Become a Student of Storytelling

Duke employees get a 10 percent discount on Center for Documentary Studies continuing education courses

Students from the Center for Documentary Studies take part in a class on video storytelling.
Students from the Center for Documentary Studies take part in a class on video storytelling.

Sally Hicks has been working on an audio project that’s very close to her heart. She’s been recording conversations with her 92-year old father, capturing memories from both his life and from her own.

In her role as the editor of Faith & Leadership, an online learning resource published by Duke Divinity School, she’s starting work on another audio project – helping organize a podcast.

So the audio storytelling course she recently took from Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies has proven beneficial in several ways.

“The courses have been a perfect combination of personal and professional interest,” said Hicks, who has also taken two writing courses from the center.

Founded in 1989, the Center for Documentary Studies provides courses taught by accomplished professionals that strive to illustrate and understand the human experience through photography, video, audio and experimental storytelling.

In addition to its undergraduate and graduate curriculum, the center offers continuing education courses – both online and in-person – that are quicker, more affordable ways for people both inside and outside the Duke community to take advantage of the center’s resources.

“Because the classes are in all shapes and sizes and very reasonably priced already, it’s really kind of like, ‘Why not?’” said April Walton, learning outreach coordinator for the Center for Documentary Studies. “If you want to learn more about podcasting or shoot better video on your phone, you can take a class. You can take a one-day class, a weekend class. There’s not a huge commitment.”

Duke employees get a 10 percent discount on tuition for the center’s continuing education courses, which range from one-day workshops to multi-week sessions. Contact the center to learn how to take advantage of the deal.

Registration is now open for the spring and summer course offerings, which include sessions on drone photography, smart-phone filmmaking and how to visually tell a story that unfolds over many years.

There’s also an online course titled “Why Should I Care?” which shows how to create compelling video stories.

“The Center for Documentary Studies is one of the great jewels of Duke University,” Hicks said. “It’s renowned and well-respected in the field. And I really appreciate that they offer these continuing education courses. They’re on evenings, weekends and available for working people. It’s great, as an employee and a citizen of Durham, to sit in these classes with all kinds of people.”