Take two: CCOM redesigns Butler in Los Angeles

How Butler revised the Butler in Los Angeles program into the CCOM in Los Angeles program. Photo courtesy of @butlerccom on X

MAIRIN MCCARTHY | STAFF REPORTER | mkmccarthy@butler.edu 

A new semester is bringing new changes to a domestic study-away program. Butler in Los Angeles, formerly an internship opportunity for students of any major, has recently undergone significant modifications to the program’s core structure. 

The Butler in Los Angeles program allowed students to spend two months of the summer in California, with access to internships secured by students and courses in communications and performing arts. The program had a partnership with Elon University and mentorship opportunities with Butler alumni. 

Elizabeth Dixon, a junior software engineering and music industry studies double major, took a lot away from the Butler in Los Angeles program in 2023. 

“I thought it was a great experience,” Dixon said. “Being able to work with Elon and taking part in their program was really beneficial. The [classes] related to my music industry studies major, where I got the internship requirement done and six other credit hours.” 

Dixon was able to secure an internship with a music studio in Studio City, a neighborhood of LA, and took classes that related to her music industry studies major. 

The new program, now named CCOM in Los Angeles, is a 13-day-long educational trip in Los Angeles where students can work on a short film with a Butler alumna. This course offers cultural excursions, networking opportunities and three credit hours for contributing to the film, but now lacks an internship opportunity that the program once had. 

“I think it will be interesting to see how [the new program] goes,” Dixon said. “It will be really narrowed down, which is a shame, but it could be a great experience.” 

This coming May will be the first time the CCOM in Los Angeles program will occur. Changes to this program were made to make opportunities more accessible and to gain more specialized experience in the film industry, according to the program description. 

Dena Mulligan, the associate director of faculty-led programs in the Center for Global Education, looks forward to the opportunities this program will provide students. 

“It’s definitely a hands-on learning experience,” Mulligan said. “It’s interesting that [the program] is with a Butler [alum]. They’re looking into how [students] can [contribute] to the film with what they are most interested in.” 

Ben Hohner, a music industry studies major who graduated in December 2023 and attended the same program as Dixon, felt that the program provided many connections and opportunities that would not be provided in Indianapolis. Despite the program’s goal of being more accessible with the shortened length, students do not believe the changes were for the best. 

“I think it’s a little disappointing that they’re moving it to just two weeks,” Hohner said. “One of the most important parts about the whole program and the whole reason for going to LA is so you can have the chance to live there for a couple of months.” 

Dixon felt the alterations were rushed.

“I appreciate the sentiment that the Dean [Joseph Valenzano] had about trying to make a program that was more accessible to students at Butler,” Dixon said. “But at the end of the day, it seems like more thought could’ve been put into it. He actually visited while we were in LA to kind of express his thoughts on wanting to incorporate a different program.” 

While the Los Angeles program is the only domestic program that has made recent changes, opportunities in New York and Washington, D.C. are also available to Butler students. These other programs offer internships as well as classroom opportunities for those who participate.


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