St. Charles, Mo.—Lindenwood University has received permission from the Higher Learning Commission to launch a slate of new degree programs, mostly in the School of Arts, Media, and Communications, including in the burgeoning fields of digital content strategy and game design. The new programs are available online or in a hybrid online-classroom format. Coursework is available now.
Lindenwood will offer a Bachelor of Science, minor, certificate, and Master of Science in digital content strategy, a field Communications Professor Andrew Smith says is poised for enormous growth.
“Digital content strategist is a job that did not exist 10 years ago,” Smith said. “More and more companies are now figuring out they need people who understand digital media to go with their more traditional marketing and public relations personnel.”
Smith said the field goes beyond social media and encompasses the entire realm of digital media, including how to manage and monetize it. Whether or not a student is interested in pursuing a career in the field itself, he said students would be well served to add the minor to their majors of interest, as the knowledge would be useful in virtually any field.
The new Bachelor of Arts in game design is designed to prepare students for work in a game studio environment. Professor Jeremiah Ratican said the program will focus on game art, game design, and quality assurance. Students will have the opportunity to work with the latest equipment, including virtual reality devices, in classroom spaces specifically configured for game design.
“We will cover game testing, rapid and paper prototyping, level design, and character design, and we will use various game engines,” Ratican said.
“Students will work in teams creating full playable games. Also we are bringing in game developers working in the field to assist and mentor the students.”
Ratican said with job opportunities on the rise with game companies and in the independent game design scene, it is an exciting time for the field.
Also, Lindenwood is adding master’s degrees in fashion business and entrepreneurship and journalism, for which bachelor’s degrees were already offered. Recently, the university added a B.A. in digital art, a Master of Music Education, and master’s degrees in advertising, art history, communications (with emphasis in broadcast or mass communication), interactive media and web design and journalism to go with existing bachelor’s degree programs in those areas. Finally, a bachelor’s in therapeutic recreation has been added in the School of Health Sciences.
“The School of Arts, Media, and Communications is excited to offer new degree programs that support the talents, interests, and future of our students,” said Dr. Joe Alsobrook, dean of the School of Arts Media, and Communications. “These programs not only lead to exciting and growing career paths, but also provide students with convenient and flexible completion paths. Students can switch between online, hybrid, and on-campus courses, which helps to accommodate diverse home, work, and school schedules. Just another reason why Lindenwood is like no other.”