Broadcast students pass national radio bureau exam

Seventeen Western Carolina University broadcast communication students recently passed a rigorous examination to earn certification as radio marketing professionals.

Western is one of fewer than 10 colleges and universities in the nation that offer students the opportunity to earn their radio marketing professional certification in broadcast sales. The certification requires a written exam prepared by the Radio Advertising Bureau, which has more than 5,000 member radio stations nationwide.

“The exam is not easy and students have to thoroughly know the material to earn the professional certification,” said Don Connelly, Western’s director of broadcasting.

In addition to the written exam, students are required to work with local businesses and do marketing research and analysis, which provide the basis for a 12-page bound proposal that the students must complete along with a sales presentation to the client, Connelly said.

“Earning this first level of professional certification while still in college is a unique opportunity. Our students have the advantage of walking into radio and television stations and getting jobs with organizations such as FOX, NBC TV, CBS Radio and Clear Channel Communications due to this industry-recognized professional certification they earn at Western,” said Connelly.

Several recent Western graduates have been hired for radio and television sales positions in top 100 markets such as Asheville, Charlotte, Knoxville and Atlanta as a result of the certification. “Most students coming out of college typically enter the industry in smaller markets. Ours are going right into the major markets, which is gratifying,” Connelly said.

The following Western students passed the most recent RAB exam:

Adrienne L. Avery, graduate of Freedom High School, daughter of Charles and Barbara Avery of Morganton.

Ryan Britland, graduate of Zebulon B. Vance High School, son of Jim and Kim Britland of Charlotte.

Gena Clemons-Davis, graduate of Benicia High School, daughter of Gloria Clemons of Benicia, Calif.

Zachary Colburn, graduate of Reynolds High School, son of William and Donna Colburn of Asheville.

Bradan Dotson, graduate of Fuquay-Varina High School, son of Tracy and Lorraine Dotson of Fuquay-Varina.

Jane Edwards, graduate of South Mecklenburg High School, daughter of James and Karen Edwards of Charlotte.

Tyler M. Ferguson, graduate of Independence High School, son of Wade and Yolanda Ferguson of Charlotte.

Brandon Gash, graduate of North Henderson High School, son of Ben and Thelma Gash of Hendersonville.

James Lockeman Harwell, graduate of South Point High School, son of James and Melinda Harwell of Gastonia.

Robert Tyree Hoffman III, graduate of North Gaston High School, son of Robert E. Hoffman and Rhonda Jarvis Stokes of Dallas.

Micah Lansing, graduate of Piedmont High School, son of Armon and Rebecca Lansing of Monroe.

Michael Mariner, graduate of Athens Drive High School, son of Thomas and Donna Mariner of Cary.

Samuel L. Neff, graduate of Smoky Mountain High School, son of Jeffery and Randi Neff of Cullowhee.

Samantha Saunders, graduate of Freedom High School, daughter of Hoyt and Sandy Saunders of Morganton.

Heath Smathers, graduate of Enka High School, son of Martin and Linda Smathers of Canton.

Gregory Tomlin, graduate of Asheville High School, son of Tom and Charlene Tomlin of Asheville.

In addition to broadcasting, Western also offers communications concentrations in print media, human communication, public relations, communication training and development, and theatre arts. For more information, contact the department at (828) 227-7491, or visit the Communication Department.