North Island College’s interactive media department is going digital.

The department will now be known as DIGITAL Design + Development. 

The five credentials in interactive media will transition under the new name, with revamped curriculum and content, starting this fall.

The new name was determined in consultation with the DIGITAL Design + Development Advisory Committee, which NIC says “is made up of industry leaders and provides guidance and direction on new curriculum for students.”

“One of the exciting things about our industry is that the technology is always changing,” said Jono Menz of the advisory committee. 

“Emerging with a knowledge of current tools and best practices is critical, and it’s also important to be able to adapt to new ones. By building program curriculum on a foundation of fundamental design principles and problem solving skills, students can be equipped to thrive in a changing environment.”

DIGITAL programs provide a multidisciplinary education in key areas of digital media including web design, computer programming, media creation and product development. How these four disciplines are weighted depends on which program a student takes.

“Students learn the entire digital production process, from developing a project brief all the way through to launch and maintenance of the product,” said Megan Wilson, program coordinator, NIC DIGITAL Design + Development. “Students in our diploma programs graduate as well-rounded designers and full-stack developers with both the creative and technical in-demand skills required to thrive in a career in web and app development.”

Starting this fall, the Advanced DIGITAL Design + Development diploma will have two streams: a design stream focused on creating effective user interfaces, and a development stream focused on computer programming for web and mobile app development. 

According to NIC, the program makes elective choices more accessible, which allows students to augment their primary focus with studies of their choice.

A student can graduate with a focus in design with marketing or media production courses, another can add engineering foundations or fine arts courses to their computer programming studies. This allows students to tailor their studies to suit their employment goals and allows students from other disciplines to join our programs and build on the credits they’ve earned in previous studies.  

“Small classes, a curriculum designed both by industry experts and established educators, the flexibility for students to tailor their courses to their specific goals, and the broad and in-depth spectrum of courses offered, all combine to position the new DIGITAL Design + Development as a leader in technology education,” Wilson said.

Examples of the work produced by students can be viewed online at the 2020 Visionaries grad show

The show, usually held in person, was updated to a fully digital show for this year.

“This year’s grad show demonstrates how our students can produce positive user experiences and create products that solve problems for today’s world.” Wilson said. “The industry is constantly evolving and our graduates must be ready for the contemporary workplace, whether that means working remotely, for a tech start-up or as an independent contractor.”

The new name will be rolled out in the coming months as faculty prepares for the next academic year.

Applications for all five NIC DIGITAL Design + Development programs are open now.

Learn more at www.nic.bc.ca/digital-design-development.