Twice a year I see half-page ads in the Daily Northwestern inviting students to apply to get into Alex Kotlowitz’s popular writing course. After reading David Carr’s course description on Medium this morning, I wondered how Boston University is picking students for the New York Times media columnist’s class. I got an answer from Tom Fiedler, dean of BU’s College of Communication:
David’s course, like Alex’s at Northwestern, required students to apply, which included an essay making their case to be included. The class is limited to 12 seniors or graduate students and it drew many times that number in applications. I think David’s course outline and syllabus are the best I have ever seen — an excellent demonstration of the utility of Medium and, of course, his own, unique writing style.
Although David hasn’t yet submitted his outline for the course he will teach next spring, he seems inclined to focus it more on directed discussions about the changing media eco-system, not unlike his Media Matters columns. I only wish that I could sign up….
Update — Carr emails: “Students submitted written samples that we went through with an eye toward voice and creating a good mix. I’m happy for the bunch we have, a brave group of souls who are willing to serve as a beta for a newbie prof who may or may not know what he is doing. If things don’t work out, maybe I will have to put on a sandwich board next time out and walk up and down Commonwealth Ave. begging for students.”
BU apparently bent the 12-student rule; Carr says he has 11 graduate students and four undergrads for the fall semester.