs
Department of Professional Studies & Special Programs
ArtsEmerson/Office of the Arts

Undergraduate Programs
Communication Sciences & Disorders
            Communication Disorders
Communication Studies
            Communication Studies
            Political Communication: Leadership, Politics & Social Advocacy
            Broadcast Journalism
            Print & Multimedia Journalism
Marketing Communication
            Marketing Communication: Advertising & Public Relations
Performing Arts
            Musical Theatre Performance
            Stage/Production Management
            Theatre Education
            Theatre Studies
Visual & Media Arts
            Animation & Motion Media
            Directing Narrative Fiction
            Documentary Production
            Experimental Media Production
            Interactive Media
            Sound Design/Audio
            Studio Television Production
            Writing for Film & Television
            Media Studies
Writing, Literature & Publishing
            Writing, Literature and Publishing

Graduate Programs
            Communication Disorders (MS)
            Communication Management (MA)
            Creative Writing (MFA)
            Global Marketing Communication & Advertising (MA)
            Health Communication (MA)
            Integrated Marketing Communication (MA)
            Journalism (MA)
            Media Art (MFA)
            Publishing & Writing (MA)
            Theatre Education (MA)

Second of all, the media infrastructure is staggering. The student cage blew me away. 

Not just because it was huge with tons of c-stands, Arri kits and more, but because students can submit equipment orders and the cage crew will deliver the equipment to the student! Crazy!

Editing facilities include several floors of Final Cut Studio 2 and Avid Media Composer rooms, each with more than 20 editing systems running on either iMac or MacPro Systems.

Check this out - their gym...has a small broadcast center attached to it for broadcasting games live!!
Whoa! And I'm a late 80's reel-to-reel audio editor. I never edited traditional film. Yet at Emerson, film students have to learn how to edit on a Steinbeck. 

I should have asked what their engineering/repair budget was like. 

The TV studios they have on campus for student learning will BLOW. YOU. AWAY. Period. Actual studios just for learning and several large studios for live student broadcasts. These are also complete with robotic cameras. I'll say it again, "robotic cameras!" 

Radio lovers, don't worry I have not forgotten you. Yes! Emerson does have a radio program that is housed is a facility with windows that face the street. So, bystanders and students that walk by can see the student radio personalities as well as hear their broadcast via speakers outside of the building. Call letters are WERS 88.9 FM. And a side note...they have a serious alumni called the Emerson Mafia. Networking should be no problem for an Emerson grad. Jay Leno being one minor grad contact.

They also have seen the following people through their programs:
• Television producers Norman Lear ’44 (All in the Family), Kevin Bright ’76 (Friends), Max Mutchnick ’87 (Will & Grace), and Vin Di Bona ’66 (America’s Funniest Home Videos)
• Television executives Lucia Cottone '92, Doug Herzog ’81 (MTV), and Doug Holloway ’76
• Screenwriters Anna Hamilton Phelan ’65 (Amelia), Kate Boutilier ’81 (Rugrats), and Alex Tse '98 (Watchmen)
• Eric Drysdale '93, writer and Emmy Award winner for The Colbert Report
• Bill Fiala ’95, executive director of post-production at Fox Searchlight Pictures
• Documentary filmmaker Jeremiah Zagar '03, 2010 Emmy Award nominee for In a Dream
• Film editors Michael McCusker '88 (Walk The Line) and Andrew Leviton ’06 (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs)
• Seth Grahame-Smith '98, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies; Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
In conclusion, I"m definitely going to push Emerson along with all the other film & broadcast journalism schools and for them to invest in all-expense-paid trips for high school media instructors is phenomenal. Of course, as instructors we can't be biased and promote one school, but we should promote programs that offer strong media, journalism, animation and visual arts programs. Emerson's investment in teachers was a definite out-of-the-box strategy for recruitment and a move that left me angry at my alma mater for not having the same level of equipment and staff. Although that was a very long time ago. I'll have to find a way to reach Mr. Dan Rather and see if he'll donate a bit more to the SHSU Dan Rather School of Communications. LOL

