Bachelor’s in Communication & Bachelor’s in Liberal Studies Information Session


Angelica: Hello everyone, welcome to the Communication and Liberal Studies webinar. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to participate. My name is Angelica Frias, and I will be your moderator for today.

Angelica: Before we begin, I have a few logistics that I want to cover. First, you are in listen-only mode, so the presentation is being broadcast through your speakers to avoid any background noise.

Angelica: Second, please feel free to ask questions as we go. You can do so by typing into the Q&A box at the left side of your screen at any time throughout the session. If we do not get to your question today, an enrollment advisor will follow up with you.

Angelica: Third, you can watch this presentation on demand at any time using the same link you used to register. We will also followup with an email after the presentation.

Angelica: What we will cover. Well, on today’s agenda we will introduce the presenters, then talk a little bit about Maryville and who we are, discuss both our communication and liberal studies program, review our online learning experience, navigate through the admission process, and then we’ll conclude with a live question and answer session.

Angelica: First let’s meet our presenters. My name is Angelica Frias, like I’d mentioned. I’m an enrollment advisor at Maryville University. I’ve been in education for close to 14 years, so I’m hoping that I can be of some great assistance to you all. We are also really excited to have two of our Maryville faculty members join us on today’s webinar.

Angelica: First we have Dustin York, Director of Communication Undergraduate and Graduate Programs, and Assistant Professor of Communication. Dustin, would you mind sharing a little bit more about yourself?

Dustin: Absolutely. I’ve been here at Maryville University now for six years. Prior from that I come from industry, so I worked mostly for for-profit and political campaigns, including Nike, Pepsi, the 2008 Obama campaign. So I bring a lot of that real world industry into the classroom.

Angelica: Great, thank you, Dustin. Next we have Anthony Santirojprapai, Assistant Dean of Humanities and Assistant Professor of English. Art, would you mind sharing a little bit more about yourself as well?

Art: Sure, hi. And yes, my nickname is Art, my formal name is Anthony, in case you’re curious about that. I have been here at Maryville University for about five years now, but I actually first started teaching here almost 10 years ago on part-time basis while I was finishing out my graduate degree at Saint Louis University. I have a PhD in English Literature and have been a professor of English, really, for really for the last 10 years. But here at Maryville I’ve taken on the role of Assistant Dean of Humanities, which humanities encompasses English, and a lot of our general education courses in humanities, like philosophy, Spanish, religious studies, and fine and performing arts.

Angelica: Great, thank you, Art. You all will here more from both of our presenters very soon. But first, we wanted to share a little more information about the history of Maryville with all of you before diving into the program details.

Angelica: Maryville University was founded in 1872 in Saint Louis, Missouri. Maryville is one of the oldest private, non-profit universities in the U.S. we started out as one of the first universities in the region to educate women, and today we continue to push the boundaries and prepare students, like all of you, for the digital world.

Angelica: The university is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, and is nationally ranked private college recognized for comprehensive and innovative education focused on student learning, outcomes, and success both online and on campus. Recently we have been recognized as America’s Top Colleges by Forbes in 2017, Best Values in Private Colleges by Kiblinger’s Personal Finance in 2018, and among the nation’s Top Three Fastest Growing Universities by the Chronical of Higher Education.

Angelica: Maryville believes in disrupting the higher education system and has been doing so for nearly 150 years. We believe that this is why we continue to maintain numerous corporate partnerships and have even been named and Apple distinguished school, which highlights the university’s enormous success in creating an innovative learning environment designed to engage students and support their academic achievements.

Angelica: We believe that learning is very important, and as such, you should receive the support that you need every step of the way. We believe everything in the classroom should be challenging, and everything outside of it should be easy. We pride ourselves on our supportive and attentive faculty, and have also streamlined the admission process and offer personalized support throughout your educational journey.

Angelica: So, let’s go over some enrollment details. Our online enrollment continue to grow with each semester. As of September 12th, 2018, per our student support group, our online enrollments are approximately 9,350 students. The best part is the diversity amongst our student body. Currently our students represent 50 states and 60 countries.

Angelica: Our students take advantage of our degrees at an undergraduate, masters, and doctoral level. Over 25 online degree programs, which are 100% online, and over 115 on campus degree programs.

