As if college students weren’t already spending enough time on social media, they can now pursue it as part of their coursework -- even major in it, at one school in South Carolina.
Newberry College, in Newberry, SC, is introducing an undergraduate major focused on social media. According to associate professor Tania Sosiak, who was interviewed by local Columbia TV station WACH, the interdisciplinary major will include coursework in graphic design, communications, and business and marketing, as well as psychology and statistics (after all, what discussion of social media could be complete without reams of statistic, up to half of them invented or spurious?).
While some less-motivated students might view a social media major as an even easier way to slack off, WACH reports it’s actually generating a lot of interest among -- wait for it -- students who are interesting in marketing, including at least one student who already has his own social media marketing business.
Across the pond, Ireland’s University of Limerick announced plans to launch a new “module” in social media for undergraduate students in the arts, especially those studying journalism and English, set to be unveiled in January. With a focus on the applications of social media to teaching and learning, professors are expected to employ innovative “e-teaching” techniques, which I can only speculate about (poking students who are asleep?) Coursework will cover geo-location, verifying information from social media, and various ethical issues relating to social media reporting.
Earlier this year I wrote about med schools beginning to offer social media training to future doctors, including a new social media curriculum being tested at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University. The experimental coursework, funded by a two-year grant from the Institute on Medicine as a Profession (IMAP) and the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, will involve first- and second-year medical students looking at their own social media footprints for instances of inappropriate content. Third- and fourth-year students will interview community members to study how the patient population uses social media, and how social media might help doctors communicate with patients about healthcare.