‘Innovation and creativity’: CCI works to create well-rounded curriculum

Danielle Stehle, Reporter

Around the 2017-2018 academic year, the College of Communication and Information decided a part of their college needed to be amended. The School of Digital Sciences was created in 2011 by computer science specialist Bob Walker.

During the time, previous provost and current university President Todd Diacon saw that this area of expertise did not have an academic home and became confusing for future students. After much research, the faculty made the decision by changing the name from Digital Science to Emerging Media and Technology and made it an official area in CCI.

Because of this change, the CCI continues to innovate their programs for the betterment of their students. The college emphasizes the importance of combining a mix of technology, design, media, communication and information-related majors and programs.

Understanding this importance, CCI Dean Amy Reynolds said students can take advantage of many courses within the college.

Amy Reynolds, dean of the College of Communication and Information. (Courtesy of Kent State University)

“When you look at how students engage across programs, there’s an incredible benefit when you’re in one academic home,” Reynolds said.

With many programs being offered in the college, it provides flexibility for students who want to explore other areas of study they may be interested in. Because of this flexibility, CCI became interdisciplinary, collaborative and easier for students to navigate through the college.

After doing research for the academic curriculum, EMAT director Michael Beam said he noticed how important being an interdisciplinary school aids students in adapting to the changes in media.

“As the media industry converges with technology and design, it is paramount that our students have that understanding across skill sets,” Beam said.

These skill sets not only include software development and technological understanding, but it includes skills such as communication and project management. Beam said by adding EMAT to CCI, “it added a piece to [CCI] that we just didn’t have.”

Reynolds said CCI continues to create opportunities for students that involve these parts to “help students into pathways for jobs, [try] purposeful internship programs and experience global space opportunities.”

Students receive all these integrated parts to help them be more well-rounded students. By having this experience, CCI director of academic advising Ellie Hansen said this creates depth for students.

“We integrate all these different pieces in our college and we make it as easy as possible,” Hansen said.

To continue easing the students and faculty, Reynolds said she encourages students to not get overwhelmed dealing with their own majors and minors as CCI continues to support their students.

“Don’t put so much pressure on yourself in having the perfect path,” Reynolds said. “Sometimes a single class can make a tremendous difference.”

Danielle Stehle is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].