Angelica: This is a great segue into our next topic, which is our program review. To start us of, Dustin will provide us a overview on the online Bachelor of Arts in Communication.

Dustin: Absolutely, hello. Within our program what we really focus on are outcomes, we’re incredibly outcome focused in that the areas that a lot of our students go into are marketing, public relations, social media, event planning, copywriting, and so on. Throughout the entire program we’re really focused on that. We have entire classes focused on building your portfolio. Specifically there’s a class at the end where you would leave with a website that contains all of your material. I know back in the day, the old school way of doing things, you used to have to actually send material to agencies and companies of your work. Photoshop work that you’ve done, pressure relief work that you’ve done, things like. What’s common now, these are websites, so we set that up within the course.

Dustin: What’s really interesting though, within seven of our courses, there are certificates associated to those classes. So, basically we know that an Anheuser Busch, or a Nestlé Purina, Pepsi, they want employees that are current, and know the current trends in social media, and tools online, so within a course, I know I keep saying “course” right now, that instead of a book exam, we’ve taken out the midterm exam and put in a certificate exam. So you will leave that class, assuming you passed that test, with a certificate from Salesforce, or a certificate from Google, a certificate from Facebook, HubSpot, and so on.

Dustin: This really speaks to employers, so when you’re going out for an internship, or you’re going out for a full time job, and you are compared to another candidate, or hundreds of candidates, you also have, perhaps, a degree, a Bachelor’s Degree, then you have something that other students don’t have. Those are those real world certificates. A company, like Pepsi, knows that you’re current with Facebook and Google because you got a certificate from them just a year ago, and their exams are going to for sure be up to date.

Dustin: And what we’re seeing, we’re seeing a growth in this industry quite a bit, especially because of the tech side. I wish it was just because we were all very charming, but since social media, Amazon, Google, Facebook, they are taking over, love the business practices, we’re seeing a large growth in the opportunities that our industry faces. Our classes are changing because of that. Just this year we’ve added Google Analytics, we’ve added Amazon algorithms, we’ve added Facebook ad buying, which was not the case four or five years ago. So our program keeps up to date with those things.

Dustin: Our program is set up into really two concentrations: here’s the Strategic Communication, and then there’s an Emerging Media Strategy and Social Media. Really two different concentrations, the core, those core classes are the same, and then you take concentration courses going into one of those two directions.

Dustin: So what those are, Strategic Communication is basically a focus on public relations, corporate communication, marketing. So almost like the traditional roles and traditional careers that have been around for decades now, those aren’t going anywhere, those are seeing a steady increase just on the rate all business roles and careers are heading. So that writing focus, a focus on storytelling are crucial right there.

Dustin: The second one is Emerging Media Strategy and Social Media, that’s a tech focus. So again, we’re seeing nationwide a huge growth in social media, ad buying, online community relations, algorithms, to search engine optimization, and things like that nature. So within those courses you’ll find classes tailored in that specific way.

Dustin: Some other areas that are interesting, and I think sets us apart from other programs, is just exactly how outcomes focused, and I think my focal point in pretty much all decisions that we make as an undergrad and graduate program. One of which is clients based work. So, I know when I was an undergrad, back in the day, that we had clients, like fake clients for projects, where you create this copy for Dustin’s Pizza, some fake organization.

Dustin: I quickly realized that employers want you to have real world experience. So, we’ve built that into the program. So within your Capstone experience in the program you’ll create content, and work for, and get feedback from a real world client. So it’s not just the academics that will be giving you feedback, but it will be industry experts, and it will be people from the industry side as well mentoring you and giving you feedback along the way. So in hopes, if you’re not in the field right now, that the first time you interact with professionals in the communication world, and marketing, and public relations, and social media, that you’ll have that experience in the classroom first, and you’ll gain that opportunity early on.

Dustin: We also have internship opportunities. So there’s one internship within the program, again, very focused on outcomes based. It’s very difficult to … We really don’t want to leave students just simply taking classes and being able to finish the program without real world experience. So we have this internship opportunity, there’s hundreds of internships around the country that fulfill this requirement depending on what area you’re interested in. We also have some students in the past that may be working for X company, maybe not in the communication side of X company, but they take on an internship with the same company they work for. Saying that they’re trying to move into the communication department of their company, so they’re do an internship at their current company as well.

