Adviser Certification

2023 CMA Summer Virtual Adviser Certification Training

Dates: Stay tuned for the next session of Adviser Certification

Please note: The Adviser Certification Training is for CMA members only. You’ll need to sign into the CMA website when you purchase the certification. You can join or renew here.

Advising collegiate media is a unique career niche. Your colleagues are at other institutions spread across the country, not simply down the hall from your office or even on the same campus. College Media Association (CMA) helps connect you to other college media advisers and to professional resources.

CMA Adviser Certification Training is an in-depth training designed to help new(er) advisers get acclimated to the profession and meet valuable contacts, while giving more veteran advisers an opportunity to refresh their skills and share their expertise with newer advisers.

The core sessions — Advising 101 through Advising 203 and Law 101 for Advisers — were designed after years of adviser training and represent a broad overview of college media advising. The electives offered explore evolving areas of advising and aim to be inclusive enough to be relevant to advisers of all types of college media outlets.

In the training, we’ll discuss the role of the adviser and its joys and challenges; how to recruit, train, manage, and motivate students; and the basics of a wide variety of areas, including media law and ethics, campus relationships and finances. You’ll gain knowledge of how to advise collegiate media, resources for who to contact when touchy subjects come up during the course of the year and a feeling of reinvigoration for your role as an adviser.

Whether you are new to advising, working solo in your department or just need peers to connect with, we’re here for you. CMA is the place for college media advisers, and we want to make sure you get connected to your peers and that you feel welcome.

This training is entirely self-paced, so you will have from December through February to complete the training. There will be opportunities to get involved in live discussions throughout the two weeks.

To earn the certification, attend the seven core sessions — Advising 101-203 and Law 101 for Advisers. Then you will need to select at least three elective sessions to equal 10 sessions, totaling about 10 hours, for your certificate.

We are offering nine elective session options that you may choose from, or you may opt to attend up to all nine if you’d like. Each session (except for the live elective sessions) will be followed by a brief set of questions that you will answer to demonstrate your knowledge before you can move on to the next session. We are also offering three roundtables during the two-week period, and they will be hosted live for all advisers who are participating in this summer online certification series. The roundtables aren’t mandatory, but are strongly encouraged as it’s a good way to meet your fellow advisers who are participating in the training, get your questions answered, and have a virtual face-to-face with your advising peers.

Courses and electives are below:

Advising 101: Introduction to Advising

Whether you’ve been advising for six months or six years, you likely have been asked the question, what is an adviser? This session will help you better understand your role so you can help others better understand what you do and what you don’t do. Topics include the role of the adviser and its challenges and the basics of advising.

Advising 102: Policies and Procedures

Every good program starts with a solid foundation. This session is a crash course in how to set policies and procedures for your student staff and operation. 

Advising 103: Budgets and Revenue

College media advisers often start their jobs knowing all about the journalism or the technological aspects of the job, but we don’t always know everything about the business side … the part that pays the bills. This session will address a variety of topics including establishing ad rates, how to manage expenses and ways to find additional revenue. 

Advising 201: Recruiting, Training and Retraining

Student media doesn’t run without students. But it can be a struggle to recruit eager, talented, dedicated students, and to do it every year. In this session, the presenter will provide tips on recruiting and retaining a staff, developing leaders, incentivizing student media, and training a media staff.

Advising 202: Relationships on Campus

You’re the one stuck between a rock and a hard place… meaning between the student media staff and your administration. In this session, veteran advisers will discuss how to manage your student media outlet’s image on campus by navigating campus politics and building alliances.

Advising 203: Connecting with Resources

Advising college media can sometimes feel really lonely. While there may not be many people on your campus who understand what you do, there are many people in the country who certainly do. This session will address resources available to advisers, the benefits of CMA and opportunities to network with your peers. 

Law 101 for Advisers

Learn the rights of your students as journalists and yourself as the adviser. This session will address how to protect yourself and your students through a fast-paced tour of legal basics. You’ll also get advice on how to get help if you need it. 

Creating Multimedia Content with Audience in Mind

How do you create multimedia content with a staff of students who are accustomed to only producing the written word? You learn to create good journalism and media content by consuming good media content. Also, you might need to recruit some fresh blood with different skill-sets. In this session, the presenter will show you examples of good multimedia content, discuss the process of how it was created and give you the roadmap on how to get started in your own media outlet.

Putting the Sacred Cow Out of Pasture

Broadly defined, if students are continuing a practice with no other justification than “this is how we’ve always done it,” it’s a sacred cow. Sacred cows can be good if you can get students to understand and appreciate the value of a tradition. But sacred cows are bad when there’s a better way to do things that’s not being explored. Either way, this session’s presenter will walk you through the steps of challenging your students to look critically at what they do and why they do it that way.

Inclusion in Advising

Beyond being the right thing to do, it’s crucial that college media advisers incorporate inclusive practices in every aspect of newsroom management and content creation. In this session we will discuss how diversity and inclusion impact audience engagement, newsroom culture and organizational mission. We’ll also share tips for moving the needle on inclusivity in both policy and practice.

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