In this video, you will learn what it means to be a super senior while I take you into the life of a student that was at Morgan for six years. He started his freshman year in 2005 and graduated in 2011. Marcus Hicks did not mean to be in school for that long…many students don’t. But he allowed the money to deter him away from obtaining his degree. He was an IT student but ending up switching to business management and eventually taught himself how to do film and edit.
Marcus is now the video and graphics coordinator for the athletic department. He and his team produce most of the content you see surrounding Morgan athletes (pictures, flyers, social media clips, etc).
To execute this this project, I first started searching for students at Morgan that have been at Morgan for more than 5 or 6 years. This was crucial to my thesis: There are students that have been inn school for that long but for various reasons. My first student was at Morgan for seven years and currently enrolled until he actually dropped out this semester Fall ’17) to start working, just like Marcus. I was unable to get in touch with him soon after.
So I searched some more and used my connections with Alumni to find that person that coincided with my thesis. Although, Marcus is no longer attending Morgan, he was still one of those students that was not able to finish in four years due to the main reason a lot of students do not finish school: he wanted to work for money instead of use it on his education.
I set up plenty of interview times with Marcus, but he is a very busy man. I wanted to also get tons of b-roll of him doing his job and connecting with students on campus. But with the football team losing their last game, or the semester in general, he wasn’t up for being recorded. I took to social media to fix the issue. Most of the videos and pictures you see of him and his work are form his Instagram. Screenshots and Instarepost saved my life.
Once I had the meat of my project done, I started to work on the sides…or the video and stats to back everything up. The New York Times is a great resource for information not only as a news outlet but also as far as investigative reporting. Their expertise and professionalism has been able to produce information the government couldn’t even keep up with. Which is essentially our job as journalist. We provide information on subjects people may have heard but know little about. We cultivate conversations.
While researching and finding out more about student retention and success, I was able to speak with the infamous Tiffany Mfume who recently became Morgan’s Assistant Vice President of SRAS. She gave a lot of great information on statistics and reasons why students do not finish school in the conventional four years.
Unfortunately, I was not able to include all of the information in my video because of time constraints. Things like the office’s 50 by 2025 campaign where staff and faculty are working hard to make sure the graduation rate is 50% by the year 2025. She also mentions that Morgan’s returning student rate increased to 70% and they have maintained that rate for seven years.
But for more information on SRAS, you can check out Morgan States website and search student retention. There you will find statistics on graduation and returning students.
Post-production was fairly easy when you have all of the parts. It’s not just a one-session thing. You may spend 5 hours editing and see that you need to add something else. So you go out and get more information, more pictures, and more video. Then go back to the editing process. After everything is set and done, you want more than one pair of eyes on the project because they may see something that you don’t. That is why I loved the fact that we could get feedback from our pairs in class.
All in all, I am very proud of this short doc and the information it covers. Hopefully, you will love it!