A Publication of WTVP

Bradley University students seeking experience in the entertainment industry will soon have that opportunity with the university’s “Hollywood Semester.” Beginning in the spring of 2012, a select group of students will travel to California to spend a semester studying at the University of Texas at Austin’s Los Angeles (UTLA) Center.

The curriculum will blend the hands-on experience of an internship with class-sponsored activities and classes taught by industry professionals. Bradley’s agreement with the University of Texas involves sending five students each fall and spring, and three in the summer.

Any junior or senior who has passed COM 101 and has at least a 2.5 GPA is eligible to apply. “This is an opportunity for any student at Bradley University,” said B.J. Lawrence, associate dean of Bradley’s Slane College of Communication and Fine Arts.

The opportunity arose several years ago when Dr. Jeffrey Huberman, dean of Bradley’s Slane College, met the executive director of the UTLA Center. A few years later, Lawrence got involved and started working directly with the University of Texas in reaching an agreement.

“There aren’t many schools that offer this opportunity. I anticipate that it’s going to take off,” explained Lawrence, who noted that Bradley may need to develop a stricter application process if they receive an overwhelming response.

Lawrence is excited about the new program and the benefits it offers students. “I think they’re going to come away with a more realistic experience of what the entertainment industry is really like,” she said. “It’s hard work; it’s exciting; it’s challenging. They will have gained an incredible networking opportunity with people in the industry that will provide them with practical experience and with career information.”