By Thomas J. Paczkowski, Director
An innovative, hands-on learning program at Cayuga Community College (CCC) is quickly turning students into experienced entrepreneurs. The college’s Telecommunications Department has launched new student-run enterprises and courses that allow students to learn the recording and video production industries by actually producing projects, then marketing and selling them. CCC is the only community college in New York State to offer courses that help an individual create, develop and then launch a new business in electronic media. The businesses are Cayuga Records and C3 Studios.
Students who participate in supporting Cayuga Records learn how to run a recording company from top to bottom. “Last fall, we had our first release on the Cayuga Records label, which is now available for purchase on the Cayuga Records website,” explained CCC Electronic Media Programs Director and Professor Steve Keeler. “The CD, ‘This is Why’, by CCC student Colin Wilson, was well-received and is now on the play lists of other college radio stations.”
Keeler says students are presently producing two recording projects: a poetry reading called “The Memory Unit” by published poet and Syracuse University’s creative writing department director, Christopher Kennedy, and a compilation CD of original music performed by CCC students. Also, a showcase venue the students have for local bands will provide a variety of opportunities for a series of audio and video recordings. The recordings as well as logo merchandise for both enterprises can be purchased on the Web site at www.cayugarecords.com.
C3 Studios is a student-run video and film production company that will produce original works while instructing the students how to develop and operate a media business. The operation already has three documentary video recordings ready for purchase through their Web site, www.c3studios.com. The titles include A Tale of Two Lakes, Duct Tape and High Heels and Please Pass the Salt Potatoes: A guide to unique upstate New York foods, part 1.
“The video A Tale of Two Lakes has found an audience with high school and middle school science classes,” said Keeler. “The documentary tells a great local story about ecology concerns that students can relate to because it’s about something they live near.”
Support for growing entrepreneurial opportunities in the classroom is coming from a number of funding sources, chief among them, the Kauffman Foundation, the Emerson Foundation, the First Niagara Foundation and the Stardust Foundation.
CCC’s telecommunications program is one of the most firmly established in the Northeast, first offering degrees in 1972. The department’s facilities provide students with constant access to state-of-the-art equipment and extensive hands-on experience. A practical approach to instruction emphasizes contact with established industry professionals in the classroom, studio and on-site internships.
“There is no limit to what a student will be able to achieve in this new atmosphere of learning,” said Keeler. “A student can take an idea, learn the skills to nurture and grow that idea and then develop their idea into a thriving new business, all with the support of the programs and instructors at CCC.”
Professor Keeler may be reached at Cayuga Community College 315 255 1743 ext 2282 or by e mail at firstname.lastname@example.org