RTVF department necessitates resources

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    TCU has many great programs. It may be expensive to attend this school, but we are told that our money is well-spent, and the investment will last us the rest of our lives.Overall, I have found this to be true. I am approaching my junior year as a part of the Schieffer School of Journalism, and thankfully, I have not had any problems enrolling in any of my basic-level classes that are prerequisites for upper level, skill-teaching courses.

    Some programs at TCU, such as the School of Business, have plenty of basic classes and professors offered to students. In effect, the School of Business MBA program was ranked No. 18 among other business programs in the nation by “The Wall Street Journal Guide to Top Business Schools” and was the highest-ranked business school in Texas.

    The success of this and other schools gives TCU the reputation that draws prospective students to apply.

    However, some students at TCU are drawn into a renowned area of study, only to discover that there are too few professors and classes offered to teach the skills needed to obtain a job after graduation.

    Sadly, the radio-TV-film program at TCU has this problem. According to the RTVF Web site, “Prospective students should be aware that the RTVF major is a selective one.” An interested student needs a 2.5 GPA in core classes in order to major, but even these accepted students have problems with enrolling in basic RTVF classes. Glenton Richards, a senior RTVF major, said that some of his upperclassman friends have had troubles enrolling in classes they should have taken two semesters ago. Like many other RTVF students, Richards thinks that TCU needs to improve the RTVF department by adding more professors and classes.

    “Several of us RTVF majors started a Student Filmmakers Club this semester because we all had a desire to gain more experience working in our career field,” Richards said. “With the availability of classes as they are now, many people can’t get the experience they need before going out into the field.”

    Richards is worried that the current state of the RTVF department could hinder students from gaining employment after graduation.

    My main argument here is fairness. Is it fair that RTVF students, who work just as hard as students in other majors, such as journalism and business, have little chance to learn and practice their skills during college?

    Journalism majors have plenty of opportunities to learn and practice writing because four or five media writing and editing classes are offered each semester.

    For students interested in filmmaking, however, the basic classes that teach camera operation, such as video, I only have one section a semester.

    Video I teaches important techniques, such as equipment utilization, production and directing skills that students need to learn early in the RTVF program, in order to become more experienced before graduation.

    No wonder students complain about RTVF studies at TCU. There is even a Facebook group named “RTVF is all Screwed Up!” The Facebook group sounds comical, but it is addressing a major problem at TCU.

    The RTVF program, like the journalism and business programs, has the same chance for national recognition if efforts to bring more professors and classes succeed.

    Other successful RTVF programs, like those at University of North Texas and Emerson College, have 31 and 21 faculty members respectively. Is the faculty-to-student ratio a successful trend in these cases? Obviously, yes.

    If this university wants to remain prestigious and worthy of our money, it is only reasonable that a higher authority fixes this flaw. Every student at TCU deserves the same opportunity to have the hands-on education needed to succeed after graduation.

    Jennifer Pippin is a sophomore international communication and advertising/public relations major from Dallas.