Santa Monica College’s Promo-Pathway

Santa Monica College, in an effort to develop innovative career paths, has established an educational initiative called the “Promo-Pathway,” an occupational certificate program for students. With contract education funding provided by South Bay Center for Counseling, in association with the industry trade organization Promax, SMC created “Promo-Pathway.”

The initiative gives young students the opportunity to develop promotional, editing, and marketing skills.

According to Communications Department Chair Frank Dawson, shortly after the program was established in January, over 300 students applied for 25 available seats,

Dawson, who spoke during a recent Board of Trustess meeting on Oct. 4, explained that aside from improving basic skills in mathematics and English, students took newly developed classes, such as Broadcasting 20 “Introduction to Writing and Producing Short-Form Media” and Broadcasting 21 “Short-Form Visual Media Production.”

Dawson updated the Board about the program’s current development. “We’ve identified new faculty that we hired specifically for this program, who come directly from [the] industry and are able to provide current resources.

Our students were able to attend the Jay Leno show, meet Jay Leno, and be on stage with him.

The promos they are currently cutting feature material from the latest season of “American Idol,” because the instructor is a recent producer and promo producer from that show.”

What makes this Career Technical Education program unique is that students can work with mentors one on one, in positions as high as the network executive level.

Gaining experience during two internships, the students will graduate this December and present their portfolios on Jan. 13, to industry professionals.

“Because of the mentorship and the two internships at the networks, students already developed relationships in that regard. Some of the networks already lean towards people that they want to have, as far as their companies are concerned,” said Dawson, replying to a query that Trustee David Finkel had about the chances students would have in the job market after successful completion of the program.

Commenting on the program’s value, Trustee Chair Dr. Andrew Walzer said, “This is such an incredibly rich program; the students learn so much. The final determinant shouldn’t be if they get a job or not. The process should be valued and celebrated.”

Within the classes, students created a short documentary about SMC’s first Promo-Pathway program, produced by Promax on SMC’s iTunes U, that can be found on YouTube.

Trustee Louise Jaffe said it moved her “to tears.”

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