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ETSU Media and Communication Department first in nation to gain Digital Marketing Institute accreditation

JOHNSON CITY— East Tennessee State University, through its Department of Media and Communication, has become the first university in the United States to earn accreditation from the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI), which is the largest accrediting digital marketing organization in the world.
 Beginning with the fall 2020 semester, this accreditation will enable ETSU students to earn a prestigious certification in digital marketing that will give them a competitive edge in the job market.
 DMI, which is based in Dublin, Ireland, works with the world’s leading companies to provide fresh course content that addresses global business trends. Thus far, over 20,000 students in more than 100 countries have earned DMI’s digital marketing certification.
 According to DMI officials, there are three pillars of DMI accreditation: content, membership and certification.
 “In our competitive economy, companies are looking for employees who can demonstrate that they will make an immediate impact on the business,” said DMI Chief Executive Officer Ken Fitzpatrick. “With many organizations challenged to address a digital skills gap, those ETSU students earning the DMI certification will stand apart among job candidates and will bring the needed knowledge and experience to help organizations improve and succeed.”
 Students taking ETSU’s undergraduate “Media Strategy” course and graduate “Brand Content Strategy” course in the Department of Media and Communication starting this August will automatically be a part of this certification program.
 During the course, students will learn about key concepts, tools and tactics in digital foundations, web and email, social media marketing, social customer service, challenges and risks, and the digital mindset.
 Students will take an assessment at the end of the course. Once successful completion is verified, a certification badge will be issued to the student indicating that they are a DMI-certified digital marketing professional.
 In addition to the course content, students in these courses will have access to premium DMI membership benefits, which include access to the latest industry-related articles, videos and webinars; templates and toolkits; a career zone with industry insider news and analysis for those seeking jobs; member chatboards; and more. Upon completion of the certification course, students will be lifetime members of DMI.
 Not only will students whose majors are in the Department of Media and Communication benefit from this partnership, but other students and area professionals may do so, as well. Students in other undergraduate majors from the arts, history and education to chemistry, physics and the health fields could boost their marketability and job skills by choosing “Media Strategy” as an elective course and earning DMI certification. And professionals in a variety of fields could earn the certification through ETSU for less than the cost of seeking the credential directly from DMI.
 “Digital skills are fundamental for today’s graduates,” said Dr. Stephen Marshall, professor and chair of Media and Communication at ETSU. “The ability to understand and utilize digital communications is critical for basically every professional discipline. It’s important to have a foundational knowledge of what’s happening in the digital marketing ecosystem.
 “It’s a professional credential that’s very much applicable to almost every major. Liberal arts education is important, but liberal arts education that has certifications attached to it is a slam dunk.”
 “This is a wonderful opportunity for our students,” said Dr. Gordon Anderson, dean of the ETSU College of Arts and Sciences. “Not only can they earn a degree from a newly accredited program in Media and Communication, but students from other majors can earn a certification that is valuable in the employment market.”
 “The benefit of this collaboration between DMI and ETSU,” said John Doran, head of university partnerships for DMI, “is the depth and range of the content, the desire to modernize within formats that are transforming both careers and businesses at the same time, and the flexibility of blended online and offline learning.”
 For more information, contact Dr. Stephen Marshall at marshals@etsu.edu or 423-439-7575.