Des Moines Area Community College is teaming up with the globe’s ultimate social media giant.
Facebook is partnering with DMACC to enhance and update the school’s digital marketing certificate program with additional resources and curriculum changes, the company announced Monday.
The school is just the second accredited college (joining Central New Mexico) to be partnered with Facebook in this manner, according to a company news article posted Monday.
“Our North Star is our ability to respond at phenomenal speed to the issues businesses have and to our students’ desires,” DMACC President Robert Denson told the Register on Monday. “For us to be in the lead with a national corporation like Facebook in the hottest area of technology — we are just not going to pass this up. If we execute this well, it only proves that our business model is strong.”
Denson said that prospective students in the program will be offered two choices:
- a 30-hour, continuing-education-style certification (not initially for credit) that integrates e-learning courses managed by Facebook;
- or a for-credit option that blends some of these materials with DMACC’s current digital marketing certificate program.
The current DMACC program is for 18 credits and can go toward a number of associate’s degrees, including management, marketing and fashion or design.
Denson said he was hopeful students who choose the non-credit option could eventually have that training converted into an undetermined number of credit hours as the program is reorganized.
He said the school will be re-evaluating the courses offered toward its digital certificate in time for the fall semester. Denson was hopeful that portions of the program will be ready for year-round online implementation in the next month.
Denson said he wants students to be thinking about information technology applications in the business world, no matter which branch of the program they choose.
“The (Facebook) curriculum looks very good, spot-on for central Iowa businesses,” said Denson, who was notified about the opportunity to partner with the company through Iowa Workforce Development, Iowa Economic Development and the Greater Des Moines Partnership. “… We doubled down on our intensity level on this, and as I talked to (Facebook personnel) today, one thing they were impressed by is our ability to respond in a timely manner.”
Facebook representatives are in Des Moines this week as part of the company’s Community Boost program, which is designed to help small businesses learn tips and tricks for working in the online space in addition to upping their social-media savvy.
Research performed locally by Facebook in Des Moines found that small business managers almost universally believe a social media presence is important to growth (94 percent), but that less than a third of them have the proper skills (27 percent).
Just as many (92 percent) find mobile phone-friendly content essential, and an even smaller minority (13 percent) feel they have excellent skills in delivering in that area.
Denson wants his students to be multitalented and nimble in a fast-moving digital space.
“This is a big deal. It’s an honor to have Facebook join us as a partner,” he said. “And we are very excited to join them.”