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Woodbury University Announces Groundbreaking Master’s Program in Media for Social Justice

Woodbury University Announces Groundbreaking Master’s Program in Media for Social Justice

This is a film program I would sign up for in a minute if I were looking to get an advanced degree. Study this Social Documentary Curriculum and share it.
Woodbury University ( is creating a groundbreaking advanced degree
program in Media for Social Justice. Students in the two-year M.A. program – which will reside in the university’s School of Media, Culture and Design —
will learn how to create and leverage media for social change. The program, accredited by WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges), will welcome
its first students in September 2014.

Through­out the two-year program, students will explore their commitment to social jus­tice, develop skills in transmedia production and entrepreneurship,
and work closely with award-winning producers Harry Wiland and Dale Bell of the Media Policy Center in Santa Monica (

The M.A. curriculum will combine traditional coursework with an innovative, hands-on apprenticeship program that runs the entire course of the graduate
degree. The program’s transmedia approach will provide an immersive media experience as students work together to advance the cause of social justice
across multiple media formats and platforms. Students will emerge from the program as media entrepreneurs, with the knowledge, tools, and networking skills
necessary for pro­ducing and distributing media that promotes greater social justice.

“The Media for Social Justice program is a very special collaboration between Woodbury University and the Media Policy Center,” said Nicole Keating, Ph.D.,
Chair, Media for Social Justice, Woodbury University. “Whether students want to produce documentaries, develop websites, design games, engage in research
and writing, or design their own approach to transmedia production, our program teaches social entrepreneurship with an emphasis on civic engagement.
Students will have the privilege of working with Harry and Dale, two media luminaries whose experience and expertise will shape apprenticeships that
promise to be transformational.”

The Media for Social Justice curriculum consists of three core elements:

  • Transmedia Production
    – Transmedia production relies on varied yet related parts that work together to advance the cause of social justice and create a more immersive
    experience for audiences. Components may include documentary, graphic design, game design, print media, web design, animation, emerging platforms and
  • Creative Entrepreneurship
    – Students learn how to become social justice entrepreneurs in the creative economy through case studies and through the design, implementation, and
    evaluation of their own business plans.
  • Social Justice Media Studies
    – Students develop an in-depth understanding of the connection between media and social change by exploring historical and theoretical foundations as
    well as its political implications.

“We’re embracing new models in education and new models in media,” Keating said. “In serving as both school and studio, the new program strives to create a
bridge between the classroom and the working world. We view them as complementary and as central to the notion of ‘practical idealism.’”

According to Bell, the program “fits in a new space between documentary filmmaking and journalism, a space created by the rise of digital media. The
various forms of digital media are linked, whether game design, graphic design for print, or film and video production, and so on. We’re focused not just
on students learning the skills of the medium but on how to get the word out regarding social justice, which in turn will foster entrepreneurship.”

“As the media production landscape shifts, hands-on experience becomes more vital than ever,” Wiland said. “Apprenticeship will be at the center of the
program, in part because apprenticeships, unlike internships, provide real-world on-the-job training and will be fully integrated into the curriculum.”

Wiland and Bell — whose individual projects have won an Oscar®, five Emmys, a Peabody, and two Christophers — founded the not-for-profit Media Policy
Center in 2003. The Ashoka Foundation, which showcases emerging ideas from highly effective social entrepreneurs, has recognized Wiland and Bell as Ashoka
Fellows. Students enrolling in the inaugural class starting in Fall 2014 will be eligible to apply for Ashoka Graduate Fellow Scholarships as well as
Dean’s Scholarships that will pay 50 percent of the program’s tuition.

About Woodbury University

Founded in 1884, Woodbury University is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in Southern California. Woodbury offers bachelor’s degrees from
the School of Architecture, School of Business, School of Media, Culture & Design, and Institute of Transdisciplinary Studies, along with an MBA
program, Master of Architecture (MArch), Master of Science in Architecture (MSArch), and Master of Organizational Leadership. A San Diego campus offers
bachelor of architecture, Master of Real Estate Development for Architects (MRED), and Master of Science in Architecture, Landscape, and Urbanism degrees.

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