Thursday, January 19, 2017
As part of a longstanding commitment to provide students with robust experiential learning opportunities, Mercyhurst University announced today that it will transition its radio station, WMCE-FM 88.5, from its current oldies format to a student-managed operation. The changeover is expected to take approximately 12-18 months.
“Like any successful organization, Mercyhurst continually seeks to identify opportunities to enrich the student experience,” said Mercyhurst University Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs David Dausey. “As a university committed to hands-on learning, we saw an opportunity to establish a teaching venue – you could say a laboratory – for those students interested in media production and other related communication careers.”
The move is part of an overarching plan to consolidate all media programs in order to allow optimal student involvement and use, said Brian Sheridan, communications department chair. The new “Laker Student Media” umbrella will include print and publications, TV, digital media and radio. Over the next year, a task force will conduct a strategic analysis to determine how best to configure this new interdisciplinary media endeavor across relevant academic programs, he added.
Mercyhurst took a similar approach in 2012 when it created the Mercyhurst Institute for Arts & Culture to engage more students in the operations of the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center. By infusing that academic component, Mercyhurst created an outstanding learning lab for those students interested in arts and theatre careers while offering the same world-class performances that Erie audiences have come to expect.
Meanwhile, WMCE will continue to broadcast oldies while the student programming is under development. The university has reached an agreement to transfer the oldies format to The ERIE Radio Company at the conclusion of the transitional period, paving the way for current WMCE fans to continue enjoying their favorite oldies.
The university looks forward to offering this exciting new learning experience to its students. “From the beginning, I have charged my administration with prioritizing decisions that are consistent with our mission and are in the best interest of our students,” said Mercyhurst President Michael T. Victor. “I know few other priorities that are more important to Mercyhurst than enhanced, hands-on learning opportunities for our students.”