NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University’s College of Arts and Sciences has realigned some of its academic programs to create better opportunities for students and better use existing resources.
The Department of Language and Communication has been divided into the departments of New Media, Journalism and Communication Arts and English, Foreign Languages and Cultural Studies. The Departments of New Media, Journalism and Communication Arts will be under the School of Creative and Performing Arts.
“Adding the Department of New Media, Journalism and Communication Arts to the School of Creative and Performing Arts will enhance our existing programs and add more options to our degree programs allowing us to fill the needs of business and industry,” said Vice Provost and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Dr. Steve Horton.
The new department will provide a number of opportunities for faculty in the School of Creative and Performing Arts to work across disciplines for the benefit of students.
“This will make it easier for people within the School to collaborate and create the concept of a creative team,” said Dr. Greg Handel, director of the School of Creative and Performing Arts. “When you look at where the field is going, there is a need for people with cross disciplinary skills that may encompass graphic design and communication. As an example, a singer may need someone who has public relations skill and has writing and graphic design skill.”
According to Horton, students in the Department of New Media, Journalism and Communication Arts will have opportunities that were not previously available.
“Students will be able to develop a degree plan that aligns with their interest,” he said. “Instead of a cookie-cutter approach, each student can have an individualized program that offers a unique experience and adds to their marketability.”
Horton said communication faculty are in the process of enhancing the current bachelor’s degree program in communication to offer additional tracks in electronic media, and print and social media.
The Department of English, Foreign Languages and Cultural Studies is being enhanced with four new faculty positions this fall. The new organizational structure should help the department.
“We have strong undergraduate and graduate programs in English and this will allow us to better grow these programs,” said Horton. “We want to enhance our offerings in technical writing and literature and develop the folklore program.”
The Department of Biology, Microbiology and Veterinary Technology is streamlining its concentrations to align with the needs of industry.
“By reducing the number of concentrations, our graduates should be more marketable,” said Horton. “We want to be sure we are preparing graduates for all types of professional careers or professional school.”
The associate degree program in veterinary technology is adding a faculty member this fall to meet student demand.
According to Horton, the Department of Physical Sciences is assessing market needs in consideration of a bachelor’s program in forensic chemistry and a graduate degree program in professional sciences.