Valley News Recent Headlines
When One Department Just Isn’t Enough: Digital Communications as an Interdisciplinary Major
01.25.13 |
To help students prepare for careers in a world that increasingly demands facility in multiple fields, the College has developed nine majors and one minor that cross traditional departmental boundaries. These interdisciplinary majors, in areas ranging from actuarial science to music recording technology and digital communications to mathematical sciences, are among the College’s fastest growing.

The broad focus of the digital communications major is to teach students to create visionary media solutions for business and communications clients, including designing and developing web pages, coordinating multimedia advertising campaigns, creating coherent product brand identities, and planning and executing marketing plans. Students can choose to concentrate in one of four areas within the major: design, business, communications, or computer science.

Dr. Jeff Ritchie, chair and associate professor of digital communications, acknowledges that designing the curriculum for an interdisciplinary major can be a challenge. “It runs the risk of being scattered,” he warned. “But these wildly disparate fields, if you look at them together, reveal remarkably interesting ideas, and that’s one of the real advantages I see in this curriculum. We want to create accomplished interdisciplinary thinkers who can see how these fields work together.”

Ritchie explained that the department built its curriculum around three ideas that run through all aspects of digital communications: innovation, problem-solving, and human-centered design. “For us, it’s a methodology of creating teams that find out what real people want and how real people interact with systems; then attempting to design products and systems that meet those needs and interactions.

“Ultimately, the interdisciplinary nature of the digital communications field itself drives the curriculum,” Ritchie said. “If you were to set about creating an advertising campaign, you would have to understand the business elements, be able to write clear copy, create convincing videos, and use technology to program a website that would support competent and enabling interactions,” he noted. “The intersection of disciplines is where you find creativity.”

Ritchie sees the plan working. “It seems that the industry really values this interdisciplinary approach,” he said. “Our students have been remarkably successful at securing jobs pretty quickly in our field.”



04.27.15
Lebanon Valley College Designated Conference Champion in EPA’s College & University Green Power Challenge
View Full Story

04.24.15
Kali Rodgers ’17 - VALE’s New Recording Artist
View Full Story

04.24.15
Lebanon Valley College Chamber Choir to Host Reunion Concert
View Full Story

04.24.15
“Dogma Debate” Set For May 3 at Lebanon Valley College
View Full Story

04.23.15
Josue Meson Returns to Native Argentina for Healthcare Research Project
View Full Story

04.23.15
Students Participate in Symposium on a Living Philosopher
View Full Story

04.22.15
Lebanon Valley College Students Host Art Exhibitions
View Full Story

04.22.15
Lebanon Valley College to Host 146th Baccalaureate and Commencement May 8 and 9
View Full Story

04.22.15
Students Create DEAD ZONE Sculpture in Honor of Earth Day
View Full Story

04.22.15
Inquiry 2015 Student Reflection: Kalo Creative
View Full Story

04.21.15
Lebanon Valley College Symphony Orchestra to Perform Reunion Concert
View Full Story

04.21.15
Welcome to the 2015 Dutchmen Day Hunger Games!
View Full Story

04.20.15
Inquiry 2015 Student Reflection: Discovering the History of LVC Athletics
View Full Story

04.20.15
Lebanon Valley College Presents William Lehr with Prestigious Founders Medal
View Full Story

04.20.15
Lebanon Valley College’s Handbell Choir to Perform Free Concert
View Full Story

04.16.15
Wind Ensemble Presents “International Road Trip”
View Full Story