New Major and Certificate in Digital Arts Offered at STU
St. Thomas University is excited to announce the offering of two new programs: the major in Digital Media and Creative Arts, and the Certificate in Digital and Media Literacy.
“The Certificate in Digital and Media Literacy and the interdisciplinary major in Digital Media and Creative Arts are a way to more fully integrate the digital into the liberal arts at St Thomas University,” said Dr. André Loiselle, Dean of Humanities.
Loiselle said as print has been replaced by digital as the prevalent medium of our time, the ability for students to read, analyze, and create with digital media has become essential.
“The skills students hone during their education at St. Thomas should reflect the reality of the world around them. The purpose of the certificate and the interdisciplinary major is precisely to provide students with an opportunity to fully embrace the digital liberal arts,” he said.
Major in Digital Media and Creative Arts
The Digital Media and Creative Arts program explores the relationship between digital media, the arts, and society, and involves the examination of digital media and the creation of digital arts.
This interdisciplinary major draws on courses from the Communications and Public Policy, Journalism, Criminology, English, Sociology, Fine Arts, Human Rights, and Native Studies departments, allowing for a broad range of study and inclusion of a wide variety of courses and perspectives.
As digital platforms have become the main conduit for artistic expression and social communication, amidst an ever-changing media landscape, the demand for graduates with skills in digital content creation, video-production, audio, and written storytelling and media literacy has increased.
“Our new major in Digital Media and Creative Arts will prepare students for careers in content creation, one of the fastest growing professional areas in North America. This new programming will also allow the essential storytelling skills taught in the Journalism and Communications programs to be offered to students in other disciplines who may wish to pursue careers or studies in human rights, political science, law, sociology or other fields,” said Professor Philip Lee, faculty advisor for the new program.
Digital Media and Creative Arts also provides hands-on learning opportunities including internships, access to video, audio and editing equipment, and the Certificate in Digital and Media Literacy.
“This major is more specifically for students who are contemplating a career in the digital creative industries, ranging from mobile journalism, podcasting and video game design to digital music production and multimedia installations and performances,” Loiselle said.
Many former students have gone on to have successful careers in these fields due to the strength of the digital work they accomplished at STU, he added.
“In the past, those students had to bring together clusters of courses based on their interests. This new major will provide such students with a more coherent and structured pathway towards their career goals.”
Certificate in Digital and Media Literacy
The new Certificate in Digital and Media Literacy combines courses in digital and media literacy with workshops and experiential learning to give students the opportunity to gain knowledge and apply conceptual understanding in real-world settings.
This certificate can be completed at the same time as a Bachelor of Arts. To earn the certificate, students must complete the following:
- Five Digital and Media Literacy courses
- Attend two STU-organized workshops
- Complete a community micro-project or internship
Through completing the certificate, students will see their progression in digital literacy recorded in an e-portfolio on Learning in Action, STU’s experiential learning platform.
“In addition to courses, students who want to complete the Certificate will also be given a chance to learn by doing, either through independent digital projects, volunteering on community-based projects with a strong digital component, or internships with tech companies in the region,” Loiselle said.
“This Certificate will enable students to showcase to potential employers the key skills they have acquired to productively participate in culture, society, economy, politics, and the marketplace of ideas.”
Skills students will develop through these offerings include:
- communicate effectively using digital technologies
- read web-based content critically to evaluate the authenticity of information
- understand, critique and use social media effectively
- generate audiovisual material for artistic expression or content diffusion on digital platforms
- design webpages and curate web content
- analyze, interpret, and visualize data with digital tools
- show some familiarity with coding and programming languages
- understanding the basics of Cloud computing
- grasp the meaning of emergent digital economy concepts such as cryptocurrency, blockchain and non-fungible token
- be aware of concerns surrounding cybersecurity