The Concept - Film
The mission of Saint Augustine's University is to sustain a learning community in which students can prepare academically, socially and spiritually for leadership in a complex, diverse and rapidly changing world. The overarching goal for Saint Augustine's University Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is to ensure that students have global learning opportunities that will increase their global competency and help them attain four specific student learning outcomes. As a result of our QEP initiative, Saint Augustine's University students will:
- Incorporate a comparative understanding of world cultures into their general knowledge;
- Understand the relationship of power and language, and how language interacts with culture;
- Locate, analyze, and synthesize information to provide a solution for a global issue;
- Demonstrate an understanding of the ideas and values expressed in at least one world culture.
Film as a major degree program of study within its own department provides synergy with the college’s QEP by offering students exposure to concepts, and the exploration of culture, that contribute to the successful development of global leaders.
Students at Saint Augustine's University can use the study of film in similar fashion, and are showing increasing interest in a film major as they are exposed to the collaborative spirit of the craft, and the variety of opportunities to self-express.
Accordingly, the goals of our major will be consistent with the mission of the liberal arts college: to foster strong reading, writing, speaking, and critical thinking skills. We will also seek to equip students with the skill and confidence to read and analyze feature films, documentaries and film texts closely, and interpret their various meanings and messages—social, economic, political, historical, anthropological, philosophical, psychological, and so forth. Expansion of the curriculum to include courses from across the disciplines will help to broaden student understanding of these meanings and messages.
In this manner, the film major will take on a more interdisciplinary feel, through which students will not only receive the depth, structure and coherence of a major field of study, but will also have the opportunity to make connections across disciplines to develop a breadth of knowledge that will stimulate intellectual, creative and artistic discoveries—another goal that our program should embrace.
As a result, because film is an international medium, we will strive to put special emphasis on the cultural importance of film—and the film traditions in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa, as well as the diaspora, in particular. Additionally, we will introduce students to the institutional and business models of film that have arisen out of Hollywood and the studio system through courses dealing in acquisitions, equity, rights clearance, and more. With blockbuster Hollywood films being exported to virtually every corner of the planet, it’s critical that students learn the global realities of filmmaking, and the American institution – Hollywood - that spawned this international power structure.
The Concept – Interactive Media
As our new department grows, it is our hope and plan to add an additional major, one that will compliment a major in film, but that can also establish itself as another major of value in developing competent, global citizens. New technologies have profoundly changed contemporary culture and inevitably altered the role of the arts in society. Programs that invite students to become engaged in interactive media technologies generally encourage students to think strategically across media platforms; plan and create interactive media content consisting of text, images, sounds, video and graphics; and manage information for interactive news, entertainment and persuasive communications. More broadly, interactive media encompasses new media, social media, and digital culture, as well as other concepts that involve interactivity. The major of Interactive Media is one that promises to further distinguish Saint Augustine's University as a premier institution of learning, in particular among its peers within the sphere of historically black colleges and universities.
Due to the nature of the medium, however, it is advisable that we develop the interactive media major over time. Interactive media, because it is computer based, requires the infrastructure, of both hard and software, to support it. The benefits and added value to our students as they prepare to compete in a global workforce are worth our efforts to strategize and plan for how to add the major of Interactive Media to the new department, which we plan to roll out by 2014.