As of fall 2021, the Communications and Media Department will split into two separate departments. They will be separated as Department of Communication and Department of Media. The goal behind this change is to improve opportunities, programs and the overall student experience, according to media arts professor Rick Moore.
The Department of Communication will focus on the understanding behind improving the quality of communication used in relationships, organizations and within society. The Media Department will focus on the pre-professional with an emphasis on integrated media as well as strategic communications.
“The Faculty of the Department of Media took this opportunity to seriously think about what our students might need, and we have revamped a number of our core courses. For example, there are courses in social media, media audiences and analysis, and media content and programming. There is something exciting about change, even when it’s not exactly the change we expected or wanted, ”said Moore.
For the 2021-2022 academic year, these two programs will be managed by new departments. Students who have worked on a Bachelor of Media Arts will continue to do so through the new Media Department. Students who have worked on a bachelor’s degree in communication will continue to do so through the new communications department.
Freshmen Kaelyn Adams is a communications major and believes the change of department is a positive decision.
“I think media arts and communications should be two different departments, as those are two important factors when applying for a job. I feel like in the real world they’re two different things and can help people narrow down the path they want to take with a more specific major, ”Adams said.
Students in the departments are encouraged to work closely with the consulting firm throughout the transition. Students are also encouraged to pay attention to emails from the Department of Communication and Media as well as Department Advisor Mary Rohlfing.
“I think the change will be beneficial because as a media arts major my interests are specific to media arts. I think the change will give every student exactly what they need academically, ”said Annie St. George, second year media arts student.
To ensure a smooth transition for students, departments have created a system in which certain new courses offered will automatically replace courses that were part of the Department of Communication and Media requirements. Therefore, students who pursue these degrees will meet the requirements of their remaining degree.
The Department of Communication and Media will continue to prepare students through experiential learning while guiding them to launch successful careers in media and communication, according to Moore.