Converged Media Immersion Program

Spring Semester 2015 • 15 Credits    Download the flier

Get the Multimedia Edge for Success

Whether your future career is in business, science, education, politics, or communication, you need multimedia skills to be competitive in your job search. The Spring 2015 Converged Media Immersion Program, offered through The School of Communication, is a 15-credit-hour, one semester program where students majoring in any subject can develop those skills, and produce the portfolio items to showcase them.

The CMIP program breaks out of the traditional lecture format, allowing its expert faculty to team-teach media skills in one, wholly integrated experience. Unlike taking five individual courses, students in the immersion program will benefit from out-of-class field experiences, hands-on learning, and the ability to combine skills learned across multiple media platforms to create an interactive, portfolio-ready project.

Students who successfully complete the spring semester program will be eligible to compete for one of five paid internships guaranteed to CMIP participants through The News Outlet, and will be able to keep the iPad mini they used during the program.

Why should I apply?

If you're a student with sophomore standing or greater and an interest in honing your media skills, the CMIP has a lot to offer:

  • Differentiate yourself from others in your field with multimedia skills.
  • Build a multimedia portfolio to help you in your job search.
  • Study with expert faculty in a unique format.
  • Work on a student media team, and enjoy out-of-class field experiences.
  • Compete for real world experience in one of five paid internships.
  • Get an iPad Mini to keep for your future media projects.

Apply Today

Applications for the Spring 2015 immersion program are currently being accepted from students with sophomore standing or greater in any undergraduate major. Download your application. Completed application materials should be e-mailed to These include:

  • The completed application form
  • An essay of no more than 500 words that tells us about yourself and why you want to be part of the Converged Media Immersion Program
  • A professional résumé. (If you do not currently have a résumé, assistance is available through the Career Center.)

The final deadline for CMIP applications is Friday, October 17. Applications received after this date may not be considered. Selected students will be invited for an interview with CMIP faculty. If you have questions not answered by the FAQ below, or to inquire about the status of your application, please e-mail

Download the application form

About The CMIP

The Converged Media Immersion Program is a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Grant Sponsored Initiative that was initiated by James Crutchfield and established by a grant written by Dr. Elizabeth Graham. The program was created to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to create and gather information and news content, and acquire the technical competence to design content for print, audio, video, and digital platforms.


The Spring 2015 Converged Media Immersion Program is a John S. and James L. Knight Grant Sponsored program where students spend one full semester immersed in learning a combination of multimedia skills that will allow them to compete in today’s media-rich work environments. Students who complete the program will build the knowledge and skills necessary to create and gather information and news content, and will acquire the technical competence to design content for print, audio, video, and digital platforms. After completing Spring semester, students will be able to apply for five paid internships guaranteed to CMIP graduates through The News Outlet.

To be eligible, students must be enrolled in The University of Akron or in the College of Applied Science and Technology (formerly Summit College) as undergraduate students, with sophomore standing or greater. Please note the following:

  • Open to students in any college and major program.
  • No previous media experience is required.
  • The CMIP requires that students register only for the 15 CMIP credits in the Spring semester, so students should consult their academic advisor to ensure the program will fit within their current academic and graduation plans. Students who need an exception to this rule due to the constraints of their major should e-mail to ask if they might still be eligible.
  • Students who have already completed one or more of the School of Communication courses that are part of the CMIP (listed below) may not be eligible to participate in the CMIP. If you have questions about your eligibility, please e-mail

School of Communication Courses that are part of the CMIP:

  • Information Gathering (7600: 378)
  • Principles of Social Media (Special Topics 7600: 450)
  • Newswriting (7600: 300)
  • Media Production Techniques (7600: 280)
  • Radio Production (7600: 282)

Once accepted to the CMIP, students will be invited to an orientation meeting where they will receive assistance in registering for a 15-credit hour spring schedule comprised of only CMIP coursework. Registration will be limited to students accepted to the program.

Upon selection to the program, students commit to a cohort, practicum-based system, which includes meeting 12.5 hours per week engaged in media-based instruction. Upon satisfactory completion of the CMIP, students will receive 15 credit hours, a certificate of completion, and an opportunity to compete for admission to the phase 2 internship program.

Students who complete the CMIP will receive credit on their transcript for the following School of Communication courses:

  • Information Gathering (7600: 378)
  • Principles of Social Media (Special Topics 7600: 450)
  • Newswriting (7600: 300)
  • Media Production Techniques (7600: 280)
  • Radio Production (7600: 282)

(Pre-requisite courses are waived for students in the CMIP program)

Students who are accepted into the CMIP will be required to take only CMIP courses in the Spring of 2015.  This means that students will register only for the 15-credit immersion coursework. If a student has a required course for their major that must be taken in sequence, they should bring this to the attention of CMIP faculty who may waive the CMIP-only coursework requirement on a case-by-case basis.

CMIP tuition will be equivalent to the tuition and course fees for the five individual courses that will appear on the student transcript. No additional fees will be assessed.

CMIP graduates will be eligible to apply for one of internships guaranteed to CMIP graduates by The News Outlet. The News Outlet is a collaborative effort among public universities in Northeastern Ohio and professional media partners that seeks to give students valuable experience in reporting and producing investigative and enterprise stories, producing valuable content and providing audiences with critical information they need in order to be informed and engaged through legacy media. CMIP interns will have the opportunity to produce stories for regional and statewide media partners, including its two founding media partners, WYSU-FM Radio and The Vindicator (Youngstown). Other media partners include The Beacon Journal in Akron and Rubber City Radio.

The School of Communication faculty members teaching and working with the CMIP program include:

Juan E. Contreras - a multi-media specialist with experience in both the US and in Mexico including professional experience in media production, directing, scriptwriting, and interviewing. Mr. Contreras is the interim General Manager of Z-TV and a lecturer in the School of Communication.

Julie A. Cajigas - a public relations and social media educator who is currently serving as interim Director of the Social Media Learning Lab and College Lecturer in the School of Communication. Ms. Cajigas' professional experience includes corporate public relations, non-profit public relations, media entrepreneurship and social media consulting.

Gabriel Giralt - a professor in the School of Communication who teaches basic and advanced single camera production and basic and advanced audio and video editing. His TV commercials, films, and video works have been screened and exhibited at numerous national and international film festivals, garnering notice and accolades.

Dr. Val Pipps - an associate professor in the School of Communication and, among several professional positions, formerly served as the Akron Beacon Journal online editor, National News Producer for Knight Ridder Digital, and managing editor at Dr. Pipps teaches courses in new media writing and production as well as newswriting.

Nancy Sinning - an instructor within the School of Communication, and serves as the General Manager of the student-operated radio station WZIP-FM.  Ms. Sinning has worked in television and radio for commercial and public media outlets. Her work includes short and long feature production as an Announcer and Producer at a number of stations including WKSU-FM, WKYC-Channel 3 in Cleveland and WCLV 104.9 ideastream.