Dean Hastings Introduces Two New Majors for the School of Social Sciences and Humanities 

Dr. Brad Hastings is the Dean of Mount Ida College’s School for Social Sciences and Humanities, joining the Mount Ida College community in the summer of 2013 from Mount Aloysius College in Pennsylvania where he served as Chair of the Social Science Department and Professor of Psychology. We had the opportunity to sit down with Dean Hastings and learn more about his perspective as he maps out the future for the School of Social Sciences and Humanities and introduces two, new exciting undergraduate degrees: Media Communication and Political Science and History. 

Q. Dean Hastings, you have been very busy since you came to Mount Ida in July of 2013. Fill us in on all of your new, exciting initiatives here at the college.

A: I am so excited to be able to introduce two, unique new majors. Our two new majors—Media Communication and Political Science and History— will prepare our students for positions that our marketplace is actively seeking.

These majors will give our students a first mover advantage into rapidly expanding and technological challenging markets. The first new major is a Bachelor’s of Art Degree in Media Communication. Our Media Communication program will fully prepare our students for thriving careers by providing them the complete range of skill sets and experiential learning opportunities needed to engage today’s digital communications marketplace. Our Media Communication Degree program will follow Mount Ida’s strong career-focused mission designed to provide the value that employers are demanding in today’s workplace. I am also very pleased to have initiated our new Political Science and History bachelor’s degree program.  The Political Science and History major builds upon our strong foundation in the arts, social sciences and humanities and combines traditional academic coursework and critical thinking with real-world experience.

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Q: The Media Communication degree program sounds like a state-of-art and in-demand major for today’s digital world. What do you see as the key strengths of this program?

A: Digital media platforms are emerging in virtually every industry. These digital media platforms require advance level abilities and skills to succeed.  Our new Media Communication program is a degree that is going to provide value in many different directions for our graduates because our skill based learning opportunities will allow them to work in almost any industry. Our Media Communication degree program utilizes an interdisciplinary approach, combining communication, digital design and business skills. We develop and reinforce many highly sought after workplace skills including writing, web design, public speaking and critical thinking, which allow our graduates tremendous flexibility in their career paths. I foresee our graduates rapidly progressing in their careers in a variety of creative industries including broadcasting, video production and editing, advertising, web design, and public relations.

Q: Our Political Science and History degree program is a unique combination. Tell me about it.

A: You are absolutely right. Political science and history is a dynamic combination and we are proud and excited to be offering this program at Mount Ida. Our political leaders today are challenged like never before. Today’s leaders need to possess expansive skill sets anchored in public administration, law, business as well as the social sciences. Our leaders further need to be well-versed in the lessons of history. By combining traditional academics and critical thinking with hands-on training, our political science and history major will build upon a strong academic base to explore career-focused concentrations in public administration, pre-law, or a customized program design tailored to fit our student’s specific career goals in political science or history. Our Political Science and History degree program is experiential learning based, such that when our students earn their degree, they are well-versed  in all aspects of their careers.

Q: Students and employers alike demand value in program offerings today. What career paths do you see our graduates pursing and why should employers be excited about Mount Ida’s new degree offerings in Media Communication and Political Science and History?

A: Let me first speak to our media communication degree program. Our media communication program is interdisciplinary. We have structured this program to provide students with broad based skill sets that will allow them to seamlessly integrate into today’s digital marketplace. Our students will be able to immediately provide value to their employers by applying their knowledge and internship experiences to business issues in the real-world.  There are so many possible careers paths that flow from our media communication program including careers in web design, mass media, social media, advertising, public relations, and video production design just to name a few. With the rapid waves of information and new entrepreneurial opportunities in the marketplace crashing into the digital communications space, these are careers that will be in high demand well into the future.

Our Political Science and History Bachelor’s degree program is a tremendous value proposition for employers in the public and private marketplaces. Our degree program is specifically designed to meet many challenges of 21st century politics and society. Our program offers a mix of academic course work that will sharpen analytical and writing skills, coupled with internships and research experiences, allowing our graduates to move confidentially as leaders into their professional life. Our students will be fully prepared for professional career growth through promoting their understanding of the diversity of the human experience in its historical and global contexts. The Political Science and History degree program will give our graduates opportunities for many different career paths in both the public and private sectors including government, politics, public administration, education and law.

