New Media Communications, Digital Communication Arts programs changing

Changes in the new media communications (NMC) department are occurring and will affect the rate in which students with a digital communication arts major (DCA), will graduate.

Some changes to the DCA major and NMC department include rearranging classes and adding new faculty, according to Katrina Machorro, the advisor in the NMC department.

For instance the digital communication arts major will offer NMC 100 as one of the basic classes that will be offered in the new structure.

“Advising would be really important this spring term in order to determine which would be the right path. Once the changes have been made they have a choice to update to the new structure. There will be a form the student has to fill out, similar to that of switching majors,” Machorro said.

By what the NMC faculty suggest is that this new system will made things easier for students to pursue their academic career but senior digital communication arts major, William Allison, thinks otherwise.

“If I could just put one word to the whole situation, it would be frustrating,” Allison said. “The problem that I’ve ran into is, are these classes going to be offered and getting into these classes is a huge frustration and for those of us in that specialty we have to get into that and it’s been really frustrating,”

There was talk amongst the faculty about these changes in fall 2015 in response to student feedback about how the current structure is and it may not be active until fall 2016, Machorro said.

This is supposed to make the major more navigational which allows for more choice of electives to specialize in, according to Machorro.

“The current structure is really confusing for students, a lot of required classes made it harder for students to graduate,” Machorro said.

One of the main pushes for this change is that an instructor, Ron Seymour retired from teaching in the NMC department, which made it difficult to offer classes that he taught for media students.

The DCA major came from a time period in which NMC was not a department, and until about five years ago was a part of the liberal studies department, according to NMC professor Daniel Faltesek.

Between 2011 and 2012 the School of Art became autonomous during a period of university reform.

According to Faltesek, the underlying structure of the major was actually a holdover from a different time period that emphasized hardwired classes in an advance area for students to take.

The point of the change is to be more like a normal academic program, according to Faltesek.

“It is a different program with a different administrative layout and a different time period so it was time for us to move in a different direction that could be done for the students that haven’t been done before,” Faltesek said.

This was modeled after other educational institutions and when Joshua Reeves came he brought new ideas and a fresh perspective on how a curriculum can be formatted, according to Faltesek.

The major has a basic courses, intermediate courses and advanced courses and one takes those basic courses to gain access to the advance courses and there aren’t that many advanced courses. For the most part they’re just summation courses that tie things together and synchronize things that were already learned.

“It will allow us to offer more classes in more areas because we are able to get the students in a more predictable and controlled way to be fluent through the major. It’s not the destination it’s the journey.” said Faltesek. “Structure is the student’s friend, not their enemy.”

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