NSC Partners with Latin American Studies

Story by Tommiea Jackson, Nicholson News

Maria Garcia

Maria Garcia

For college students, choosing a major takes a great deal of consideration. With a little more planning with academic advisors, many Knights can walk away from college with two bachelor’s degrees by earning not more than the 120 credit hours required for one degree.

Faculty and administrators at the UCF Nicholson School of Communication and the fairly new Latin American Studies program were excited when they realized that overlapping course requirements and electives, students could fulfill the requirements for both programs.

The partnership was a perfect fit for Maria Garcia, a junior radio-television major who was already taking courses to complete a minor in Spanish when she learned of the Latin American Studies program. A future film production manager who dreams of producing foreign films in Latin America, Garcia had just enough credits left to complete a double major and still graduate on time.

“They are honestly two fields that I really love, so I’m very happy I can combine them,” said Garcia who was born in the Dominican Republic. “I have always been interested in learning about different cultures as well as more of my own. I saw this as a great opportunity to get the most out of my college education as I would not only be studying my intended major, I would also be taking courses that are going to help me put my communication skills to work in a diverse environment.”

Not only does the offering help students learn about the world around them, it helps communication students better tell stories about more diverse communities.

“Our newest course, Knightly Latino, offers students an opportunity to write about topics involving the Latino/Hispanic community,” said Katie Coronado, instructor of broadcast journalism. “Latin American Studies classes are a natural fit.  Some of our students were born in Latin America, while others have families who are originally from other countries.”

The 24 percent and increasing Hispanic population at UCF, reflects a shift in local communities, said Consuelo Stebbins, director of the Latin American Studies program. “To be prepared for careers in the growing Hispanic-American market, UCF graduates need the necessary skills and multicultural understanding of the various Latino populations in our region and nation. NSC offers a perfect opportunity to build on their Latin American studies education to prepare them to work in diverse communities.”

This is not the first time the Latin American Studies program in the College of Arts & Humanities has collaborated with NSC to offer courses and opportunities for NSC students, Stebbins said. Just last summer, several Communication students were awarded scholarships to improve their native proficiency in Spanish at the Escuela de Idiomas in Nerja, Spain. Communication students have also received scholarships to participate and produce videos of the study abroad programs in Spain and Peru.  LAS also offers internships throughout Latin America so that students can gain valuable experiential training in the field.

The possibilities are endless according to Rebecca Morales, director of advising and student services. “Asian Studies, Islamic Studies, Africana Studies are all excellent compliments for journalism students or a study who wants to study media because it just helps provide context and gives them for their writing. They have a better understanding of the world around them and different cultures.”

Nicholson School of Communication students seem to be taking advantage of the chances to broaden their horizons when it comes to education. Of the 1,886 students enrolled for fall 2016, 768 have declared minors and 70 have a double major declared.

View original story, here.

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