February 8, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 41°F


Park new media major awaits New York state approval

The interdisciplinary major emerging media, a venture between the television-radio and computer science departments and the first of its kind at the college, is set to integrate itself into the 2011-12 catalog pending state approval.

The bachelor of science major would focus on development and design on several platforms, including mobile applications and educational gaming. The degree would incorporate classes from television-radio, computer science, business, strategic communication and cinema.

Emerging media, was developed between the Roy H. Park School of Communications and the School of Humanities and Sciences in Fall 2009 after the announcement of IC20/20, a program encouraging integration of the different departments on campus.

Diane Gayeski, dean of the Park School, said the concept of a degree in growing media platforms was developed through two curriculum committees representing different departments within the two schools — from cinema and photography to computer science.

“We thought it was an opportune time to continue to collaborate with computer science and to find perhaps a different model than any other degree that now exists on campus,” she said.

Gayeski said because the major would incorporate many courses that already exist at the college, emerging media would already have a structure in place. Gayeski said the major would distinguish itself from digital media or gaming majors at other colleges and universities by focusing on where media platforms are heading in the future.

‘They’re teaching students to design what’s out there right now,” she said. “We’re giving people the general concepts to certainly participate in new media right now but to envision what might be in the future.”

Gayeski said while the college has approved the program, it must also be approved by New York state after the college submits the necessary paperwork this summer. Gayeski said the major will appear in the new course catalog along with the caption “pending state approval.”

Nancy Cornwell, chair of the television-radio department, said there would be three concentrations within the program that would focus on different aspects of media creation.

The School of Humanities and Sciences would house computational media, which will focus on computer coding. In the school of communications, students would take on either new media production, which would allow students to learn about the creative aspects such as design and branding, or media entrepreneurship, which will deal with the business side of media development such as marketing and licensing.

Cornwell said in order to make sure the major keeps up with the pace of changing technology, the program will be reviewed every two years rather than the traditional three to five years. Cornwell said what is important about the major is that it is not tied to a specific area but to developing media platforms.

John Barr, chair of the computer science department, said the challenge the new major faces is the need to constantly adapt to a rapidly changing media landscape.

“You can’t teach things the traditional ways,” Barr said. “What you can do is give students the tools so they can create the next media. We could teach you how to make the next Facebook or Youtube. But in four years, maybe everything is mobile. And four years after that, maybe everything is nano.”