Brad LukanicToday’s college and universities are evolving – from physical spaces to defining traditional buildings and their campus roles. Brad Lukanic offers his thoughts on the transformation of mass media and communications programs in College Planning & Management’s January 2016 issue.

Topic: Transformation of mass media and communication programs
Trend: Toward flexible, customizable academic facilities

MontclairHigher education’s learning landscape is evolving at a rapid pace with the global recession’s lingering effects, new learning and curriculum delivery perspectives, and the global interconnectivity and synergistic partnership between industry and education. While many academic programs are advancing and responding in various ways, mass media and communication, in particular, are experiencing an accelerated transformation. Fueling this educational growth is the convergence of enhanced information access, new technology mobility with on-the-go/real-time capture and record, coupled with expanded abilities to develop meaningful information and content, faster and easier.

The need for flexible, customizable facilities – combining and synthesizing cross-platform media and curriculum – tailored to growing and diverse audiences is key. Existing programs are challenged by merging new technologies, while innovative spaces encompass all media platforms so learning is visible, realistic and inviting to students and faculty.

One example is Montclair State University’s School of Communication and Media in New Jersey. All-in-one fusion spaces are designed to strengthen industry partnerships, blend traditional and digital learning, and physically link and engage learning spaces. Multimedia laboratories, a “newsroom of the future,” integrated media labs, screening rooms, sound stage and post-production editing suites facilitate ambitious efforts with top media brands throughout the region with an on-campus news bureau.

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