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School and Education

More Than 200 People Have Signed Up For Social Media Boot Camp

Are you one of them? If not, why not?

Here’s @PRSarahEvans getting ready to introduce the first session: Social Engagement for Businesses and Brands.

There are eight weeks in total for this class and it’s not too late to sign up.

So far there’s a rockin’ discussion going on both in the live chat and the asynchronous forums.

Yes this might be a tiny little but we’re legitimately psyched about the course.

One Day Only! Save on Courses in November

What’s the one thing many employers say they look for in new hires? New media skills. But you need to know more than just blogging and Tweeting, people. The key to staying ahead is to be able to optimize your company’s content through search and viral marketing to bring in the largest number of eyeballs possible.

If SEO makes your head spin, you’re in luck. Today only, you can save 25 percent off’s Understanding Search and Online Marketing course.¬† In this popular six-week class, you’ll learn how to master Google Analytics, organize your blog to maximize traffic and build a marketing plan through social networks. (Plus, it’s taught by Gracey Newman, a veritable social media and marketing whiz.)

And the 25 percent savings is good for any November online or in-person course, workshop, or seminar if you sign up TODAY.

See the full list of courses.

Aol’s Patch Finds New Talent in Universities

Patch, AOL’s hyperlocal blog network, has faced extensive skepticism and criticism since it began its lofty goal of having the largest online local news network in the country. But it just keeps on growing, and in another move to help increase its presence, the company has launched PatchU.

patchlogo.9.21.10.jpgBy working with 13 local universities across the country, the site will allow students a chance to work on stories for class by publishing on the Patch network. Also, internships will be available at various Patch sites and it will help teach students about new media business models, according to paidContent.

“Our continuing rapid growth gives us an incredible opportunity to provide cutting edge, real-world experience in various communities across the country to students who will become tomorrow’s editors and reporters, at Patch and elsewhere,” said Patch president Warren Webster in a press release. “We’re delighted to offer students the chance to learn alongside our outstanding editors and develop their skills in multimedia journalism at the community level.”

The company got some big-league journalism schools to sign onto the project, including Northwestern University, Missouri University and University of California-Berkeley. It’s not exactly like getting a story in the New York Times, but just another example of the shifting media landscape.

CNN Teaming Up With International Schools For iReport University

CNN wants to create a new university online using its iReport. No, it’s not actually building a whole new school, but it does plan on picking talent from other universities across the world.

ireport.jpgThe site reports that CNN will do a worldwide search for students to help with its iReport by teaming up with a number of schools to find five seniors from each to help with a new site called iReport University. CNN told that it has set its sites on 13 schools, but none in the U.S. because it already has a school partnership in the states. Still, why leave U.S. schools out in the cold on this one?

The winning students will get to develop stories for the new site, and will receive feedback from CNN editors.

“The ability to find a good story is the start of good journalism, The aim of our initiative is to offer practical experience to better equip today’s most promising journalism students to move seamlessly into the world of reporting and producing once they have graduated,” said director of participation for Lila King in release announcing the initiative.

Sounds like decent exposure for the upcoming college grad.

College Grads Can’t Think?

More than half of respondents to the Wall Street Journal’s poll of 479 college recruiters said that the skill grads lack most is a combination of critical thinking, problem solving skills and the ability to think independently, the WSJ reports.

This isn’t to say that new grads are dumb. On the contrary: Sara Holoubek, chief executive of Luminary Labs, a boutique consulting firm in New York, says that the new grads she hires are more observant than their bosses. But they have trouble turning their observations into a strategy, she adds.

So schools are changing curricula to focus on critical and analytical thinking skills. George Washington University’s school of arts and sciences is changing its science requirement: “Freshmen will no longer simply complete a science class and get credit for a required course. They’ll have to prove proficiency in scientific reasoning to pass. To measure that, professors are designing evaluation standards and assignments to test students on their reasoning skills.”

The WSJ adds though that it’s not certain that today’s grads are lacking anything. It simply may be that the modern workplace demands more from everyone.

In the meantime, think hard. Employers like it.

Recruiters Favor Public Schools to the Ivies

Finally some of those big-state schools get a little respect. According to a survey by the Wall Street Journal, recruiters favored schools with larger populations over the more prestigious Ivy Leagues.
The recession hit all aspects of business life, including the recruiters. Because of the downturn, recruiters had to cut costs and work more efficiently at finding the right candidate to fill a specific job post. And they found the larger schools that also teach “practical skills” transitioned quicker and smoother for their organizations, according to the WSJ.

“We’re all accountable to the bottom line,” said recruiting leader at Deloitte LLP Diane Borhani.