Thinking of applying? Keep the following in mind:
Standardized Test Scores & GPA

Middle 50% Composite: 1760–1970
Middle 50% Critical Reasoning: 590–680
Middle 50% Math: 560–650
Middle 50% Writing: 580–680
Middle 50% Composite: 25–30
Grade Point Average
3.34 (unweighted, 4.0 scale)

Student Body: Approximately 3,400 undergraduate and 850 graduate students from across the United States and more than 40 countries
Admission: Competitive. Each year, approximately 6,500 applications are received for a first-year class of 790
Student/Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Sports: 14 NCAA Division III teams and several intramural programs and recreational activities
Co-curricular: More than 70 student organizations and performance groups, student publications, and honor societies
Alumni: 28,000 and growing

The Cost
Costs (2010–2011): Tuition, $30,752; Room and Board, $12,881
Financial Aid: Approximately 65% of the student body receives financial assistance
The Place
Library: More than 180,000 volumes and serial subscriptions, 10,000 microforms, 11,000 audiovisual materials, and 8,000 e-books
Residence Halls: Four, all air-conditioned and wired for cable television and internet access
Labs and Studios: Sound-treated television studios, multiple Avid editing suites, audio post-production labs, sound stage, film screening room, integrated digital newsroom, six on-campus programs to observe speech and hearing therapy, professional marketing suite/focus group room, makeup lab, scene and costume shops, theatre design/technology center, and more
Curriculum: Approximately 700 courses are offered each semester
Theaters: Four, including the historic 1,200-seat Cutler Majestic and newly renovated 590-seat Paramount Mainstage
Radio Stations: Two, including WERS-FM, the oldest noncommercial broadcaster in Boston
Castles: One, Kasteel Well, in The Netherlands
Schedule a visit online today!
Figure out what happens when a world class faculty is combined with state-of-the-art facilities like the integrated digital newsroom, the equipment distribution center, and the Robbins Center for Speech, Language and Hearing.

Combine a visit with sightseeing. Because of our downtown location we're within walking distance of Boston Common, historic Faneuil Hall, Newbury Street, the Theatre District, and the city's Italian North End. View more about Emerson's neighborhood.

Learn how to get involved right away in a dynamic and creative environment unlike anything you've experienced in high school.

Hear about our off-campus learning experiences, from studying in the Netherlands at a 14th-Century medieval castle, to pursuing an internship on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles.

Check out our hall- and suite-style dorm rooms, some of which come with incredible views of downtown Boston, the public garden, and the golden-domed state capitol.

See where notable alumni like Dennis Leary (actor, '79 ), Jay Leno (talk-show host '73 ), and Seth Grahame-Smith (author, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, ‘98) all have their roots.
Visit the library, which contains 180,000 volumes, subscribes to over 500 magazines, and is home to the set of Will and Grace.

Discover just how close we are to the best theatres in Boston, not to mention the five venues right on campus!

Hear about our muggle Quidditch team and intramural athletic programs.

Meet the most energetic and ambitious student body you'll find anywhere - and see if you can picture yourself among them!
“Before you even get out of bed in the morning, you are doing. Practice. Rehearsal. Writing. Recording. Creating. Building. Leading. You have found it—the stuff that inspires you.
We get it. At Emerson, we're like that, too.”

For more information on Emerson College go to www.emerson.edu.

Samples of their student work, which is fabulous, can be seen at Emerson Live.

Ted Irving is the Director of the Hightower High School Digital Media Academy located in Fort Bend ISD, Missouri City, Texas. Since the summer of 1999 Ted has worked with the Hightower media program and became the director in 2004. Under Ted Irving’s leadership, the media academy has won a Texas Regional Emmy, one Summit Award, and 18 National Telly Awards.  Since 2006 Ted has been awarded many grants for his work with the academy; A 2006 Japan Fulbright Fellowship, $5,000 Best Buy Teacher Technology Grant, Houston Press Master Mind $2,000 Award, Kids In Need $1,000 grant, Captain Planet Foundation $2,300 grant, Target Field Trip grant and much more. Ted Irving is also a former Hightower Teacher of the Year and the HAABSE (Houston Area Alliance of Black School Educators) secondary Teacher of the Year in 2002.


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