Catalog • 2012-2013

New Media - Major

For information, contact Dr. James Brancato.

Program Description

New Media is the convergence of all forms of media---audio, video, and text---as it is delivered digitally through web and mobile technologies. The New Media Major at Cedar Crest College offers an interdisciplinary study that combines both the practical skills it takes to create new media with the historical and theoretical understanding needed to be a successful communicator in the 21st century.

The New Media major comprises the study of the convergence of digital media technologies and the trajectory of their impact on the future of the arts, society and culture. Students will examine new media technologies from an interdisciplinary perspective, with the goal of understanding them from the point of view of design and application, content production, sociological impact and influence, cultural critique, and artistic expression. At Cedar Crest College, a New Media program housed in the Communication Department signifies a commitment to 1) interdisciplinary study, and 2) teaching students not only the skills but the theoretical understanding of how converging digital technologies are used and will be used to influence society and culture. It is this approach to critical thinking and the liberal arts that distinguishes the New Media major at Cedar Crest College.

A major in New Media enables a graduating student to find entry-level positions in any field where the activity, implementation, processing or study of communication in new media environments is a primary focus. Students majoring in Cedar Crest College’s New Media program pursue careers in many fields, including journalism, public relations, development, marketing, personnel, advertising, video production and post-production, film and broadcasting. Many students also go on to graduate study in a variety of disciplines. The program opens up opportunities in research, teaching, corporate communication, government, public information, international relations, human services and media and book publishing.

Additionally, the New Media major is part of the Communication Department, which plays a crucial role in student life and campus culture through the sponsorship of the student newspaper, “The Crestiad,” the campus radio station (CCC Radio) and the Convergence Lab. It plays a central role on campus in the study of the liberal arts and social sciences and contributes to the arts and performing arts through the development of aesthetic appreciation and practical skills using media technologies. The Communication Department also emphasizes the need to create a portfolio that represents a student’s best work during their time at Cedar Crest, and can be used to her advantage when applying for communication jobs upon graduation.

All majors in the Communication Department, both in the design of the program and the design of the individual courses, reflect an interdisciplinary perspective, grounded in the liberal arts curriculum. At the end of her course of study, students are expected to be able to talk and write about communication, its forms, media, content and activities. She is also expected to develop the capacity for critical thinking and insight needed both for professional excellence and as an educated citizen in a world dominated by media information and persuasion.

Total number of credits: 43

Program Requirements

A grade of C better is needed for courses that fulfill major and minor requirements. Courses transferred from other colleges may count towards the major only with the approval of the department.

Capstone Requirement

The New Media major provides students with the opportunity to choose between writing a senior research thesis and conducting a senior professional project in order to fulfill their capstone requirement. This latter option may be done in conjunction with an internship.

Students conducting a senior project are required to submit for pre-approval a proposal outlining their project, the project’s connection to a field of literature in communication, a schedule for the submission of progress reports, their internship responsibilities (if applicable), and a final analysis of their project. Students may work with an outside co-advisor in a related field for their senior capstone requirement. For instance, a student in public relations may want to work with a co-advisor in marketing, etc.


Students are not required to complete an internship for the major. However, it is highly recommended that students who do not plan on immediately continuing on to graduate school complete at least one, if not more, internships. Internships may fulfill up to 6 credits towards completion of the major (the completion of two internships of three credits each is specifically recommended).

“The Crestiad” and Cedar Crest Campus Radio Club

Students have opportunities through these campus organizations to report, write, edit, announce and develop advertising and promotion campaigns, oversee finances, etc.; these skills are crucial to many careers in New Media and the field of communication in general. Credit earned for participation in “The Crestiad” can only be applied to the New Media major typically if a student works for the online edition and has approval from her advisor. However, the department encourages students at all levels, including freshmen, to participate in these organizations.

Course Requirements for the New Media Major

A major in New Media requires 43 credits of coursework. All students are required to complete courses in three categories: Communication Core Curriculum (12 credits), Primary Requirements (12 credits), and Electives (19 credits). Below is also a list of recommended courses for New Media majors.

Communication Core Curriculum (12 credits)

The Communication Core is required of all majors in the Communication Department. The goal of the core curriculum is to introduce all students to the history, research and theory in Communication and to provide students with a general understanding of how research in Communication is conducted.

COM100 Introduction to Communication 3 credits
COM 112 Media Industries 3 credits
COM 200 Communication Theory and Research 3 credits
COM 353 Senior Capstone: New Media 3 credits

New Media Major Primary Requirements: Concepts (12 credits)

COM 120 Introduction to New Media 4 credits
COM 246 Women in Digital Culture 4 credits
COM 285 International Virtual Spaces 4 credits
COM 300 Readings in Communication and Culture 4 credits

New Media Major Electives: Skills
(19 credits minimum required; a minimum of 15 must be COM) (Choose from List)

COM 220 Computer 3-D modeling and animation 4 credits
COM 222 Audio and Sound Design 4 credits
COM 224 Video I 4 credits
COM 225 Digital Photography 3 credits
COM 226 Time-based and Streaming Media for the Web 4 credits
COM 252 Online Journalism 3 credits
COM 255 Media Law and Ethics 3 credits
COM 280 Social Media 3 credits
COM 282 Advertising Design 4 credits
COM 300 Readings in Communication and Culture
COM 320 Motion Graphics and Effects 4 credits
COM 324 Video II 4 credits
COM 325 Advanced Digital Photography 4 credits
ART 110 Principles of Visual Organization 3 credits
ART 134 Photoshop Computer Software Workshop (1 credit)
ART 132, 232 InDesign Computer Software Workshop (1 credit each)
ART 238 Elements of Design 3 credits
ENG 235 Topics in Non-Fiction Writing 3 credits

Recommended Courses

The Communication Department recommends the following courses to all students interested in New Media:
ART 105/106 Art History 3-6 credits
ART 101 Beginning Drawing 3 credits
ART 113 and 213 Drawing, Illustration, and Graphics I & II 3-6 credits
CIS 255 Programming the World Wide Web 3 credits
HON 206 Victorian Lit and E-Lit 3 credits

College-wide Requirements

Students fulfill the Oral Presentation requirement with the satisfactory completion (C or better) of COM 100.
Students fulfill the Information Literacy requirement with the satisfactory completion (C or better) of COM 200.
Students fulfill the Technology requirement with the satisfactory completion (C or better) of either COM 352 or 353.