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CLC media department moving to Brainerd, expanding

Community members and business professionals will soon be able to take individual media classes at Central Lakes College (CLC).

CLC is moving its photography, videography and graphic design programs from the Staples campus to the Brainerd one.

The move means the programs will now be able to expand to reach more than just enrolled students, such as photo hobbyists or business professionals looking to expand certain skills, said Mark Ambroz, CLC videography instructor.

The move also means students will get a taste of each aspect of the media major.

There will still be three separate departments — photography, videography and graphic design — but now the students will crossover between the focuses more.

A videography student will have to learn a little about photography and graphic design, and so on.

“We want the environment where students can grow into new mediums and give that opportunity to cross over into other departments,” Ambroz said. “It’s what employers demand.”

More and more, employers are looking for someone who can do everything, from writing, social media, web page design and video filming capabilities.

“This is our first step in that direction,” Ambroz said.

The change will also help expose more undecided students and interested community members to what CLC has to offer in the media field, Ambroz said.

The media programs have been in Staples for about 15 years. Because of the location, though, it has limited some peoples’ access to the classes, as well as the possible partnerships and field work, Ambroz said.

In Brainerd, there’s a bigger market of media and advertising company contacts, Ambroz said.

“There’s not many opportunities in Staples to work in the business community,” he said. “There are some, but not as many.”

“It’s about survival,” he said. “We want to be where the media is, where the businesses are.”

The college is also looking to form a deep partnership with Lakeland Public Television within a couple of years.

Also being added to the department are night classes and three-day weekend seminars, as well as several other new courses, some that will bring in students from two or three media departments in one room for the first time.

Students in the course will eventually film the happenings of the college, like games, theater and speakers.

The media department will move to Brainerd this summer. A couple of photography labs will remain in Staples for one more year, before moving over to Brainerd.

At the same time, the college plans to expand manufacturing and agricultural programs at the Staples campus.

JESSIE PERRINE may be reached at or 855-5859. Follow me on Twitter at