Advertising is no longer just a concentration in the journalism department; it is a full-fledged major ever since the start of the 2012-2013 academic year.
Professor Doug Berry believes this change will help Central Michigan University, and the department, in the long run.
“It puts Central in a competitive posture in advertising that it hasn’t had before,” Berry said.
It will help the journalism department grow, Berry said. He had students on the advertising concentration track come to him in the past to tell him they were leaving Central because there was no advertising major.
“It helps us compete against Michigan State, where they have always had an advertising major,” he said.
The students will be the biggest beneficiaries of the changes, Berry said.
“First, they get the marketing background they need,” he said. “Second, they can walk into an advertising agency and look them straight in the face, and say I have an advertising major. This is where I belong, this is what I trained for.”
Berry said he started the process of switching to a major by conducting some market research of the students enrolled in the advertising concentration.
“They decided a lot of the stuff in the minor didn’t apply to them,” Berry said.
So, he spent three months discussing the program with students to get their thoughts. But, overall, the whole process took two and a half years to complete. He said it first needed approval by the journalism department, and then the marketing department.
“We got unanimous support in both departments,” Berry said.
People who noticed that no advertising major was offered before are now coming to the department. They are coming from the areas that the market research said they would, Berry said.
“Largely, they are coming from marketing and IPR, but other areas, too,” he said.
Now that advertising is a major, the students will split their time between the journalism and marketing departments. Those enrolled must take three or four marketing classes, including Intro to Marketing, Buyer Behavior and Ad Management. They also must take journalism classes, including Intro to Design, Principles of Advertising, Media Law, Copy Writing and Design, Campaigns, a media course, and a diversity in media course.
Another requirement of the new major is a mandatory internship, which Berry believes is essential for today’s students.
“An internship is great because it gives them the building blocks they need to succeed in the job market,” he said.
Those interested in the advertising major should contact Berry or Dr. Johnny Sparks, a new faculty member in advertising.
“We are anxious to help them understand this career path, and fulfill their dreams,” Berry said.