When reading the class syllabus for the new Entertainment, E-marketing and Event Planning program at Northeast Metro 916’s Career and Technical Center (CTC), it sounds more like a business plan than a class. And that’s exactly the intention that instructor Theresa Anderson had in mind when she developed the curriculum for the new CTC program that started this fall. The three areas of entertainment, e-marketing and event planning come together to form an interactive class that allows students to utilize digital marketing tools to plan real events for real people.
The one-section class of 16 students is run like a small business, complete with its own company name and brand identity. Each of the units has a practical outcome that transforms theory into hands-on experiences, such as planning and promoting an event for a social cause, which students can also showcase on their resumes and in their portfolios.
“We are so excited about this new cutting edge technology program and the enthusiasm that Theresa Anderson brings to it,” says Deanne DeGraff, CTC principal. “The students are going to learn the ethical and professional ways to use social media and other marketing tools, and have fun doing it. This program is a new career field for us and we are hoping to be able to expand it to a full-time program next year.”
Currently, CTC is working with Century College to receive credits for the class, since it teaches marketing fundamentals similar to college courses. CTC is also hoping that the current students will play a role in expanding the program next year, since one of the units will focus on developing a marketing plan to promote the program and recruit students.
Anderson says that one of the key elements to making the concepts come alive is through guest speakers and collaboration with other CTC programs. “One of the great characteristics of our program is that it ties seamlessly into the other existing CTC areas,” she says. For example, digital design will play an important role in developing logos and materials and we will need to coordinate with emergency response and law enforcement when we plan events.
Now that the class is up and running, Anderson loves seeing the students each day and encouraging them to do their best. “There are no tests, everything is hands-on and students are graded on effort, not outcome,” she says. For Anderson, it’s all about creating that “ah-ha” moment and making real-world classroom connections.