The department of communication at Youngstown State University recently relaxed the pre-requisites for potential telecommunication studies students and has also added new media production courses. The changes come just ahead of a multimillion-dollar renovation to Melnick Hall, the future home of campus media.

Until the spring of 2012, students were required to complete 30 credit hours with a 3.0 GPA before declaring a major within the department. Now, students need only to complete three courses and earn an A or a B in each.

“We simply require three courses with grades of B or higher so that people are able to move more quickly into the major,” said Fred Owens, a communication professor at YSU.

The pre-requisite changes also bring new courses to the curriculum. For instance, a new three-credit seminar involves teaching students how to create and edit motion graphics with Adobe After Effects.

“Students in our program can add animated graphics as an output skill as a part of their training,” Owens said.

Owens added that if the course becomes successful, it might become an independent course within the department, and other options to learn video and audio production could be added to the department’s offerings.

Adam Earnheardt, chair of the communication department, said the new Radio Workshop course will require students to produce a two-hour weekly show on Rookery Radio.

“Radio workshop is kind of the nuts and bolts overview of the radio industry,” he said.

Sean Ferguson, a telecommunication studies major, said Radio Workshop will equip students with the experience necessary to work in the radio industry.

“There’s really nothing in the telecommunications major to help them unless they’re involved with Rookery Radio,” Ferguson said. “It will give them a foot in the door.”

Another new course, Broadcast News and News Production, will allow students the opportunity to produce “Light the Wick,” a weekly webcast that was discontinued due to decreased involvement from students.

“To be able to produce content for the media at a professional level requires people to adhere to ruthless and relentless production deadlines,” Owens said. “Long-term takeaway for students is to be able to manage intense production deadlines with ease.”