Upperclassmen will not be affected by MMC merge

Tayler Critchlow

When the Multimedia Communications Department and Journalism Department merge in the fall, upperclassmen will not have to add to their class load in order to complete their degrees.

Current juniors and seniors will not need to take any additional classes due to the departments blending and any needed classes will transfer over or equal out if students wanted to change majors, Dr. Pam Bourland-Davis, department head professor for the department of communication arts, said.

Many classes are already cross-listed, such as ethics, history and law. Combining the programs will create a common pre?x and make it easier for students. This change will not affect graduation or create problems receiving diplomas, Bourland-Davis said.

“It offers students a broader contemporary training for the field,” Bourland-Davis said.

Alumni in the field and current practitioners reviewed the curriculum, which is still awaiting approval by the university.

Members of the faculty are good at staying up-to-date either by learning the curriculum of each department’s classes on their own or by teaching it already, but the department will be bringing in others from other universities after spring 2013, Bourland-Davis said.

A major change will be more integration of technology, such as iPads, Twitter and blogging, in the classrooms, Bourland-Davis said.

Integrated technology is already being used by most professors, but now the focus will be on how it ?ts into telling a story, Bourland-Davis said.

There may be some substitutions because the classes will be revamped and more in-depth, Melanie Stone, assistant professor in the department of communication arts, said.

More of the production and film divisions of multimedia communications will be integrated, while the journalism and multimedia communications information classes will be bringing the ideas together, Bourland-Davis said.

For example, feature writing will now incorporate how to tell the same story in video format, Bourland-Davis said.

Stone said, “The new curriculum will be a wonderful opportunity for students.”