Earlier this month, more than 200 people joined to celebrate the grand opening of the new facility for Emerson College’s Los Angeles Center. Now five years old, the L.A. Center on Barham Boulevard comprises nearly 3,000 sq. ft. of classroom and office space.

The 50 or so students currently enrolled at the center join the more than 500 graduates who have received unparalleled, hands-on experience in many disciplines including network, syndicated and cable television, studio and independent film, advertising and public relations. More than 150 internships are available to augment the program’s classroom studies.

“This program gives students a foot in the door,” says Brenda Friend-Brandt, v.p. of development for Stephen Cannell Prods. “It opens avenues to them that otherwise would be unavailable.”

The L.A. program has proved so popular that Emerson will soon begin admitting students from other schools, many of which have already contacted the college. Starting with this summer’s 10-week term and continuing next fall, the program hopes to enroll around 100 students per semester.

Similar expansion marks the college’s program in the Netherlands town of Well. In its 16th-century castle home a few miles from the German border, the European Center offers course-work in art, history of Western civilization, and special projects that include travel to other European cities.

Its success has spawned the European Institute for Intl. Communication, which will promote the study of international communications as a means of achieving global understanding. Combining the foundations of an Emerson education with the international resources available in Europe, EIIC will provide students of many nationalities with state-of-the-art communications training at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

“The institute is one tangible step toward the critical goal of global understanding and expression, the most important mission of education at this time in history,” says John Barbetta, executive director of the Well program.

Headquartered in Maastricht, Netherlands, the institute will welcome its historic first class to the four-year program beginning this fall. James Vanderpol, a native of the Netherlands and an Emerson v.p., says the program is designed to “complement, not compete” with other colleges in Europe and America.

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