Dustin: We started about the certificates already, the experience in the digital side. Again, very focused on what employers are looking for, and that’s really what we focus on within the program.

Dustin: On the screen those are the courses within the program. There’s 128 credits to graduate. A lot of our courses fall into a number of categories from writing focused, to design for Photoshop, in design you get an Adobe CC membership account at no cost, that’s no extra cost, so you get all the Photoshop, and design, and all that. Social media, digital, writing, campaign development. So they’re all focused really on those outcomes of social media, event planning, copywriter, marketing, community relations, social media, those sort of roles, which really we’re seeing an increase in the marketplace right now.

Dustin: So that is the communication program in a nutshell. Again, I’m happy to answer any questions later on in the [inaudible 00:14:35].

Angelica: Great. Thank you much, Dustin. This is great and very useful information.

Angelica: Next, Art, will you provide us an overview on the online Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies?

Art: Sure, absolutely. Hello again. So, the Liberal Studies degree is a very unique degree that you see in a lot of different college and universities. It’s one that we value highly here because it really encompasses two really important parts of the Maryville identity. One being the concentration on a broad breadth of general knowledge and information that encompasses a completely multi-disciplinary approach to education. Followed by the other half, which is the professional concentration. With Liberal Studies, what we really try to emphasize in the curriculum that we’ve designed, it’s not just a combination of those two halves, but in what ways can we prepare students with a Liberal Studies degree for that professional world?

Art: A lot of what we base our curriculum on is actually centered on recent data that has been indicating that employers are looking more and more for prospective job candidates who are skilled in critical thinking, skilled in writing, skilled in analytical processes. All of these kinds of things that a student is able to become more of an expert as they take more of a variety of classes. Not just within humanities based courses, but in sciences, and psychology, social sciences, communications, and all of those other fields. So, the Liberal Studies degree is really focused highly on training it’s students on those skills that they can take with them as they go into whatever professional concentration they’re going to enter.

Art: Now what very unique about this degree, as it is focused so heavily on writing critical analysis, critical thinking, it’s designed to allow a student to identify the concentration that they are most interested in following. It’s this way a very professional degree within the university itself.

Art: So the kind of concentration that students are able to draw by are actually all offered online. So you can see what’s listed there under the course snapshot. Concentration in accounting, and business administration, communication, financial services, forensic psychology, marketing. So a good chunk of your degree is going to be drawn from one of these concentrations.

Art: The other half of the degree comes primarily from the humanities and social sciences. So it’s courses that ask students to explore really kind of the foundation, if you will, of what does it mean to be a citizen of the world? A person who is able to connect with a broad range of people, of different types of careers, in different places around the world. The understanding being that if you have a very in depth knowledge or history, philosophy, art history, literature, social science, that can only prepare you to be an even more balanced and whole prospective employer for the job market out there.

Art: The Liberal Studies is especially valuable for those who have actually probably spent a lot of their time preparing themselves for STEM style careers. STEM is sort of the popular collection of studies right now that most students have prepared themselves for. But what’s sometimes missing from that preparation is an attention to critical thinking, to analytical reasoning, to solid writing skills. That is what the Liberal Studies degree offers.

Art: Like Communications, we also have a Capstone experience here. Our Capstone experience asks students to present the knowledge that they’ve gleaned throughout their course taking, and present it in a portfolio style to the instructor and well as to the Dean of the Humanities.

Art: So all of this is to say that this is a very professionally designed major, particularly geared towards students who have an interest in diversifying their degree. It especially is appealing, I think as well, for those who are transferring in with a lot of credit in a particular concentration. So for example, if you have enough credit hours that qualifies you as a second year student, third year student, and you happen to have a lot of credits in financial services, or in cyber security, but you just don’t have quite the balance of the humanities and social sciences to round things out, then that’s who this degree really does appeal to. That student who is just looking to really flesh out a body of work and credit that they have already worked hard for.

Art: It’s a really fascinating degree, and I’m very excited to talk to anybody if they are interested in pursuing some more information about it.

