Communication Arts Announces Curriculum Revamp, Departmental Name Change
The Curriculum Committee at St. Francis College (SFC) recently approved major changes to the Communication Arts curriculum — including adding 10 brand-new courses — to help attract more students and better prepare them for careers in a constantly shifting media landscape. Faculty also voted to change the name of the department to Media and Communication.
“We were sensing that students needed more up-to-date training in real-world skills, more experience in making media,” said Dr. Augusta Palmer, chair of the newly renamed Department of Media and Communication.
Several faculty members have joined the department in recent months, including a full-time professor, Kit Fitzgerald, who will be teaching courses in film and television, as well as two Franciscan Fellows: Marc Ernay, who is working closely with SFC Radio in their new state-of-the-art studio, and Mitch Jacobson, who is helping to design a television studio at SFC’s new campus. Ernay and Jacobson are also working to develop new curricular offerings.
The revamped Media and Communication curriculum gives students opportunities to engage in media production much earlier in their course of study. They will now be able to take more hands-on courses in a specific area of media production, such as audio, video, radio or television production.
In addition, the new curriculum offers more academic rigor, which will make them stronger media practitioners and scholars. “In particular, we want to bolster students’ critical-thinking skills and knowledge of the field,” noted Palmer. “For example, students studying filmmaking and video production need to know who the painter Vermeer is and why his lighting has been influential for cinematographers. This is as crucial as knowing how to operate a video camera."