Saturday, 10 November 2012

Publishing Edumacations (1)

I mentioned on twitter the other day that I was taking an Intro to Publishing course next semester so I can start the process of getting the Publishing Certificate my school offers. I heard from a couple of high schoolers who weren't aware this kind of thing was an option and I don't blame them. Finding publishing programs is INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT. I actually didn't know my school had one until I'd already been accepted. I just decided to go through the English courses offered and found them and immediately realized I had to go here.

There are different ways to go about getting a Publishing Certification of some sort, but from what I've heard, it's not a necessity to get a job in publishing and the classes aren't what really matter so much as the internships and experiences you get are. If you do want the certificate, there are both undergraduate and graduate programs to get you some type of degree. Some schools also just offer classes you can take. 

Because I want other people to be educated, I decided I'm going to try and take about some of the options out there. I'm not an expert and I haven't done any of these programs. But when I was applying to college, I learned a lot about the two of them, then I know about my school's program, and some basic research will help me find the information on the others I know about. I'd also love to hear from anyone who's in a program or taking classes or knows anything about college and publishing educations so I can make more than the 3-6 posts I'm planning to do. And I know this isn't really what we do here but...roll with it, okay?

So, today I'm going to start with the one that is easiest for me to talk about because...I go here and starting next semester, I'll be in the program.

City College of the City University of New York [CUNY] aka City College aka CCNY

Some basic information on the school itself, first. In New York, we have SUNY, which are state schools and then there's CUNY where are city schools. Both are public schools and cost about the same (I think CUNYs might be a bit cheaper?). City College in particular is the first school in the CUNY system and because it's been around so long, it has this weird mix of buildings that look like castles and really new buildings. We have an actual campus and there's dorming that's semi-on campus (it's like a 7 block walk and normally you COULD walk through campus, but they're doing construction in the area between the dorm and the main buildings so you have to walk around the campus). It's known as an Engineering and Architectural school. We have really competitive programs and you basically have to apply to be in these majors when you apply to the school to have a chance at getting in. (Hunter College - a different CUNY - is the liberal arts school...just in case you were wondering.)

The Publishing Program itself isn't really known about because, as I said, this isn't a liberal arts school. It's also a fairly new program, established in 1997 by Walter Mosley, who's a best-selling author and graduate of CCNY.

From the brochure:
A special concern of the Program is the issue of diversity in the book publishing industry and its impact on cultural production and our national and global markets. Drawing on CCNY's racial, ethnic, and class diversity, and its proximity to the national center of the book industry, the PCP is uniquely situated to address the industry-wide concern. Professional training, meaningful employment and job retention are of key interest to the program faculty and administration.

Students start with the Introduction to Publishing course. 
This required course offers students a dynamic overview of the book publishing industry, including book acquisitions, editing, design and production, sales, marketing, advertising, corporate management, law and finance.
From there, students can take one of three courses: Editorial, Design or Marketing and Advertising. Personally, I'm heading for the Editorial track, but also hope they'll let me play in Marketing and Advertising a bit. 

The Editorial courses currently offered are 
  • Digital and E-Book Publishing
  • Publishing Practicum
  • Books for Young Readers
  • The Editorial Process
  • Fundamentals of Copyediting and Proofreading
  • Legal Issues in Publishing and the Arts
Design courses currently offered are
  • Typography
  • Graphic Design Concepts
  • Illustration
  • Electronic Design I
  • Print Production
  • Design: World Wide Web
  • Electronic Design II
Marketing and Advertising courses currently offered are
  • Introduction to Public Relations
  • Introduction to Advertising
  • Public Relations Writing
  • Advertising Copywriting
  • Advertising Management
  • Advertising Planning
  • Principles of Marketing
In order to get your certificate
[S]tudents must take Introduction to Publishing and any three other publishing courses. Students who maintain a 3.0 average or better are placed in internships for which they register as a fifth course. MCA and Design majors are required to take two editorial track courses. Most courses require departmental approval.
On top of that, the PCP program works in collaboration with BEA and they have ten students volunteer in the autographing area each year. There's also two grants given each year called the Bernard L. Mazel Publishing Opportunity Scholarships. 

This is all of the information in the brochure that I was told to take when I went to ask the director (who's a really cool dude) if I could start as a freshman. If you look at the website and the course catalog, you find slightly different information, but it's basically the same. You can actually take a second internship and the course catalog (if I remember correctly) says both are paid. You also learn that Publishing Practicum is only offered in the spring semester and you can't take it until you take Introduction to Publishing. In other words, I won't be taking it until next year, if at all.

The school also has what's supposed to be a really good career center. And if you get into the Macaulay Honors College or the City Honors Program, there are only 4 advisers for like...500 kids? And they're around to help you get internships and jobs and whatever else you need. 

I'd also like to clarify that you can be ANY major and take this, though it's obviously easier if you're an English major doing editorial, Art major doing Design, and Advertising and Public Relations major for Marketing and Advertising (though it's actually called the MCA and covers all branches of media/broadcasting and it's really cool and competitive and a lot of work and therefore SO MUCH EASIER to do this track if you're in this major).

So, yeah, that's the program at my school and the one I'll be taking. I'm hoping to take at least one class a semester. This upcoming Spring semester, I'll be spending two days of the week working on y requirements and two days working towards my BA and the PCP. But starting next fall, I will only have three required courses to take, one next fall, one next spring, and then one I can take any time then and graduation. I might also have to take a couple foreign language courses, but we'll see. 

Anyway, since I'll have so much time and freedom in my schedule as of next year, I'm hoping I can finish the Editorial track, get a BA in English Literature, maybe also get a BA or minor in Creative Writing, minor in History, and maybe also take some of the Marketing and Advertising courses. Sounds like a good mix of classes, yes? 

And that ends my schpeal about the Publishing Program at CCNY. For obvious reasons, this one is WAY more detailed than you can expect future editions to be because...I'm involved in this one and I've spent a lot of time studying this one and I have the fancy brochure right in front of my face. But hopefully you'll find the others informative too.

--Julie

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