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Semester in LA: Montclair Students Begin Residency Program

School of Communication and Media students will focus on the Los Angeles media industry through in-person classes, online coursework and internships

Posted in: Communication and Media

Semester in LA students pose for a photo in front of the Los Angeles Farmers Market, holding a banner that says "Montclair State University School of Communication and Media."
Before classes started, SCM students visited the iconic Los Angeles Farmers Market to show their Montclair State pride.

A group of 10 trailblazing Montclair State University juniors and seniors began a unique journey in January as the first cohort of the School of Communication and Media’s Semester in LA, a new residential program that establishes the University’s permanent presence in Los Angeles.

The inaugural class of students are enrolled in full-time credit loads through a combination of in-person classes focused on the Los Angeles media industry taught by an LA-based media professional, online Montclair coursework and internships in the media, entertainment and lifestyle fields. The students are also grouped together in Burbank apartments made available through the program.

Students in Montclair’s Semester in LA (Spring 2023) class:

  • Sofia Ambrosio
  • Jason Cortes
  • Sean Ennis
  • Thomas Ferman
  • Jessica Gault
  • Becca Kobik
  • Kayla McCullough
  • Morgan Monfriedo
  • Chloe Naphy
  • Grace Scanlon

“It’s an honor to join this program and experience real-world production life in the heart of the entertainment industry,” says junior Film and Television major Chole Naphy. “I’m also excited about the wonderful weather and hope to establish roots in LA that will help with my career goals.”

“The Semester in LA program has granted me the opportunity to work on-site in LA, which is a dream come true,” says senior Film and Television major Sofia Ambrosio. “I’m super stoked to meet more people and expand my network in the entertainment industry … and soak in the sun while I’m at it!”

How Montclair’s Semester in LA program works:

The Semester in LA program requires participating full-time SCM students to take on 12 to 15 credits and a 6 to 12-credit paid internship.

Students worked throughout the fall 2022 semester with the College of the Arts Career Services team to secure internships. Among the students’ placements are roles at film and media production company Rugged Entertainment, online entertainment magazine MXDWN, strategic communications and consulting agency firm Hiltzik Strategies, fitness company Heat Dance LLC, skin-care company NuReveal, and management and production agencies Grandview Automatik and 101 Studios.

Throughout the semester, students will have opportunities to interact with a broad range of industry leaders, including producers, screen writers, directors, network and studio employees, agency executives, and above- and below-the-line production professionals.

Semester in LA positions Montclair as one of a small group of universities that maintain a residential program in Los Angeles focused on film, television and entertainment. It continues SCM’s ascent in becoming one of the nation’s most respected and comprehensive across the vast array of disciplines in communication and media. School of Communication and Media Director Keith Strudler and Assistant Professor Guy Nicolucci created the program and are excited about what the first semester in Los Angeles means for SCM and its students.

“This is a historic day for our students, program and University as we officially put our Montclair State flag in the ground in Los Angeles,” says Strudler. “In addition to the amazing opportunities at our growing, on-campus curriculum, our Semester in LA program will enhance our students’ learning experiences and networking opportunities, and create friendships that will last a lifetime.”

More than 70 students applied to the program, which requires an application and interview. Students who are interested in applying to the program for the fall 2023 semester should check the School’s website and social media channels early in the spring semester for updates and directions.

For more information about the School of Communication and Media, visit