The MA in Civic Media provides students with an applied perspective on the local information ecosystem and the intersections between media systems, communities, and civic and industrial agencies. Students in the program work hand-in-hand with diverse communities to collaboratively create, design, deploy, and assess civic media tools and practices that support and foster information literacy, democratic engagement, social justice, and the building of smart, responsive cities. This degree program offers students a critical lens on how digital technologies are transforming society and culture, producing new forms of interaction, and modeling new information ecosystems. The one-year professional track degree program, with a focus on participatory media practices, emphasizes multiple, converged competencies: strategic communication, design thinking, collaboration, media and information analysis and practice, and user experience design. During the three semesters, students work with community partners to develop scalable and sustainable media strategies that can foster systemic social change. Graduates are equipped to apply their knowledge of civic media ecosystems to the design of programs and projects that build civic capacity, strengthen democratic participation, and foster diversity, equity and inclusion.
As a result of successfully completing program requirements, students should be able to:
- effectively collect, organize and interpret open data collected from a variety of public, government, and other sources;
- interpret and translate information and data into stories and experiences that engage audiences, enhance local awareness, and build civic capacity using a variety of new media technologies, strategies, and forms;
- apply theoretical and conceptual knowledge of civic media ecosystems to the design of ventures and projects that build community capacity, strengthen democratic participation and foster diversity, inclusion, equity and access, particularly in urban and diverse communities;
- effectively lead and/or participate in teams, networks and communities of practice that apply the strategic use of digital technologies to transform society and culture, produce new forms of participation and engage in effective problem solving of complex social and communication issues; and
- apply understanding of systemic processes of oppression to the building of bridges between diverse groups and institutions using community-centered technologies and culturally responsive practices.