Coming in at the top choice, according to the survey was Pennsylvania State University, followed by Texas A&M University and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The Ivy League schools didn’t fall into the top five, although recruiters did say they still recruit from the schools. And in specific industries, some Ivy League schools ranked high, like Harvard (4) in business and economics.

Not exactly a surprise, but also many of the Ivy League graduates attend post-graduate school, holding off their search.

Guess that expensive Ivy League tuition might not be all it’s cracked up to be in times of economic turmoil. But I’m sure the graduates will do just fine anyways.

Photo by j.gresham

Kansas Plans To Cut High-School Journalism Funding

In a sign of the times or a sad statement on society at large, depending on how you view it, Kansas Department of Education is threatening to cut funds for high-school journalism students across the state.

The loss of funds could come in 2012-2013 because the state does not view the field as a viable career option. I’m not sure if I should be offended, but I think I am. A spokeswoman for the state’s education department told the Topeka Capital-Journal that the department studied labor market data and came to the conclusion that journalism doesn’t show enough job growth.

“According to the education department’s website, CTE funding is given to programs that provide students with the technical knowledge and skills needed for further education or make them employable in a skilled profession straight out of high school,” wrote CJ reporter Corey Jones.

This seems like a shortsighted view of the profession and what kids learn in high-school programs, like school papers. What about the ability to form a sentence, or a group of sentences to make an argument? Those skills help in almost all professions.

The heavy losses won’t come until 2012. “With the emphasis on No Child Left Behind and testing, other areas aren’t so much taking a hit,” said journalism adviser at Topeka West High School Kristy Dekat to CJ. “Especially with the other areas that fall under the CTE funding, they aren’t being hit. It’s just journalism that’s taking the blow.”


(h/t Romenesko)

How to Take Advantage of College: Start A Business

Why go to college and learn about magnetic fields or differential equations when you could start your own business, making money for the future? MediaShift has a rundown of those young visionaries in the media industry who used their time in the dormitory as a chance to create something new instead of listening to someone teach.
While some of these ambitious students might have lost a little edge in their GPA, does it really matter now?

“My schoolwork certainly took a beating as a result of College Humor,” said co-creator Josh Abramson to MediaShift. “I got so much more excited about building something real than working on a case study in business class or something like that… Every free second I had was spent working on the site. You know, when everyone else was in the library working on schoolwork, I was in my room, emailing Ricky [Van Veen], trying to sell an ad deal or something else specific to College Humor.”

Not a bad way to learn about the media industry. Also with the freedom of college, no bills, cheap food, rent-free living (for some), why not take advantage of the time and create something based on your passion?

That’s what Zephyr Basine, creator of the blog College Fashion, did. “I don’t think I could have started my site had I not been in college,” said Basine to MediaShift. “College is great because my parents paid for everything. I didn’t have to worry about meals. I didn’t have to worry about housing. And my classes were even really easy for me… So I could just work on my site all the time.”

I knew I should have done something better with my time outside of class; now I just feel lazy.

Photo by B*2

Free Webinar: Everything Can Be About Business

Journalists looking to switch beats to business reporting (and we wouldn’t blame you): check out the upcoming free webinar from the Reynolds Center for Business Journalism: “Develop Business Angles on Any Beat.” It could be a first step in your career switch.

The center says that the webinar will:
“help all journalists identify business angles in their stories (news, sports); give you some basic tips for reporting on companies or finances; help brainstorm ways to reframe stories for a business audience.”

Your instructors will be Robin J. Phillips, managing editor of and a longtime business editor, and Chad Graham, social media editor at The Arizona Republic and former economy reporter. And all you gots to do is sign up. Completing three workshops will get you a certificate from the center, too.

Jeff Jarvis Calls for Wanna-Be Entrepreneurial Journalist to Join His Class

Want to start your own journalism business? Writer and CUNY professor Jeff Jarvis has a call to arms for all those want-to-be entrepreneurial journalists to consider taking his class.

Jarvis is having trouble filling the class, and has asked people outside the CUNY community to join.

“I’d especially like a few under- or unemployed journalists looking to start businesses in the class to add to the mix of experience among the students,” said Jarvis in a blog post. “I’ve also had students from other schools in the past.”

It sounds like a sweet program. In the class, he will discuss the elevator pitch, market research and launch plan, among other tools needed to know before starting a new website.

“At the end of the class in December, you present your plan to a jury of investors, entrepreneurs, journalists, publishers, and technologists (it’s great fun, that day),” said Jarvis.

The class costs a little under $1,000, but Jarvis is attempting to get some money for aid. You can contact him directly, if you’re interested.