 

 

 

Mount Ida College has finalized plans to offer five new, career-focused undergraduate bachelor’s degree programs to add to our growing curricula. Beginning this fall, students will see a Bachelor of Arts in Media Communication and Political Science and History and a Bachelor of Science in Digital Visualization, Animation, Commercial Photography. All five new, interdisciplinary undergraduate degree programs are intended to give our students a competitive edge for career success in these rapidly growing job markets.

“We are expanding majors to meet the interests of students and to offer majors that are career-focused and meet market-driven needs,” says Ronald Akie, Vice President for Academic Affairs. “Our new degree programs will give our graduates the opportunity to develop their creative potential and learn the skills, knowledge and adaptability to move with confidence into their desired field.”

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School of Design

Beginning this fall, Mount Ida’s School of Design will introduce three of our five new majors – Animation, Commercial Photography and Digital Visualization. Each major will offer students an interdisciplinary learning experience in both their academic coursework and experiential learning opportunities. You will gain knowledge, valuable skill-sets and tools that are increasingly in demand in a variety of creative industries including entertainment, mass media, medical, business and technology realms.

“The field of design involves the creative convergence of technology, science, art and business to present information in innovative and visually compelling ways,” says Jason Donati, Dean of the School of Design. “Our new interdisciplinary degrees premiering this fall in Digital Visualization, Commercial Photography and Animation, all really reflect what is happening in the marketplace.”

B.S Digital Visualization

Our students earning a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Digital Visualization will be focused on the power of communication through animation and visual media. Designed to prepare you for job placement in the expansive visualization industry, our major will train artists for the in-demand positions of technical designers and animators, with a special focus on the medical, legal and architectural industries of visualization.

B.S Animation

The field of animation continues to grow in the areas of film, television, advertising, motion media and the web.  Our Animation degree program will specialize in animation and motion graphic techniques in this highly evolving field. Hands-on training and cutting-edge software, coupled with classroom instruction from industry leading professionals, will act as the foundation of learning experience. You will develop valuable career-relevant skills in digital compositing, video editing and sound design to complement your core focus in either 2D or 3D animation.

B.S Commercial Photography

Our degree program in the field of commercial photography will prepare you for entry into the competitive field of commercial photography through traditional art concepts and photography techniques, coupled with a strong business foundation. Through internships and capstone projects, you will gain critical technical and aesthetic skills, such as lighting, exposure and image manipulation, as well as experience using fundamental tools for the creation of high quality, commercial photography.

School of Social Sciences and Humanities

Mount Ida’s School of Social Sciences and Humanities is premiering two new majors this fall: Media Communication and Political Science and History.  Our new degree programs in Media Communication and Political Science and History will give our students a first mover advantage into rapidly expanding and technological challenging 21st century markets.

“Our new degree program offerings in Media Communication and Political Science and History build upon Mount Ida’s strong foundation in the arts, social sciences and humanities and combines traditional academic coursework and critical thinking with real-world experience,” says Dr. Brad Hastings, Dean of the School of Social Sciences and Humanities. “Our programs will prepare students for positions that our marketplace is actively seeking.”

B.A Media Communication

Our Bachelors of Art Degree in Media Communication will fully prepare our students for thriving communication careers by providing them the complete range of skill sets and experiential learning opportunities needed to engage today’s digital communications marketplace. Our Media Communication program will teach students the art of communicating through social and emerging digital media platforms as well as execute digital design using cutting-edge software packages and techniques. This interdisciplinary major combines art, design and technology foundation, and traditional communication courses with optional concentrations in business administration or sport management.

B.A Political Science and History

Our Political Science and History degree program is unique and dynamic, offering you the opportunity to learn expansive skill sets anchored in public administration, law, business and the social sciences coupled with academic coursework in the lessons of history, to meet the many challenges of 21st century politics and society. This degree program enables you to apply analytical skills and political science and history disciplines directly to a tailored internship, capstone projects and other real-world experiences. By combining traditional academics and critical thinking with hands-on training, our political science and history majors will build upon a strong academic base to explore career-focused concentrations in public administration, pre-law, or a customized program design tailored to fit your interests.

