SCDC and SVPA schools launch in Fall 2017
- SCDC to contain Digital Media and Journalism and Strategic and Personal Communication departments, SVPA contains Cinematic Arts, Theater Arts and SADA.
- School switch was made to better attend to students’ needs.
The start of the academic school year at Liberty marked the launch of two new schools of study with the School of Communication & Digital Content and the School of Visual & Performing Arts.
Dean of the School of Communication & Digital Content Bruce Kirk said that the choice to create two separate schools made sense in order to best serve the students.
“Before we were trying to be all things to all people,” Kirk said. “This gives us a clearer identity as two distinct schools, and when you look at the curriculum of the two schools, it makes perfect sense why it works because we are able to teach what is really within those schools by more accurately focusing on the skills and duties of each curriculum.”
Scott Hayes, dean of the School of Visual and Performing Arts, echoed the idea that being two distinct and unique schools benefits the departments in both schools.
“We really were two schools mashed into one, and, now, we are more effectively and correctly listed,” Hayes said. “SVPA is a school dedicated to producing artists that are Christian and SCDC is a school dedicated to producing communication professionals that are Christian. We now have reinforced the character of each school.”
Many of the programs within the two newly established schools were previously included under the School of Communication and Creative Arts or SCCA, including theater, cinema and digital media. Hayes said that the SCCA grew by 85 percent in four years.
Now, the two new schools have uniquely divided some of the programs of the former school and added new ones to the mix.
The School of Communication & Digital Content, or SCDC, contains two departments—digital media and journalism and strategic and personal communication.
The School of Visual & Performing Arts, or SVPA, contains cinematic arts, theater arts and studio and digital arts or SADA.
Kirk said the two schools can now focus on what they do best by providing the best experience for the students. Kirk said that some growth that will be coming to SCDC will be establishing two new graduate-level degrees by spring 2018 and having every degree program in the school online in less than two years.
“We are constantly changing our curriculum to reflect what the market place is reflecting so that when students come out of our programs, they are the best prepared that they can be,” Kirk said.
Hayes said expansions that could be coming to the SVPA could include more professionally minded degrees in theater arts and exploring the possibility of graduate level courses for cinematic arts.
Both schools are in a time of expansion geographically, as the SVPA just opened the Black Box Theater in October, and the SCDC continues construction on a new television studio located in Green Hall set to open next fall.
Kirk said he is confident in the decision that was made and the execution that followed.
“I don’t think there is a down side to any of this,” Kirk said. “I think both schools are so laser-focused now, and we are able to work with our students more closely than before.”
Hayes said that the mere fact that the process of dividing into two schools began in February and was mostly finished by July is a testimony to the university.
“This is a three-year process that we did in six months,” Hayes said. “Liberty is a university that is so forward thinking and so nimble. God has blessed our schools, and we want to be good stewards of that blessing by training students in the best way that we can.”