Angelica: Great. Thank you so much, Art. Now that we have all learned a little more about both programs, so question is: What can you expect as a Maryville student? Well let’s talk a little bit about Maryville online experience and what it’s like to go to school 100% online.

Angelica: At Maryville University we encourage student interaction and engagement. The small online class sizes allow for networking and development of relationships with fellow students and distinguished faculty. Our programs are fully asynchronous, which offers flexibility for working professionals, and is accessible based on your convenience. This means that whether you would like to access your assignments at midnight, or at 4pm, you have the opportunity to do so. That being said, you will have deadlines that are set, so time management skills will be very necessary.

Angelica: Canvas is our learning management system, which is accessible 24 hours, and put your course readings, articles, presentation, assignments, discussions, and other types of learning activities at your fingertips. Each student participates in an orientation webinar prior to the start of classes to learn more about this system. Finally, if you’re always on the go, or just find I easier to access emails, discussion, syllabus, et cetera from your mobile device, you can do that too. You can take learning anywhere you go.

Angelica: Students also have access to a student support advisor. Prior to the start of class, each student is assigned to an advisor who will provide dedicated support from start to finish. These advisors are dedicated to answering your questions, connecting you to resources, and making your journey through this program as smooth as possible. Our mission is dedicated to your success.

Angelica: You also have 24 hour technical support. Our programs are 100% online and as such, we want to ensure that you have access to support at any time of day or night. Our technical support is available via phone, chat, or by submitting a ticket.

Angelica: You also have access to our career development team. Our staff is dedicated to prepare students for success through networking opportunities, internship experiences, and professional preparation for life after college. They also support our alumni in their career pursuit in a similar fashion.

Angelica: Finally, online library and writing studio. Appointments may be scheduled with a dedicated librarian for a one on one consultation online, by phone, or in person. You can also access writing resources that may help with developing a thesis statement, an introduction, a conclusion, concurring writer’s block, and grammar and writing.

Angelica: So now that you know what you would have access as a student, let’s talk about our admission process. We’re going to cover requirements, transcripts, application tips, tuition, and financial aid.

Angelica: For those applying as a freshman, the requirements include a high school diploma or GED, a minimum of a 2.5 GPA. If you’re GPA is below a 2.5, you may be considered for admission on probation. And, the best thing is that there is no need for SAT or ACT exams.

Angelica: For those applying as a transfer, the requirements include transcripts from all universities or colleges previously attended, and/ord enrolled, a minimum of a 2.0 GPA. Again, if your GPA is below a 2.0 you may be considered for admission on probation. Again, there is a no SAT or ACT exams required. And, if you have earned your Associate’s Degree, this may satisfy our general education requirements. It is very important for us to evaluate your transcript.

Angelica: Our application process is easy and can be completed in two steps. The first step includes requesting your official transcripts. Your enrollment advisor is there to assist you if you need additional help obtaining them. And, electronic transcripts are always preferred. The second step is to complete our free online application. The link provided here goes directly to our application. You can also access it by looking at the Resource Center on the left side of your screen. You will find a few resources there including the link to the application. Once again, there’s are no entrance exams, essays, or application fees to apply. So in two steps you’re done with the application process.

Angelica: We do have a few tips that we as enrollment advisors like to share. Number one, get started early on requesting your transcripts. Some schools may take longer in processing your request and sending your transcript to Maryville, therefore you want to allow plenty of time to ensure that you meet the application deadline specs.

Angelica: Number two, if you have, or think you have, less than 60 college credits, request your high school transcript. After high school, if you have attended, or enrolled, in any institution, those transcripts will be needed too. If you were in the military, those transcripts will be needed. Your enrollment advisor may help request any of these if you need further assistance.

Angelica: And number three, although transcripts may be emailed or mailed by the institution, electronic transcripts are always preferred. This ensures it arrives quickly. If they do not offer electronic transcripts, they can be mailed to our offsite admissions center.

Angelica: As mentioned earlier, you can access our online application at the bottom left side of the screen under the resource section. When prompted to indicate your student type, please select “Undergraduate – Online/On Campus.” It is the only online option available. An admission checklist may also be found in the resources section. This will provide the requirements that have been listed today.

