New Curriculum for Colleges & Universities Part II

I recently posted a blog regarding my participation at the New Jersey AdClub’s Career Day at Montclair State University on April 7, 2009.  I discussed how overall I thought the day was educational, fun, friendly and provided students with useful information to take with them after college.  However, I did notice that many of the questions that they asked as well as some of the questions posed by my fellow panel members were indicative of traditional PR, media relations and publicity.

Because there was almost no mention of PR 2.0 or social media communication, except when I was offering my opinion on the new media practices of PR professionals I decided to dig a little deeper into the blogosphere to listen to conversations and to see just how many colleges and universities were making the transition from PR 1.0 to PR 2.0.

I conducted a simple search and through my own outreach program, here are a handful of colleges and universities participating in PR 2.0.

Immaculata University: Last week lectured Beth Harte‘s undergraduate class at Immaculata University in Immaculata, PA.  Professor Harte devoted the first portion of the class to traditional Public Relations and then changed focus to PR 2.0 and social media for the 2nd half of the semester.  The students had a good grasp of 2.0 and were even familiar with the Conversation Prism.

St. Edwards University: I was recently tagged by St. Edward University’s PRSpot It’s a course blog for upper-level communications students at St. Edwards University. The blog discusses and provides opinions on topics introduced in the course on Social Media Technologies and how they have impacted public relations.  I saw some excellent posts on PR 2.0 video, what the new press release should look like and social networking.  PRSpot is a very useful site with topics that are impacting the PR profession.

New York University PR ForumNYU’s PR Forum is a posting forum for the PR graduate program.  Although it’s not updated frequently (only one post in April and three in March) the blog covers some really good topics and shows that PR graduates have a good understanding on Social Media.  A few of the posts that are helpful to students include:  10 Essential Social Media Sites for PR students, Principles of Surviving Social Media Revolution and the Social Media Effect on PR.

Ning in Education: Groups are getting together to use Ning in Education to further their knowledge about social networking.  There are a number of resources including forums, groups and blogs.  Many members participate in the community and discuss PR 2.0 and Social Media topics including Integrating Technology and Teacher Collaboration, Educational Reform Seminar, How to Use Blogs Effectively.

Lastly, my quick Twitter poll revealed some interesting answers and opinions when I asked PR students to let me know if PR 2.0 was a part of their curriculum.  Here are some of the responses I received:

  • “It isn’t in the curriculum yet … mostly guest speakers that talk about it.. Algonquin College PR program”
  • “The curriculum is changing, they do a twitter party where they show students how to use twitter & have a blog post bursary”
  • “Not as much as I would like them to. They give a brief overview of what social media is and how it has changed things.”
  • “We get to go to the PRSA International Conference to learn about Social Media, but it’s not currently taught in our program.”
  • “I got lucky with a professor who had us do outside reading and incorporated PR 2.0 into my communications class.”

I’m sure there are many other universities that are making the change to incorporate PR 2.0 and Social Media into their programs.  I would love to hear from either students or professors.  I’m very interested in the education we provide to the PR professionals of the future!