Center for Mass Communication FAQ
What criteria is used to consider a student’s acceptance to the Center for Mass Communication?
Quite a few things are taken into consideration when considering a student’s admission to the program.
Middle school grades in English and Social Studies are a major consideration for acceptance. Also considered is whether or not those English and social studies classes were pre-AP level classes. Many students not taking pre AP courses are admitted to the program so we don’t want that to discourage anyone from applying – it’s just that there’s a slight advantage for any given grade in a pre AP-class over a grade in a regular class.
SOL scores in English and Social Studies are also considered. Students coming from other states, private schools, or home schooling may be asked to take an assessment when they apply so we can have an objective measure to take into consideration.
Teacher recommendations are also used. We ask each applicant to submit the names of an English teacher, a social studies teacher, and another teacher choice who will offer a strong recommendation for acceptance to the program. Theses teachers may be current teachers or a previous year’s teacher. We will send each teacher a private recommendation survey and the results are a part of the admission consideration.
Each applicant submits an essay. These essays are objectively scored and the results are added to the student’s overall score for admission purposes.
Grades and SOL scores far outweigh the recommendations and essay results.
How many students get into Mass Comm each year?
We have 28 available spots each fall for rising freshmen.
When will I know if my child is accepted?
All applications must be completed and submitted by January 31, 2022. Notification of acceptance will begin March 12.
Will attending Mass Comm keep my child from taking electives or participating in sports or activites
No. There are occasions where scheduling conflicts arise but we make every effort to accommodate all course requests. In addition, Mass Comm students qualify for a free online class each year through RCPSOnline without having to meet the study hall requirement to qualify for a free class.
There are no after school obligations or requirements in Mass Comm. with the exception of the senior year internship.
When will my child go to BCAT for Mass Comm?
In their 9th, 10th, and 11th grade years, students attend Mass Comm at BCAT every other day from 7:30am to 11:00am. Students may take a bus, leaving from their base school at approximately 7am, or may provide their own transportation to BCAT. Students return to their base school via a BCAT bus or drive themselves. Senior schedules vary to accommodate internships but seniors usually only attend every other day in the afternoon.
The information mentions dual enrollment opportunities in Mass Comm. What does this entail?
Mass Comm students have a unique opportunity to receive dual enrollment credit as early as grade 9. Media Production and Web Design courses currently carry a dual enrollment option. Students must take and pass the Virginia Placement Test (VPT) at Virginia Western Community College prior to enrolling and pay the dual enrollment fee in early September to be eligible. We’ve never had a student fail the VPT and the fees, while varying year to year, are reasonable. So, as freshmen, Mass Comm students can start building a college transcript.
Are there any extra fees to be paid if one attends Mass Comm?
The only fee is a BCAT activity fee of $5.00
Am I required to provide my child with any special technology or equipment in order to attend?
No. Students have access to everything they need at BCAT. Mass Comm students are entrusted to borrow specialty equipment such as cameras and Macintosh computers to work on lengthy projects. Any special software is either installed on the student laptop or made available through web applications.