Angelica: Finally, need one on one time with your enrollment advisor? Schedule an appointment with that advisor through the resources list to schedule, once again, that appointment to discuss the admission process, financial aid options, transfer credits, program formats, or any other question. They will provide a wealth of information and will be your main point of contact through the enrollment process up to the start of class.

Angelica: Now many of you have probably been waiting for this section to be discussed. The cost per credit at Maryville is $500. When speaking to your enrollment advisor, make sure to disclose your employer. If your employer is a corporate partner, there may be some discounts applied. There is also a one time $350 fee per semester. This fee covers your access to services and resources including technology, transcripts, and graduation.

Angelica: We do offer a few financing options helping students finance their education. Federal student loans, also known as FAFSA, includes loans and federal pell grants, and the school code is provided there for you. Monthly payment arrangement, employer tuition reimbursement, military benefits, also known as your GI Bill, and private student loans. Once again, enrollment advisors are here to discuss these options in further depth with each student based on specific interest and situation.

Angelica: At this time I would like to answer some questions that have come in through our chatroom. As we’re going through these questions, please do not hesitate to continue adding more. This is your time to obtain further clarification.

Angelica: Dustin and Art, if there are any questions regarding to the programs, I’ll ask either one of you to help answer the question. So let’s see what we have available.

Angelica: So the first question that I have, and Dustin, I’ll have you help me with this. I have the question asked, “For the Communication program you mentioned we get to work with real world companies for the Capstone. Does Maryville connect us with companies or do we travel to the campus?”

Dustin: Yep, great question. We connect you with the company. For that Capstone experience, it changes, so it’s not with the same client, but we connect you. So the faculty member of that Capstone will do the legwork and they bring in that client for you. Every student in the Capstone per semester will have the same client. So absolutely, there’s no extra legwork on the student’s behalf for that client, we bring that one to you.

Angelica: Fantastic, thank you. I have a second one for Communications as well. It says, “For the Communications program, is the internship mandatory, and how does that work?”

Dustin: Absolutely. One internship is required for the program. Again, it comes back to our philosophy of real world experience and making sure that you gain and you build on that resume throughout. So how that works is, and again, we’ve seen it a couple different ways from … Some students have no experience and they’re just on one end that they recently just finished high school, and they have no experience, and the internship is an opportunity to experience, from the other end where we have adults that have experience that are working full time schedules. So we work with them to make sure that maybe in their current company that they can do an internship at their current company, but in an area that they want to move to. So maybe they’re in the finance department, and they want to move to the marketing/communication side, they can do an internship in house.

Dustin: How that works as from a class standpoint, you basically complete 135 worked hours. So basically you log those hours online, 135 hours, through whichever supervisor, whichever organization that you choose that’s local to you. We’ve also had a few that have done internships online. There are quite a few companies that are looking for copywriters and design work online as well, so we’ve seen some students complete those for organizations that aren’t even headquartered in their town. So we see those quite often.

Dustin: Other than that, other than the logged hours, there are a few assignments specifically focused on reflection. So we know that internships are an opportunity for you to figure out if you want to do this for 40 hours a week when you graduate. So there’s assignments where you reflect on what you did each week, what you hope to gain from the internship, and when you complete the internship what you enjoyed, what you did not like. That gives an opportunity … It’s more of a … Not only for the students yourself to understand what you’re interested in, but talking point for your professors and your advisors to talk about, “Okay, you didn’t like that so much, but you did like this piece.” So that opened up a conversation of what career would you be most happy in.

Dustin: I hope that answered the question, [inaudible 00:34:08] early.

Angelica: Perfect, thank you so much.

Dustin: Yep.

Angelica: Art, I have a question for you, for Liberal Studies: “Do I only need to select one professional discipline, or can I do more than one?”

Art: That’s a great question. The way that it is designed online currently does suggest that you should pick one concentration. However, if a student is interested in doing maybe tow professional concentrations, we can definitely work with you to make that happen. It is definitely a concentration that we offer, it’s just that for the purposes of designing the online component, we thought that we would just kind of streamline the option. But if a student does have an interest in say, doing a professional concentration in communication and let’s say, accounting, then that’s definitely possible, we can definitely work with the student to do that.

