Radio Free George to collaborate with CMS department on podcast practicum course

By Grace Apostol

News Co-Editor

On Tuesday, Aug. 30, Dr. Meghan Grosse, professor and program director of the communications and media studies department at Washington College, sent a campus-wide email regarding a podcast practicum offered for students this fall semester.

According to the email, this course will be partnering with Radio Free George, the College’s podcasting channel.

Within this program, students will be creating their own podcast. “The range of topics you can cover is wide open, so get creative and follow your interests,” the email said.

Dr. Grosse is both in charge of and helped to create this one-credit course.

“The podcast practicum seemed like a great way to incentivize student participation in an experiential learning opportunity that already exists on campus,” Dr. Grosse said. “Podcasting is a really excellent way to develop a number of skills — audio recording and editing, writing and storytelling, interviewing, oral presentation, project and time management, promotion, and much [more].”

According to the email, students must commit to the time that it takes to build a podcast.

“If you commit to completing 10 hours of programming (along with the meetings and planning work that goes along with that), you can participate in a one-credit podcasting practicum in Communication and Media Studies,” said the email.

In order for students to participate in the course, they must attend sessions on training in the podcast studio on campus taught by RFG, participate in group discussions, meet with their instructor, and participate in the student community “through guided feedback on podcast development and reviews of episodes.”

“At the end of the semester, every student will have produced a series that will be available across a variety of podcasting platforms under the Radio Free George umbrella,” Dr. Grosse said.

Station Manager of Radio Free George junior Justin Ly believes that podcasting on campus offers many opportunities for students.

“RFG allows students to create, produce, and publish original podcasts,” Ly said. “We are dedicated to showcasing programs about WC and programs that highlight the varying interests of the WC community.”

When it comes to what students gain from working with a program like RFG, Ly thinks there are a myriad of options.  

“RFG is a great opportunity for students to share their voice, ideas, and anything they are passionate about with the world,” Ly said. “The club also allows students to learn a new skill, audio editing, that can be applied…outside of the podcasting space.”

When the creation process began for this course, RFG members sat down with Dr. Grosse to discuss new ways to work with the student body.

“One of the ideas Dr. Grosse presented was creating some sort of course or other way to give students credit for making a podcast,” Ly said.

As a brand new and never before taught practicum, Dr. Grosse is interested to see diversity within students taking the course.

“I’m interested in seeing the kind of individual expression and experimentation that is possible in podcasting,” she said. “This is a great time to test out new ideas and take on new challenges, and this practicum is a really good place to do that.”

As station manager, Ly is excited to see new students come into the lab and grow.

“I am excited to see a new group of podcasters grow through the Radio Free George program,” he said. “I hope that the students get to learn new things and share their passions with the world while getting the bonus of credit from the CMS department.”

Though all of the interest meetings have passed for this practicum, students who are interested in podcasting or being a part of the course can email Dr. Grosse at mgrosse2@washcoll.edu.

“For students who want to get involved in podcasting but who may not want to sign up for a practicum and the requirements that come with that, there are lots of ways to get involved with Radio Free George,” Dr. Grosse said. “You can come on as an editor, you can help with promotions, or you can just become an avid supporter — keeping up with the RFG playlists on Spotify and making a point to listen to your fellow students’ shows.”

Students who are interested in RFG can follow along and find the latest updates at radiofreegeorge.com and on Instagram at @radiofreegeorge.

Photo courtesy of Grace Apostol

Photo Caption: Radio Free George team conducts a training for Podcast Practicum students.

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