The Mohammed Bin Rashid School for Communication (MBRSC) graduates talented, proficient, and dedicated young media professionals. The American University in Dubai first offered the Bachelor of Communication and Information Studies (BCIS) degree in the fall of 2007. The current program has taken effect at the beginning of AY 2009-2010. The MBRSC launched in fall 2017, a graduate program in Leadership and Innovation in Contemporary Media. Mr. Ali Jaber has been the dean of the school ever since September 2009.
The MBRSC undergraduate students may join the Digital Production and Storytelling (DPST) or the Journalism (JOUR) major, both of which begin at the freshman level with fundamental concepts, theories, and media ethics and culminate in a capstone project and an internship at a reputable media firm in the UAE. The DPST and JOUR majors offer Arabic track options allowing the students to take all their writing courses in Arabic.
The total enrollment at the MBRSC as of fall 2019 is 159 undergraduate students (see Table 1). The total number of the MBRSC undergraduate students for the last four academic years has averaged 198 students.
The freshmen have been consistently the largest number of undergraduate students in the MBRSC; though less evident in the past two years (see Table 2). This figure though may be inflated because some students take more than one academic year to move to the sophomore status since they have to complete remedial English and/or math courses that are non-credited. On the other hand, the largest attrition rate happens at the end of the freshman year, which may justify the uneven distribution of students by grade level.
The MBRSC provides yearly around 12 to 15merit-based scholarships, sponsored by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Foundation (MBRF). The undergraduate scholarships are for Arabic track students joining the Journalism or the Digital Production and Storytelling majors. This guarantees having in the classrooms a high concentration of intellectually engaged and high performing students as well as having Arab students from all economic backgrounds. As of spring 2020, the proportion of the MBRSC undergraduate students who have the MBRF scholarship is 35%.
In the DPST major, the proportion of English track students outnumbers that of the Arabic track; though the gap appears to be diminishing (see Table 3).
On the other hand, among the JOUR major, the numbers of students enrolled in the Arabic and English tracks are highly comparable; though the Arabic track appears to be rising (see Table 4).
The Retention Rates in Table 5 reflect the proportion of the MBRSC students who stayed in the program a year after they enrolled. The Retention Rate of students who joined in fall 2018 and are still in the program in fall 2019 is 75%. The Attrition Rate is the proportion of the MBRSC students who are no longer in the program a year after they initially joined.
The Graduation Rates presented in Table 6 are computed for students who joined in fall 2008 onward. These Graduation Rates represent the proportion of students who completed their degree requirements, after four years and six years from the time they joined the program. For the cohorts that joined the MBRSC program in 2012, 2013, and 2014, the Graduation Rates computed four years later are 78%, 68%, and 62% respectively, and are 91%, 79%, and 87% respectively six years later.
Taking into account the average Attrition Rate of 25%, calculated at the end of the freshman year, The Completion Rates for the MBRSC students who stay beyond the Freshman year are almost 100% after six years of study.
The employment rates noted in Table 7 are based on the last survey conducted in the summer of 2020 including all 417 BCIS alumni who graduated from the MBRSC since its launch in 2007 until May 2019. Excluded from Table 7 though are the 47 May 2020 graduates since many of them were unlikely to have found employment at the time the survey was conducted. The employment rates calculated below exclude as well the 94 undergraduate alumni that we were unable to contact. As for the remaining pool of 323 BCIS alumni from May 2011 to May 2019, the overwhelming majority, 97.5%, were working full time, and only 1.5% were not working at the time of the survey.
Table 7: Employment rates including all BCIS graduates that completed their degree requirements and were contacted successfully***
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