Angelica: Great, thank you so much. Alright. Dustin, I actually have one other question for Communication. They ask, “What’s the biggest difference between the communication degree versus getting myself a marketing degree?

Dustin: Absolutely. That’s a question we get quite often. So if we almost time traveled to 15, 20 years ago, the marketing area and careers for marketing and communication were vastly different. From kind of a 10,000 foot approach, communication was really the radio and TV, and that sort of area, and as media changed, with social media, that sort of changed and moved communications sort of closer to business world where we are now. So really nowadays there’s a very close connection between marketing and communication. This is the real difference between the two as far as majors go. Simply because depending on the major, our students get the … Sometimes the exact same jobs. Like I said, quite a few students of last year, I think about 40% of them left with a marketing title as their full time job.

Dustin: But the main difference between the programs and the classes that you take is that our major is a little bit more focused on the writing side, and the design side. We’re kind of a mix of … There’s some marketing in the selling approach, there’s a little bit of English in there because of the writing, there’s a little bit of design work in there because of the Photoshop and InDesign, where we have very little math. There’s no econ courses, there’s no microeconomics, there’s no macroeconomics. On the marketing side there are, there’s more of the math focus. So there’s the micro, macro, courses that take, finance courses, so there’s a large core of those type of courses.

Dustin: I think that’s the major key difference between the two areas. The other area is, the marketing program really focuses on that marketing title, where even though close to half of our students, maybe not quite half, about 40% of our majors leave with a marketing title. We also have students that go into other fields such as fundraising, event planning, social media, marketing really doesn’t have a social media focus, so we have more of the tech side, Google and whatnot is more focused on our side of things. So it kind of hits those marketing trends, but from a writing and design sort of standpoint, as opposed to macro and microeconomics.

Angelica: Fantastic, thank you so much. So, we have a couple of other questions here, let’s see. I’ll take these. “Are the online class times in the program or can students sign on at any convenient time?” There are no specific times that you need to log in. Once again, we do offer a lot of flexibility, so you can log in whenever you have a chance to do so. With that being said, once again, there are deadlines that are set by your professors, so you will have access to your syllabus prior to the start of classes, so you want to make sure that you are setting that time aside, making sure that you will meet those deadlines. But to answer that questions again, it does allow for flexibility, so no, you do not have to log in specific times.

Angelica: Another question is, and I’ll take this one, “Do students ever need to come to campus? Can they come to graduation?” The answer is no to the first part, which is no, you do not have to ever come to campus. However, we always encourage students to stop by if you’re ever in the area, we have a beautiful campus. Whether it’s to take advantage of our libraries, our resources, anything like that, please feel free to utilize anything and everything we have to offer on campus. You will have the opportunity to participate in graduation. We actually have a large group of online students that participated in graduation, so by all means, we highly encourage participation.

Angelica: I do have one last question here: “How long does the application process take?” My successful students typically take about a week to complete the application process. As I’d mentioned, prior to the application process is a matter of two simple steps, so your application and your transcripts. So it’s all a matter of getting started early, we want to make sure that each student is working very closely with their enrollment advisor, and once again, it should be something that can … The application itself should take you 10 minutes to complete, application process can take about a week, if that, so we can get that done pretty quickly.

Angelica: I think that wraps up for the questions. Thank you so much, Dustin and Art, for all of those great responses, and thank you to everyone who submitted a question. This will close the Q&A portion of the webinar. If anyone has any more questions that they think of later, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. If we did not get to your question today, an enrollment advisor will follow up with you.

Angelica: Now, if you look at the resource section at the left side of your screen, you’ll see a couple of different resources available to you. You can schedule an appointment with an advisor to go over the program, access our online application, our application checklist, and many other resources.

Angelica: We do want to call your attention to the Spring 2019 application deadline, which is on Monday, December 3rd. So go ahead and get started now, so we can get you enrolled as soon as possible.

Angelica: Thank you again for taking the time out of your day to join us. Thank you again to our presenters, Dustin and Art. We hope that you found this webinar useful and we look forward to speaking with you soon. Have a great day, everyone.

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