POTEET HIGH SCHOOL
Most parents have to tell their students to get off of social media to do their homework. For Rochelle McMillon’s classes at Mesquite ISD in Texas, the school has to tell parents that when their student is using social media at home, they might actually be doing homework.
A marketing teacher with nine years of experience, McMillon has seen the classroom and the marketing industry transform and is now merging the two to prepare students for a blossoming career field.
“When I look for jobs for my students, I see that a lot of companies don’t have social media strategies in place,” said McMillon. “The new social media marketing course from iCEV provides students with the skills to fill these gaps in the industry, and take advantage of this area of growth in marketing.”
Over the course of her teaching career, McMillon, the 2017 Career & Technical Education of Texas (CTAT) Marketing Instructional Council Teacher of the Year, has taught every marketing course that Texas offers. Three years ago, she was presented with the opportunity to serve on the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) committee for the Texas Education Agency (TEA). In that position, McMillon guided the committee through creating and adopting standards for social media marketing to become a TEKS-approved course.
“The most important thing for me was to make sure the course delivered outcomes for the students,” said McMillon. “That focus helped design the course and draft the knowledge and skills statements.”
As an avid user of CEV Multimedia in her classes, McMillion was delighted to see the iCEV Social Media Marketing course on the list of new materials to be reviewed for state approval.
“iCEV's Social Media Marketing course was exactly what I had in mind when I was helping write the TEKS,” said McMillon. “It helps teach students about the basics of social media, social law and ethics, mobile marketing, implementation and more.”
“When students first heard of the class, they were very excited. They heard social media, but didn’t understand it was a business class,” McMillon explained. “Our students are not familiar with how to use social media for business, they just know how to post photos and statuses for their friends. When we talk about the capabilities of the platforms, they aren’t aware. Through our courses, students build an understanding of how social media can help fuel a successful business.”
McMillon’s marketing classes teach students how to create a social media marketing strategy and the role it plays in a successful business plan for both large and small organizations. The end goal of her classes is to provide students with tools and skills they can utilize in the workforce.
Mesquite ISD uses iCEV, an online learning platform from CEV Multimedia as a part of the practicum in their marketing courses to provide online activities, assessments, videos and a curriculum. The combination of these materials with guest speakers, field trips and real-world experience enable students to walk away from the course with a strong understanding of social media marketing.
A key part of a student’s experience in marketing courses at Mesquite ISD is applying their classroom knowledge to an actual business environment. McMillon encourages her students to offer to help with their workplace’s social media strategy, especially if it is a small business.
Her students have been able to conduct marketing research, aid in the development of a mobile application, create a social media marketing strategy to help boost a lunch program and much more.
“We have seen students get additional responsibilities at their jobs because they have been able to apply what we are talking about in the classroom to their work,” McMillon shared. “By doing this, they are able to prove to their supervisor that they can move up from an entry-level position. For us, that’s the dream scenario.”
After the success with the course at her district, McMillon sees an opportunity for more marketing courses in schools and wants to help teachers navigate that process.
“I’m working with TEA to do new teacher training at conferences to help educators learn how to improve their professional development, get guest speakers in their classes and learn what’s important to teach,” said McMillon. “There are a lot of schools that know these courses are now available for their students and I’m excited to help them navigate the process of getting these courses started.”
For Texas marketing teachers, graded projects are beginning to shift from papers and presentations to key performance indicators and strategic proposals. This shift in instructional practices gives students a better sense of what a marketing career really looks like, and opens the door for future career exploration in the marketing and social media industries.
Rochelle McMillon is a marketing teacher at Mesquite ISD. She was named the 2017 Career & Technical Education of Texas (CTAT) Marketing Instructional Council Teacher of the Year. She has served on the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) committee for the Texas Education Agency (TEA). As a marketing teacher since 2009, she has been committed to deepening her students’ knowledge of applicable marketing skills through CTE.