To learn more about each of our new degree programs, including curriculum requirements and experimental learning opportunities, please visit:

For questions and information on program entry and admissions, please contact our Admission’s team here.

Dean Donati Talks About Three New Majors in The School of Design

Jason Donati was appointed Dean of Mount Ida College’s School of Design in 2013. He came to us having served in a number of senior roles at the New England Institute of Art. In the short time he’s been at Mount Ida, he and our School of Design faculty have been busy developing three new, career-focused undergraduate degree programs: Animation, Commercial Photography and Digital Visualization. We sat down with Dean Donati to get the details.

Q. Before we begin, can you tell us what excites you most about Mount Ida and your role as dean?

A: There are so many things about Mount Ida that excite me. To start, I love the career-focused mission. Everything we do here, from academic programs and internship opportunities to campus activities, all are designed to prepare our students to launch creative careers after graduation. Being new to the College, I appreciate that challenge and am thrilled to share it with our design faculty who all are industry-tested, passionate and dedicated. Together, we see to it that our programs both existing and new, are in lock-step with industry needs and emerging design and technology trends. Our three new majors —Animation, Commercial Photography and Digital Visualization—really reflect what is happening in the marketplace right now and for the future.

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Q. Introducing three new undergraduate majors in less than a year is an impressive pace. Can you tell us what the Digital Visualization program is all about?

A: In our digital age, companies large and small, local and global, are seeking out new design solutions to communicate their ideas across many different platforms. Our new Bachelor of Science degree in digital visualization is focused on the power of communication through animation and visual media and has three concentrations: architectural, medical and legal. The program is designed to prepare our students for job placement in the growing visualization industry; including in-demand positions such a technical designer and animator. The program’s strong and unique curriculum combined with experiential learning opportunities, will equip our students with the tools and skills desired in this emerging industry. This is an innovative new choice for our incoming design students.

Q. Tell us why Mount Ida is offering commercial photography in an age where everyone has a camera on their smart phone?

A:You’re right. Digital cameras and smart phones are as ubiquitous as tweeting and posting photos on Instagram. In the span of five years or so, the world around us is digital-image driven, increasing the need for commercial photographers. Online, mobile, social media, e-books—whatever the platform, companies and non-profits need high quality images that are authentic, professional and that meet their audience where they are. Our bachelor of science degree program in commercial photography will prepare students for  the competitive field of commercial photography through traditional art concepts and photography techniques, coupled with a strong business foundation and understanding of digital platforms. Through internships experiences and capstone projects, students choosing this new major will gain critical technical and aesthetic skills, such as lighting, exposure and image manipulation, as well as experience using fundamental tools for the creation of high quality, commercial photography.

Q. The undergraduate Animation program is another new major. What should prospective design students know about this new program offering?

The field of animation continues to grow in the areas of film, television, advertising, motion graphics and the web. The Animation program will prepare students for all of these fields and will instruct them to think of animation in terms of performance – a vital component for career success in this evolving industry. Our undergraduate animation program specializes in animation and motion graphics techniques. We also will offer students hands-on training on cutting-edge software, coupled with hands-on classroom instruction from our industry leading professionals. Students will develop valuable career-relevant skills in short, narrative driven animated works, digital compositing, video editing and sound design to complement their core focus in either 2D or 3D animation.

With the introduction of our new Animation program, we are changing the name of our current program, Game Art and Animation; simply to Game Art as we believe this name change more accurately describes this current program’s primary industry focus, which is the video game and gaming entertainment industry.

Q:  Last question for you, what makes Mount Ida College an attractive place for designers?

A: One of Mount Ida’s most wonderful resources for designers is our tight-knit and diverse community. Energized, talented and hard-working students; creative faculty who embody the true teacher-scholar model; our campus leaders who are engaging our community; and our alumni who stay connected and are active in helping our current students move ahead in their careers.

Our beautiful, New England campus is just minutes from Boston, which is host to some of the most innovative and influential design companies in the world. As a global center for technological, biotech, social science and mass media, studying design in the Boston-area will allows our students a unique advantage by providing tremendous opportunities for gaining practical experience in the workplace through internships while earning credits and thriving through our on-campus learning experiences.