Changing Face of Print Media Prompts New Era at RIT

School of Print Media changes its name to reflect industry shift in cross-media communications

A. Sue Weisler

The School of Print Media at RIT will now be called the School of Media Sciences.

As the advancement of technology steers the media landscape, Rochester Institute of Technology is shifting its resources to stay ahead of the curve.

The School of Print Media at RIT is transforming and will now be called the School of Media Sciences. The shift comes as the school historically has kept up with advancing technology, economic shifts and cultural changes.

“This new, strategic shift will leverage our respected and historic foundation in print media to incorporate a ‘print-plus’ approach, that includes insights and understanding in the areas of the Web, mobile and social media, complementing the precision and technical understanding of the printing industry,” says Chris Bondy, administrative chair of RIT’s School of Media Sciences. “Students will emerge from the School of Media Sciences as media architects acquiring skills to lead cross-media communications environments, both from a technical and operational perspective.”

Along with the name change, RIT is adapting and refining programs to provide emerging professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to become successful leaders at highly recognized companies in various industries. Many RIT alumni hold leadership positions in some of the top graphic communications, imaging sciences and printing and publishing companies worldwide, and the shift toward digital is being implemented to continue that success.

The School of Media Sciences has an ongoing connection to its community, professional affiliates and more than 5,000 alumni. With this comes a great deal of pride and responsibility to provide the most advanced breadth and depth of information to the leaders in the industry, its community and to its students.

“The expansive use and sharing of information and content through the digital world has created a shift in the communication and technology industries,” Bondy says. “Students must understand how content and data originates, and how to apply effective content management skills to reach audiences that range from one person to millions—through a single venue or through multiple venues.”

RIT has once again responded to changes in technology with a refined curriculum, offering a more expansive cross-media graphic communications foundation. Similarly, the media arts and technology curriculum has been updated to include areas of study including cross-media workflow, digital asset management and database publishing. Future plans for the school involves the addition of a minor in the area of package printing, and a Masters of Science in media arts and technology to complement the current undergraduate degree.

Bondy adds: “As our curriculum expands and adapts, so should our presence to our students and the community at large. The School of Media Sciences is in a unique and influential position to lead the educational expansion of our industry and can successfully pave the way with a name that communicates our more extensive mission.”

Changing the name of the School of Print Media to the School of Media Sciences will more accurately reflect the integration of arts and sciences as they relate to the use of integrated cross-media communications. RIT is adapting and aiding in the transformation of traditional print-centric operations into successful cross-functional solutions of future.

“The name change reflects RIT’s bold but natural step forward in teaching today’s students tomorrow’s communications skills across the entire media spectrum,” says Bruce James, School of Printing alumnus, 24th Public Printer of the United States and chairman-emeritus of RIT’s Board of Trustees.

The School of Media Sciences’ mission is to innovate, transform and connect people, processes and systems that are essential to growth and success in the graphic communications industry.

The School of Media Sciences is positioned to revitalize RIT’s presence in the communications industry as not only a leading educational institution, but a community and industry Center of Excellence, built on precision with an expanding vision to innovate, transform and connect people, processes and systems that are essential to growth and success.

“Communication is now multi-media. Marketing is now multi-channel. RIT has re-invented itself to provide the skills needed for a new generation of publishing and promotion professionals,” says Frank Romano, RIT professor emeritus.

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