New advantages for digital technology & culture students, faculty

Amid rising global demand for workers skilled in contemporary technologies who are also culturally literate, Washington State University is making changes to enhance the popular Digital Technology and Culture program.

One of WSU’s fastest-growing degree programs with more than 400 students across four campuses—Pullman, Vancouver, Tri-Cities, and Global—DTC was recently elevated to department status, providing several new advantages for its increasing number of students and faculty.

“The change to department status includes an updated statewide curriculum that will help streamline the degree for students,” said Kim Christen, DTC professor and WSU Pullman associate vice chancellor for research advancement and partnerships. Options within the new curriculum emphasize clear career trajectories and skill sets as students move through the degree to graduation, Christen said.

The unified department will provide students more opportunities for internships and professional development through the extended campus networks and shared community and industry partnerships and collaborations. The program’s nearly 20 faculty members also will encounter more opportunities to share and engage with new pedagogical tools and initiatives across campuses and to collaborate on research and production.

The DTC degree encourages creative research, scholarship, and production that invites critical perspectives, integrates diverse knowledge systems, and encompasses progressive and innovative uses of technology. Across more than 120 sections annually, students develop skills in web design, animation, graphic design, video production, and augmented and virtual reality, while integrating cultural, social, and historical perspectives, diverse methodologies, and inclusive frameworks.

“Especially in today’s society, technology is not simply a neutral tool,” said Todd Butler, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, where DTC is housed. “DTC faculty across the system are leading the way in researching and teaching how culture and technology intertwine, and how an equity-oriented understanding of that connection can help drive our 21st-century land-grant mission.”

By J. Adrian Aumen, College of Arts and Sciences, for WSU Insider.