Bates, UW Tacoma team up to teach television broadcasting

Bates Technical College and the University of Washington Tacoma have teamed up to prepare students for broadcast careers in television.

An agreement – taking the offerings of both schools to new heights – was finalized during a signing ceremony Oct. 9, in the Mohler Campus Conference Room of Bates Technical College.

“This is a wonderful collaboration that takes advantage of the wealth of educational resources we have here in Pierce County to serve needs of students and provide highly qualified workers to industry,” said Brian Ebersole, president of Bates Technical College.

A few years ago, a UW Tacoma survey designed to measure interest among the region’s community college students showed mass communication topped the charts as an area of study students wanted to pursue in earning a bachelor’s degree.

The fast-growing UW Tacoma campus then began building an academic program to serve the need.

Bates has long experienced demand for its broadcast technology courses with 120 students currently enrolled in a variety of communication technologies programs.

In 2001, Bates and its TV station, KBTC, jumped at the chance to purchase a state-of-the-art building with fully functioning studios from KSTW when the station moved north.

Renamed the William P. Mohler Multimedia Campus (Mohler Campus), after its former president, Bates moved its career training programs onto the campus this fall.

Today, UW Tacoma’s mass communication program continues to grow rapidly, preparing students for a wide range of opportunities in communications.

More than 50 students are working on degrees through the program and its courses are popular with students across campus.

Access to TV studios and Bates instructors at the Mohler campus gives the program a tremendous boost.

It would take years to acquire funding to build even a modest television studio, much less establish a professional-quality broadcast TV studio staffed with top-notch, experienced instructors.

Bates benefits from providing its students access to a wealth of theoretical and academic coursework, taught by UW Tacoma professors – areas of study not previously available at Bates, where most instructors are specialized in technical instruction.

Students can now take courses from UW Tacoma professors in media law, ethics and media criticism while earning credit toward their Bates degree or certificate.

“For UW Tacoma, this agreement is a wonderful development,” said Vicky Carwein, UW Tacoma chancellor. “Having access to the facilities, faculty and staff of the Mohler Campus makes a tremendous difference to the kinds and quality of learning experiences we are able to provide to students. We look forward to seeing all the benefits this collaboration will bring to our students, as well as to the community, as local television programming is enhanced through efforts and talents of our students and faculty.”