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.
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.