Academics – Summer
The Academic Program (6 total credits)
The Los Angeles Semester provides a very robust and challenging academic program taught by media industry professionals. Students will have an opportunity to learn from our dedicated faculty as well as current industry professionals who are invited in as guest speakers. Being in Los Angeles also affords our students the unique opportunity to participate in field trips to studios, production companies, post-production houses, and much more.
All students are required to register for the LA Internship Experience class PLUS an additional 3 credit LA Semester class OR three 1 credit LA Semester classes.
Students are required to enroll in all courses for a total of 6 credits over 12 weeks.
COM 300: LA Internship Experience, 1 credit
Meets twice over the 12 weeks (Wednesday evenings)
This course will serve as a complement to the student’s hands on experience in the professional workplace. In class, we will offer a forum to discuss any challenges, concerns and questions that may arise regarding student’s internships. We will expose students to entertainment industry decision makers and influencers giving students a chance to interact with working professionals in a more intimate setting. Students are expected to research the background of any guest speakers so as to thoroughly engage in the in-class conversation. Through this and an exploration of current news gathered from the industry trade papers (Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles Times, Deadline, etc.) , students will sharpen their critical perspective of the business part of show business.
Students will keep a journal of their experiences at their internships. Entries in these journals will serve as the basis for further discussion as each student will meet one to one with the Director and the Assistant Director during the semester. Each student will be required to contribute one blog about their experiences living and/or working in Los Angeles to be posted on the SULA Semester website.
As a final assignment, students will present a cohesive overview of how their internships shaped, shifted or changed their ideas about the industry and what specifically has added to their knowledge base in terms of skills obtained, professional associations, networking groups, leveraging social media for professional gain, etc. Students have the option of writing a paper or creating a short video.
TRF 400: The Media Ecosystem in Los Angeles, 1 credit
Meets 5x throughout the summer (Wednesday evenings)
This course will expose students to the ever changing ecosystem of the Los Angeles media industry, including traditional television and movies, cable TV, the syndication business, social media, the digital space and more. Students will gain insights into how these different platforms are now thoroughly interconnected and how they impact each other. Students will study the history of how the media business worked, how business models are being turned on their heads on an almost daily basis, and how the student’s career goals and aspirations might fit in to how the business will evolve in the future.
ICC 400: Digital Media & Innovation in Los Angeles, 1 credit
Meets 5x throughout the summer (Wednesday evenings)
Los Angeles is now considered one of the hottest startup and digital media communities in the country (after Silicon Valley and New York), boasting success stories such as Snapchat, Whisper, Oculus Rift, Full Screen, Tinder and hundreds of others. Beyond these, all the major studios, as well as YouTube, Buzzfeed, EliteDaily and dozens of other major companies are making LA their source for new and creative digital media.
“Digital Media & Innovation in LA” is a five (5) week course that aims to explore the digital media scene in Los Angeles. Students will be introduced to the LA startup scene and learn about what technologies, innovations, and companies are growing here. They will also learn about digital media corporate initiatives at established media companies in LA. The course will include lectures from some of the movers-and-shakers, founders and creators in this creative and fast-moving space. The class should involve field trips to professional working environments whenever possible.
COM 346 : Race, Gender & the Media, 3 credits
Meets on Tue. & Thur. evenings for 12 weeks
The course will focus on the interaction of various cultures of this country, and how those interactions play themselves out in our mass media, in terms of both the production and reception of content. Professor will help students understand how people handle cultural and other differences, and help them discuss how those behaviors affect both individuals and communities, using research and examples from psychology and sociology. Through readings, class discussions, and projects, the course seeks to advance the understanding of issues relating to the nation’s increasing diversity and the media. Having some understanding of these issues is extremely important for anyone moving into the workforce of the early 21st century, but certainly it’s especially vital for someone who wishes to enter the workforce as a communications professional.