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Going to a branch campus is weird because the campus itself is small, but it’s still part of a huge school with tons of courses. There are so many courses you probably never hear about, like COMM 3. It’s not a typical course offered at Penn State, and taking this course at Greater Allegheny might be your only chance. Here’s some information about what COMM 3 really is.

1. It’s Not a Real Class

You can enroll in this course, but it’s not really an actual class. It’s a radio practicum! It’s like you’re part of a radio club, but you do it on your own time. There will probably be an initial meeting or two. After that, you pick your own time. Usually, people do this once a week for an hour, but you can do this just about as often as you want to. You can even work with a friend or two!

2. Bring Your GPA Up!

This class counts as one extracurricular credit, and it’s definitely an easy A! All you have to do is show up when you say you’ll show up, do the radio show, and you automatically get an A. The only way to get lower than an A is to just not show up or participate. As long as you show up, play some music, and talk a little bit, you’ll be guaranteed a good grade.

3. Radio Equipment

Since this is a radio practicum, you will need to know how to handle real radio equipment. Some things are fragile, and you have to be extra careful when handling them. There are also a lot of buttons, but you really don’t need to push any, so don’t worry about knowing what every single thing does. You’ll end up pushing two buttons, and using the computer to control everything else you need to play music.

4. Microphones and Headphones

Make sure you and your partner (if you have a partner) are wearing headphones, so you can hear the music and your voice. You want to make sure you’re speaking into the microphone closely and clearly. It might be weird, but you should be able to hear your voice through the headphones when you speak into the microphones. If either one isn’t working, make sure to check that off in the check-in binder so they can fix it right away. It’s only a good radio show if the audience can hear you!

5. Test Before the Real Thing

There will be a test before you actually do a radio show. It’s really easy, and the information you need will be emailed to you. Make sure you schedule a time to do the test early, so you can start doing radio shows as soon as possible. Don’t worry about failing too. You take the test as many times as you need to in order to be ready to start your own show.

Overall, COMM 3 is an easy practicum, where you can earn credit and bring your GPA  up a little bit. If you do a radio show about once a week, you should be good! Also, don’t worry about how you sound. The only people that actually listen to the radio show are usually friends and family. It’s nothing to stress over. Good luck!


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Tess Fukuyama


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